FY 2021 Request for Proposals - Human Nutrition Research

FY 2021 Request for Proposals Human Nutrition Research

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor of the Beef Checkoff, is conducting a directed solicitation of human nutrition research pre-proposals. Beef farmers and ranchers are interested in expanding nutrition research efforts to further understand beef’s nutritional qualities and the role of beef in healthy diets. As traditional sources of research funding become more limited, beef farmer- and rancher-supported research helps fill gaps ensuring the body of nutrition knowledge continues to grow and provide science-based information about beef to help consumers make informed choices about what they eat.

More specifically, attention will be given to research proposals that consider one or more of the following topics:

Dietary Patterns Research Across Life Stages

  • Improve methods to accurately and objectively capture meat-related dietary data (e.g. separate processed meat from fresh; lean meat from higher fat; beef vs. pork vs. poultry)
    • Improve scientific methods for assessing the relationship between beef and health
  • Development or refinement of validated dietary pattern score/index that incorporates nutrient density of food components in assessment of diet quality
  • Evaluate role of beef in dietary patterns across all life stages, with particular interest during growth and development, women before or during pregnancy and lactation, and older adults, on nutrient adequacy, status, and appropriate health-related risk factors or outcomes for respective subpopulation

Impact of Beef’s Unique Food Matrix on Human Health

  • Contribution of beef’s matrix (e.g. iron, zinc, protein, B vitamins, choline, lipid) to optimal health outcomes
    • Particular interest in cognitive function, muscle health, aging and/or immune function
    • Quality of bioavailability of beef’s nutrients especially of public health concern or those that pose special challenges in certain life stages that pose special challenges (e.g. iron, choline, B vitamins, protein, lipids)
  • Comparison of protein-lipid matrix (i.e. beef vs. dairy vs. plant-based proteins)

Literature Reviews (Systematic Reviews and/or Meta-Analyses Encouraged)

Topics of interest include but are not limited to those above as well as: 
  • Specificity of red meat or beef intake, amounts, and types in health and disease outcomes
  • Biomarkers/metabolites of beef consumption and personalized nutrition
  • Effects of low carbohydrate/meat rich diets on health outcomes
  • Beef’s impact on immunity and inflammation
  • Interrelationships of beef intake, nutrition, and health and their contribution to healthcare costs



Cycle AProjects are short-term and must be completed by August 31, 2021. 
  • May include proposals for systematic or narrative literature reviews and/or meta-analyses with funding limited to $35,000/proposal.
  • Cycle A projects can begin on or after Dec 1, 2020 and must end by Aug 31, 2021.
  • Apply under 2111-R Short term projects
Cycle BProjects are longer-term and must be completed by May 31, 2023.
  • May include proposals for research trials. Funded projects usually range from $25,000 to $200,000, but could be higher if appropriate, necessary, and well justified.
  • Cycle B projects can begin on or after Dec 1, 2020 and must end by May 31, 2023.
  • Apply under 2111-R Long term projects

Submission Instructions:

Pre-proposals are intended to be a brief overview of the proposed project. Pre-proposals must meet the submission deadline and follow the guidelines in this RFP to be considered. Pre-proposals should clearly state their relevance to the beef industry.

Principal Investigators (PIs) may submit more than one pre-proposal. A CV is not required. If included, CVs will not count against page totals. 

Review Criteria:

Pre-proposals will be reviewed by an internal and external Science Advisory Committee, and PIs with pre-proposals selected for request for full proposal will be notified by August 31, 2020.

Pre-proposals will be evaluated for methodology: clearly defined hypothesis and objectives, experimental design/methods and convincing evidence that the proposed research will change the concepts, methods, or technologies that drive this field. Human studies should be well-controlled and clearly identify the population for the intervention. The study design should utilize dietary beef as the primary protein among the treatment groups, i.e. at least one treatment arm should include beef as the primary protein. If not a human study design, special attention should be given to explain the usefulness of the animal model selected, to human health.

Leveraged funding through collaborations with government agencies (USDA, NIH), foundations, industry or other sources that have matching funds is encouraged. In addition, collaboration with additional researchers is encouraged where appropriate.

Disclaimer: NCBA is aware that academic institutions have financial obligations for administering the research grants that are awarded to their faculty members. However, with funds that are made available for research, overhead costs, principal investigator salaries, and equipment purchases are not able to be considered.

Pre-proposal Submission Instructions:

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, has moved to an online portal, SmartSimple, for managing the grants process and to facilitate the submission and review of grant materials. All portal users will need to log in or set up an account to submit their proposal(s) at https://ncba.smartsimple.com/s_Login.jsp

Pre-Proposal Outline:

The following fields will be required in SmartSimple. Word counts apply for some fields.

  • Applicant Information
    • Organization Information
    • Researcher Information
  • Pre-proposal
    • Project Title
    • Program Area of Proposed Work (please list if applicable)
    • Project Timeline
    • Specific Objectives
    • Hypothesis
    • Experimental Approach
    • Expected outcomes in terms of scientific knowledge and technical capability delivered as a result of this project.
    • Deliverables (i.e. pilot data or manuscript development)
    • Brief budget description (i.e. personnel, supplies, materials, sample analysis, publications, presentations, dissemination, travel and miscellaneous)
    • References (if applicable)

Project Registration

If funded, all studies must be pre-registered (i.e. Human trials - Clinicaltrials.org, Systematic reviews – PROSPERO). 

Project Deliverables

Project deliverables will include, at minimum, a final technical report with a full listing of research results and implications, and abbreviated executive and lay summaries highlighting key points from the full technical report. Final technical reports must follow a standard outline and be thorough and interpretive in nature. Final report should follow reporting guidelines (e.g. Meta-analysis – use PRISMA; Clinical trial – use CONSORT; Observational study – use STROBE).

Deliverables will also include a final statement outlining all project expenditures from the institution’s business office. Funds cannot be spent beyond the project end date established in the project contract.

Deliverables will be due on or before the project end date established in the contract.

Please share this RFP with interested colleagues. Visit www.beefresearch.org for additional information on the checkoff-funded Human Nutrition Research program.  

Questions related to this RFP should be directed to beefnutritionrfp@beef.org.


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