New Round of RIDGE Funding Announced

Boston/Hartford, Conn. – The Tufts/UConn RIDGE Program announced a new round of funding on November 28, 2018. The request for proposals (RFP) for a new 2019 round of RIDGE seeks to support innovative economic research on domestic nutrition assistance programs and to broaden the network of researchers applying their expertise to USDA topics. The RIDGE Program seeks applications from a diverse community of experienced nutrition assistance researchers, early career scholars, and established researchers who bring expertise in another research area.

The Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics (RIDGE) program supports university-based studies relevant to the 15 domestic food and nutrition assistance programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The program is a collaboration between USDA, the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, and the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut.

This is the second round of Tufts/UConn RIDGE funding, which builds on the success of Round 1’s innovative research projects. Round 2 will aim to award approximately 1/3 of its total funding to each of the three program areas of interest: Child Nutrition Programs; the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Additional information on the 2019 RIDGE funding round will be provided during the RIDGE Informational Webinar for Applicants, Monday, December 17, 2018 at 12PM EST.

The Tufts/UConn RIDGE Program and USDA Economic Research Services (ERS) recently held the 2018 RIDGE Conference on October 11, 2018 in Washington, DC, featuring new economic research aimed at enhancing food security and dietary quality for low-income Americans.

The October conference offered presentations by both new and established investigators who were 2017 RIDGE grantees, on topics ranging from the role of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for disabled persons to the impact of universal free school meals on childhood obesity. Other researchers described nutrition assistance program participation, food insecurity among vulnerable populations, and community influence on food assistance and dietary choices. All sessions, participants, and presentation topics are available in the conference agenda.

“This conference is a great way for practitioners and program leaders to learn about new research in an accessible setting, with opportunity for discussion with the investigators,” says Parke Wilde, professor at Tufts and RIDGE director. “It also gives new researchers a chance to hear about policy priorities of USDA staff and other DC policy audiences,” adds Tatiana Andreyeva, associate director and associate professor at the University of Connecticut.

Additional details about the Tufts/UConn RIDGE Program are available on the RIDGE website. To learn more about the 2019 RIDGE funding round, please see the 2019 Request for Proposals (RFP) and register for the RIDGE Information Webinar for Applicants, to be held on December 17 at 12PM. To apply, visit the RIDGE online application portal.

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