National Institute of Food and Agriculture announces RFA
The U. S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) recently announced a Request for Applications (RFA) for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s (AFRI) Childhood Obesity Prevention Challenge Area (COP) for fiscal year (FY) 2015. AFRI is NIFA’s primary competitive grant program that promotes knowledge in fundamental and applied sciences relevant to agriculture and food. The Obama Administration believes that obesity amongst children and adolescents (ages 2-19 years) is one of the top nutrition challenges facing the United States. Through this particular RFA, AFRI intends to make $6 million available for research, education, and extension programs that target this issue.
As such, the COP RFA seeks to combat the growing obesity challenge and reaffirms the Secretary of Agriculture and NIFA’s commitments “to preventive nutrition and physical activity strategies that will reduce obesity and related chronic diseases, and thereby lower healthcare costs.” 1 In pursuit of this long-term outcome, projects must seek to contribute to the achievement of the following goals:
- 1. “Generation of new knowledge about behavioral, social, cultural, and environmental factors that influence excessive weight gain by children and adolescents;
- 2. Development of effective behavioral, social, and environmental interventions to increase dietary intakes of fruits and vegetables; increase the variety of vegetables in the diet and decrease dietary intakes of foods high in solid fats and added sugars; increase the number of children who meet guidelines for television viewing and computer use; increase physical activity in children; and ultimately to decrease the proportion of children and adolescents who are overweight or obese;…
- 3. Expansion of interventions proven effective and assessment of their impact; and
- 4. An increase in the number of parents, caretakers, educators, practitioners, and researchers who receive the training and effectively model behaviors necessary to address the complex problem of childhood obesity prevention.”
Within this Challenge Area, AFRI will support: multi-function Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Projects; Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) Grants; and conferences and/or workshops.” Specified program areas include:“Integrated Approaches to Prevent Childhood Obesity” and “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (SNAP & EFNEP): Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention: Regional Centers of Excellence (RNECE).
Applications Due April 23, 2015
Total Funding and Award Sizes
Approximately $6 million is expected to be made available for awards under this program. Award sizes and periods vary by project type but must not exceed $1 million per year for five years.
Eligibility and Limitations: Eligible applicants include institutions of higher education and research organizations and institutions.