New: Request for Proposals (RFP) in Dec 2022

Note: We have been delayed 4 days in reviewing proposals for the RIDGE Partnership and will reply to applicants by March 24. Thanks!

Research funding available!

The Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics (RIDGE) Partnership is delighted to announce a new Request for Proposals (RFP) for research on federal nutrition assistance programs. This year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded the RIDGE partnership to Tufts University, the University of Missouri, and the University of Connecticut, Rudd Center. This partnership will support innovative research on nutrition assistance programs and aims to broaden the network of researchers applying their expertise to USDA topics. This extramural grants program seeks applications from a diverse community of experienced nutrition assistance researchers, early career scholars, and established researchers who are new to nutrition assistance research. As part of its mission, the RIDGE Partnership will release a request for grant proposals on December 1, with proposals due January 30, 2023. Grants will be awarded up to a maximum of $75,000 and 18 months in duration.

For the 2023 Request for Proposals (RFP), instructions, and application templates, see Information for 2023 Applicants


With support from USDA's Economic Resesarch Service (ERS) and Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), the Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics (RIDGE) extramural research program is administered by a partnership of Tufts University, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Missouri. Previously, in 2016-2021, this extramural small grants program supported two rounds of awards in 2017 and 2019. 

To address national objectives for improved food security and dietary quality, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) supported useful extramural research in economics aimed at understanding and enhancing the nation’s nutrition assistance programs. Bringing together the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, two institutions with a long record of research leadership in this area, the Tufts/UConn RIDGE Program:

  • oversaw research grants on both major and smaller nutrition assistance programs,
  • supported a broad community of researchers applying their expertise to nutrition assistance topics,
  • mentored new investigators in nutrition assistance research,
  • promoted the relevance of extramural research for nutrition assistance policy, and
  • sought to enhance communication of results through appropriate technology innovations.

Some features included using an online platform to manage the grant submission and review process, a videoconferencing option for an interim grantee meeting, incorporating short video presentations into the design of grant deliverables, a mixed in-person/remote design for the RIDGE Outcomes Conference in Washington, DC, and web-based dissemination of results. A recording of the 2020 final RIDGE Research Conference is available on Vimeo. Check out the announcements page to learn more about the conference and past grantees.The Tufts/UConn RIDGE Program built on our team’s detailed knowledge of U.S. nutrition assistance policy and a long-term career commitment to the field of nutrition assistance research. The project team included RIDGE Directors and a National Advisory Board.



Acknowledgement: RIDGE was made possible by support from USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and Economic Research Service (ERS). The views expressed in our research are those of the investigators and cannot be attributed to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, FNS, or ERS.