FY 2024 Request for Pre-Proposals - Human Nutrition Research 

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor of the Beef Checkoff, is soliciting research pre-proposals in the area of Human Nutrition. Beef farmers and ranchers are interested in expanding nutrition research efforts to further understand beef’s nutritional qualities and define beef’s role in a healthy diet to nourish and optimize health at every life stage. Beef farmer-and rancher-supported research helps fill gaps ensuring the body of nutrition knowledge for beef continues to grow -- particularly as applied research funding opportunities become more limited -- and also provides evidence-based information about beef to help consumers make informed choices about what they eat. More specifically, attention will be given to research pre-proposals that consider one or more of the following topics: 

Original Scientific Research: Evaluate beef’s role in optimal human health and well-being and the prevention of chronic disease through population-based or clinical research. 

  • Growth and development during childhood and/or adolescence life stages  
  • Metabolic health (e.g., heart disease, diabetes, cancer, weight management)   
  • Eating/Ingestive behaviors (e.g., types, amounts, and/or frequency of eating beef) and metabolic health  
  • Interactions between components of the diet matrix and whole beef food matrix*  
  • Healthy aging, including changes during menopausal transition (e.g., sarcopenia, frailty, bone health)  
  • Mental and emotional strength  
  • Relevant physiological-psychological measures such as hunger, food cravings, diet satisfaction, and resilience 
Existing Research Assessment: Data analysis, Food Pattern modeling 

  • Types of dietary fats from beef and health outcomes  
  • Development of a food-based diet quality index/score with sufficient detail and differentiation of the types and amounts of specifications for animal-source foods   
  • Amounts of beef consumed and association with biomarkers of health  
  • Identification and/or modeling of beef in context of healthy and ethnically, culturally, and or economically diverse dietary patterns   
  • Examine the role of beef in accessible, affordable, equitable diets  
  • Understand the potential connection between beef and diet quality and/or nutrient security throughout the lifecycle with a particular focus on school-aged children (e.g., school meal programs) and aging adults. 
Literature reviews (systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses encouraged) 

  • Contribution of beef’s unique nutrient matrix* (e.g., iron, zinc, protein, B vitamins, choline, lipids in beef/from beef intake) to optimal health outcomes  
  • Exploration of best practice methods to evaluate beef’s nutrient matrix*   
  • Characterization of beef’s unique food matrix* (e.g., gap analysis on matrix components such as novel bioactives)  
  • Assessment of specificity of red meat and/or beef intake, amounts, and types in health and disease studies   
  • Articulate interrelationships of beef intake, nutrition, and health and their contribution to healthcare costs  
  • Identification of beef in the context of healthy and ethnically, culturally, and/or economically diverse dietary patterns 

* The current working definition for the beef matrix: The collective nutritive and non-nutritive components of the beef food structure and their unique chemical and physical interactions that may be important for human health and are distinguishable from those of the single components in isolation. 

Please also see the 2021-2025 Human Nutrition Research Roadmap, which can be found here. For additional information on the checkoff-funded Human Nutrition Research program, click here.

Application Guidelines: 

PRE-PROPOSALS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY Thursday April 20 at 11:59pm MDT via the BeefGrants system. 

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, has moved to an online portal 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 BeefGrants

(For more information on using BeefGrants, click here.)

Pre-proposal Categories: 

FY-24 Long-term Projects 
  • May include proposals for research trials. Funded projects usually range from $50,000 to $250,000, but could be higher if appropriate, necessary, and well justified.   
  • Can begin on or after January 1, 2024, with a project timeline up to two years and must end by May 31, 2026.  
FY-24 Short-term Projects 
  • May include proposals for project with timelines for up to one year, with funding limited to $100,000/proposal.  
  • Can begin on or after January 1, 2024, with a project timeline up to one year. 
FY-24 Literature Review Projects 
  • May include proposals for systematic or narrative literature reviews and/or meta-analyses with funding limited to $50,000/proposal.  
  • Can begin on or after January 1, 2024, with a project timeline up to one year. 

Pre-Proposal Submission Process: 

The Human Nutrition Research Program follows a two-part application process, including the submission of a pre-proposal. 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 the 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.  

The following fields will be required in BeefGrants (word counts may apply for some fields).  

  •  Applicant Information  
    • Organization Information  
    • Researcher Information  
    • Institution Grant Administration Contact Details 
  • Pre-proposal 
    • Project Title  
    • Program Area of Proposed Work (please list if applicable)  
    • Project Timeline  
    • Specific Objectives  
    • Hypothesis  
    • Proposed Methodology and Design  
    • Expected outcomes in terms of scientific knowledge and technical capability delivered as result of this project  
    • Deliverables (for example, pilot data or manuscript development)  
    • Brief Budget Description (for example, personnel, supplies, materials, sample analysis, presentations, dissemination, travel and miscellaneous)  
    • References (if applicable) 

Review Criteria: 

Pre-proposals will be reviewed by an internal and external Science Advisory Committee. Pre-proposals will be evaluated for: uniqueness, relevance, soundness, potential for success, budget appropriateness and potential benefit to the industry. 

PIs with pre-proposals selected for request for full proposal will be notified by May 15, 2023

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. 


We are aware that academic institutions have financial obligations for administering the research grants awarded to their faculty members. However, overhead costs, principal investigator salaries, tuition and equipment purchases will not be considered as part of the funds made available for this research.

Questions related to this RFP should be directed to [email protected]