Request For Proposals - Human Nutrition Research

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor of the Beef Checkoff, is soliciting research 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 beef’s role in a healthy diet to nourish and optimize health at every life stage. More specifically, attention will be given to research proposals that consider one or more of the following topics:

Original Scientific Research: Evaluate beef’s role in optimizing human health and well-being through population-based or clinical research. 

  • Growth and development during childhood and/or adolescence life stages 
  • Muscle health (i.e., quality, strength) and role in overall health, including aging
  • Brain health (e.g., neurocognitive/cognition/mental health and physical/mental resilience/vitality/fatigue) 
  • Assess beef’s contribution to nutrition adequacy in U.S. school children via school meals
  • Interactions between components of the diet matrix and whole beef food matrix* 
Existing Research Assessment: Data analysis, Food Pattern modeling 

  • Assess beef’s contribution to nutrition adequacy, security and/or food security in the U.S. (e.g., beef in school meals)
  • Types of dietary fats from beef and health outcomes 
  • Beef in context of healthy dietary patterns and/or development of a food-based diet quality index/score with ability to clearly delineate type and amounts of protein food sources 
  • Articulate interrelationships of beef intake, nutrition, and health and their contribution to healthcare costs and/or quality of life indicators
Literature reviews (systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses encouraged)

  • Contribution of components of the beef matrix* to optimal health outcomes 
  • Exploration of best practice methods to evaluate the beef matrix* 
  • Characterization of the beef 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

* 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.

Note: Clinical trials and systematic review/meta-analyses will be required to be registered in the appropriate database in advance of project initiation (e.g.,, PROSPERO). Completed work is expected to be written for publication in accordance with best practice reporting guidelines established for the appropriate study design type.


  •  Proposal submission due date: December 14, 2022 
  • Funding notifications: March 2023 
  • Project start date: As early as April 2023 
  • Project completion date: By May 31, 2025 (justification for project funding period required)


Proposals must meet the submission deadline and follow the guidelines in this RFP to be considered. Accepted projects will be funded (or funded in part) by the Beef Checkoff.   

Research objectives should be clearly defined, and proposals should clearly state their relevance and potential benefit to the beef industry. 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.   

 Principal Investigators (PIs) may submit more than one proposal. 

PROPOSALS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY December 14 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 facilitating 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

Proposal Categories

FY-23 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 April 1, 2023, with a project timeline up to two years.
FY-23 Short-term Projects 
  • May include proposals for short-term projects with timelines for up to one year, with funding limited to $100,000/proposal, or proposals for systematic literature reviews and/or meta-analyses with funding limited to $55,000/proposal. 
  • Can begin on or after April 1, 2023, with a project timeline up to one year.


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
  • Application Summary 
    • Proposed start and end date 
    • Total Cost of Research 
    • Brief, Non-technical Abstract of Research Project 
  • Project Details 
    • Project Background and Hypothesis. 
    • Specific objectives of the study. (Be descriptive, quantitative and provide an estimate of the time frame for accomplishment of each.) 
    • Experimental Design Methods.  (Provide details of project protocol, diet composition, techniques involved, sampling regime and the required analyses.  Statistical analysis (power test) to justify the sample size is required for human as well as animal studies.) 
    • Project Timeline. (Please provide detailed timeline; recommend including Gantt chart for clinical trials.) 
    • Expected Outcomes. 
    • Describe the practical application of the research for use in the beef industry. How likely is this project to further advance food and agricultural research and knowledge? Detailed Budget Table (note other sources of Support/Co-Funding)
    • Personnel Justification. Percent of time to be spent on the project by: Principal Investigator, Associate Investigator, Technician, Student, etc. 
    • Resources Present to Support the Proposed Work (Physical Resources, Researcher Experience/Relevant Research)
    • COVID-19 contingency measures
    • References (if applicable)
    • Supporting Documents (if applicable). 


Proposals will be reviewed by an internal and external Science Advisory Committee. Proposals will be evaluated for: 

  1. Clearly defined Hypothesis and Objectives, Background and Rationale. 
  2. Experimental Design/Methods includes sufficient detail.
  3. Adequacy of study subjects, datasets, facilities and equipment.
  4. Budget/timeline are appropriate for the proposed work.
  5. Professional training and experience of principal investigator supportive of proposed work.
  6. Adequacy of application in providing requested information.


The 2021-2025 Beef Checkoff Human Nutrition Research Roadmap can be found here.  For additional information on the checkoff-funded Human Nutrition Research program, click here

Due to contracting sensitivities, details of ongoing research projects cannot be made available. Please understand this limitation and use your best judgment to submit proposals that are both novel and of high industry impact.


Project deliverables will include, at minimum, an interim project report and 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. 

Deliverables also will 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.   


Publication of all research is expected regardless of the outcome, however financial support for manuscript publication is considered separate from research contracts.  Once your project is completed and the final report is submitted, please reach out to NCBA staff to receive more information on the new publishing guidance.


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]