Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Nutrition

The Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University has been awarded two important grants by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). USAID has issued a $15 Million Leader with Associates (LWA) Award for the school to serve as the Management Entity for a new Nutrition Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP) in Africa and Asia. This is the first Collaborative Research Grant (formerly known as Collaborative Research Support Grants, or CRSPs)to be awarded by USAID for nutrition research in roughly 25 years.

The Friedman School is leading a consortium of US-based institutions and developing country partners in implementing two concurrent five-year programs across the two continents. The Nutrition Innovation Labs' activities support the US administration's new "Feed the Future" initiative, which promotes a new paradigm linking innovative agriculture and health strategies to result in improved nutrition outcomes for children and women in the poorest countries of the world.

The Nutrition Innovation Labs represent multi-disciplinary research and action programs that are developed and implemented jointly by US and host country institutions and scientists. This integrated approach aims to provide long term and sustainable solutions to under-nutrition through addressing its underlying determinants.

Tufts faculty will take a lead in augmenting the academic training of local universities and training institutions, and improve host government technical capacities to deal with nutrition, food security and health problems. The program will also support high-quality locally-owned research that will help enhance farmers' incomes, productivity and market participation, and also enhance the formulation and implementation of national policies and programs designed to improve nutritional outcomes.

The consortium of leading US institutions that will work with Tufts on these activities includes:

  • Harvard University's School of Public Health,
  • Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health,
  • Purdue University's Department of Agricultural Economics,
  • Tuskegee University's College of Agricultural, Environmental and Natural Sciences, and
  • Development Alternatives, Inc (DAI) of Washington, DC.

Faculty members Dr. Patrick Webb, Dean for Academic Affairs and Dr. Jeff Griffiths, Professor lead the activities in Asia and Africa, respectively. Dr. Shibani Ghosh, Adjunct Assistant Professor, serves as Associate Director for both programs. They coordinate what is expected to be an innovative program of 'research-to-practice' that addresses the priority nutritional, agricultural and food security needs of these regions of the developing world.

The recognition by USAID of the Friedman School's leadership in addressing under-nutrition reflects the recent recognition by the National Research Council of the National Academies, who in September, released results of their rankings of doctoral programs, placing Tufts at the top among all nutrition programs nationally.

The Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University is the only independent school of nutrition in the United States. The school's centers, which focus on questions relating to famine, hunger, poverty, and communications, are renowned for the application of scientific research to national and international policy.

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