Special Solicitation: Evaluating the Implementation and Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic-Driven Policies and Programs to Improve Children’s Health and Well-Being

Download the full Call for Proposals (CFP)

This CFP aims to fund research on how COVID-19-related relief and recovery policies, and now the post-pandemic recession, impact child health and well-being. This is our second round of funding on this topic. Click here for more information on projects funded under the first round of this special solicitation.

HER is interested in understanding how pandemic-driven social and economic programs and policies related to poverty reduction—such as financial payments to families, income assistance programs, housing assistance or housing security programs, and increased access to social services—impact child obesity, diet quality, food and nutrition security, and other relevant child and family health outcomes among lower-income families and populations of color.

Studies must focus on children (0 to 18) and families in the United States, with high priority on those who are at highest risk for poor nutrition and obesity, specifically lower-income families and racially and ethnically diverse populations (e.g., Black, Latino/a, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander). Evidence generated through this special solicitation should be timely and policy-relevant, and aimed towards identifying policies and programs that advance nutrition and health equity.

Grants will be awarded up to a maximum of $250,000 and 18 months in duration.

Examples of research topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Relationships between affordable housing/housing security and indicators of child health, including food and nutrition security.
  • Impacts of increased benefits or social services for families (e.g., childcare subsidies, universal free meals) on disposable income and diet quality.
  • Impacts of COVID-19 relief provisions on racial/ethnic or geographic disparities in health outcomes (e.g., diet and weight) among children and families.
  • Identify structural barriers, facilitators, or unintended consequences of COVID-19 relief provisions at federal, state, or local levels for achieving improvements in child obesity, diet quality, food security, or other child health outcomes.
  • Explore how funding for food/nutrition supports in the COVID-19 relief packages specifically impacted family/child poverty, given poverty is a risk factor for obesity, and what would happen if these supports were discontinued.
  • Impacts of the increase in SNAP benefits via the updated Thrifty Food Plan on diet quality and health amongst families with children.
  • Impacts of COVID flexibilities in the WIC program, what is continuing, and what is working.
  • Effect of school meal flexibilities on the nutritional quality of food served by schools.

Download the full CFP for more examples of priority research questions, information on eligibility and selection criteria, and descriptions of the types of studies that could be funded. Click here to learn about the projects funded under the first round of this special solicitation.

How to Apply
All applications must be submitted through the RWJF online system. Visit the application site to apply.

Key Dates and Deadlines

  • August 3-October 12, 2022 (3 p.m. ET): RWJF online system available to applicants to submit concept papers.
  • October 12, 2022 (3 p.m. ET): Deadline for receipt of concept papers in the online system. Concept papers submitted after the deadline will not be reviewed.
  • November 9, 2022: Applicants notified whether they are invited to submit a full proposal.

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 healthyeating@duke.edu.