Healthy Eating Research has released a Special Solicitation on Beverage Consumption in Early Childhood. This call for proposals (CFP) focuses exclusively on research that informs the development of policy and environmental strategies that:

  1. decrease consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and/or
  2. increase access to and consumption of safe water

among 0- to 5-year-olds in the United States, with a priority on lower-income and racial and ethnic minority populations that are at-risk of poor nutrition and obesity.

Approximately $2.1 Million will be awarded under this CFP, resulting in the funding of about seven grants. Each grant will award up to $300,000 for up to 24 months.


All proposed studies in response to this CFP must have a clear impact on 0- to 5-year-olds and address one or more of the following topic areas (topics are not in any particular order). Also, all studies must have the potential to impact groups at highest risk for obesity and poor nutrition, such as black, Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander populations, and children living in lower-income communities. RWJF is interested in research exploring the following topics:

  1. Ways to leverage federal, state, or local nutrition and food assistance policies
  2. Marketing practices and policies, including pricing, promotion, placement, and on-package labeling, etc.
  3. Messaging campaigns for discouraging SSB consumption and encouraging potable water consumption
  4. How changes to SSB and/or water consumption impact changes in overall beverage consumption patterns
  5. Settings with the greatest potential for decreasing SSB and increasing water consumption at the population-level
  6. Access to safe drinking water and/or perception of tap water safety

These priority topic areas emerged from a 6-month long project led by HER to develop a national research agenda to reduce the consumption of SSBs and increase access to and consumption of safe water among 0- to 5-year-olds. For more information regarding the development of the national research agenda, the full list of key issue areas, and the specific research questions within each of these areas that may be of interest to RWJF and HER, please see the full research agenda here.

Click here to download the CFP for more information on eligibility and selection criteria and descriptions of the types of studies that could be funded.

How to Apply

All applications for this solicitation must be submitted via the RWJF online system. Visit RWJF’s funding opportunity page and use the “Apply Online” link.

There are two phases in the application process:

Stage 1: Concept Paper

Stage 2: Full Proposal (for invited applicants only)

Key Dates and Deadlines

October 3, 2018 (3 p.m. ET): Concept papers are due in the online system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Download answers to Frequently Asked Questions for this CFP. If you have additional questions about this funding opportunity, please contact the HER national program office at or 1-800-578-8636.