Small Research Grant Program 2019

Deadline to submit application: November 24, 2019 -  *Application period is currently closed*


Feed the Future Ethiopia Growth through Nutrition Activity is USAID’s five-year, flagship multi-sector nutrition and WASH project. The project aims to improve the nutritional status of women and young children in Ethiopia’s four productive regions, focusing on the first 1,000 days (from conception to age two). Growth through Nutrition builds off ENGINE’s success to expand and strengthen its effective and promising interventions and makes significant investments in the agriculture and WASH sectors to further enhance the GoE’s multi-sectoral approach to reducing stunting. 

As part of the project overall learning agenda strategy, with a view toward building capacity and supporting local researchers, a small research grant program has been developed by Tufts University. This program provides support to local researchers conducting research that aligns with the research goals and interests of Growth through Nutrition in improving programming and policy around Nutrition, Agriculture and WASH.  The program will provide up to three awards at approximately $7,000 USD per award through a competitive application process. These awards are not designed in theory to be large enough to cover the cost of a large full-size research study, but rather to be used to supplement other funds or provide support to researchers’ time for small scale research, dissertation work, etc.  

Researchers selected for the award will be expected to share a report or manuscript of their findings and participate in dissemination activities to share the results of their findings at project learning events. Benefits may also include technical support and guidance, feedback on analysis and interpretation, and promotion of research on project websites and events.  

Application Process

Who is Eligible to Apply? 

All research proposals should be led by an experienced researcher with a relevant academic background in leading research.  Junior researchers and students may apply with a collaborating advisor or senior research advisors listed on the study team who will be responsible for ensuring research quality.  Female researchers encouraged to apply. Staff members on Growth through Nutrition project are not eligible due to conflict of interest. 

Application Requirements

A complete application will include: 

  1. A research protocol outlining the research question, objectives, study design, methods, analysis plan and privacy/ethics considerations (max 10 pages)

  2. List of research team with CVs and explanation of respective roles in the study

  3. Detailed study budget outlining need and any other funding 

Applications with protocols that exceed 10 pages (excluding CVs) and do not meet the full requirements of the application guidelines will not be accepted, so applicants are encouraged to apply early.

Proposals will be evaluated against the quality and rigor of the proposed research, the potential contribution to the body of literature around crucial topics in the fields of Nutrition, Agriculture and WASH, feasibility and strength and experience of research team. Priority will be given to proposals that deal with questions relevant to the Growth through Nutrition Intermediate Results and the Learning Agenda priority topics, and which duration is approximately 1 year or less.

In addition to the project intermediate results, the research topics that will be given priority fall in the following thematic areas: 

  1. What challenges does the private sector face in WASH product and agricultural input supply chains and what are possible solutions to these challenges?

  2. Testing effectiveness of post-harvest technology, i.e. Cold Chamber at Farmer Training Centers for different crops. Identify reasons for variation of PHH technology effectiveness for different crops.

  3. Assessment of pedagogic skills for instructors at higher public institutions and barriers to applying the proper skills for teaching and maximizing student learning.

  4. Assess the perception of rural HHs towards local complementary food production and sale in rural communities.

  5. Knowledge and practice of recommended nutrition behaviors among adolescents in project-supported and non-supported schools.

Screening Process

Applications will first be screened to ensure that all required components of the application are included and that the applications meet all the advertised requirements, including budget. They will also be evaluated based on the relevance of the topic to the advertisement, and whether or not their research methods are technically sound.  A shortlist will be created of all applications that pass the screening and will be sent on to the review committee for further review. 

Selection Process

Applicant proposals that pass the screening will be evaluated based on the quality of research and applicability to the priority theme. A selection committee will review and rate submissions. Questions or modifications may be requested of the applicant if needed to inform the scoring process. 

The top three highest scoring proposals will be selected for an award. Final selections will be notified via email by early or mid-December. For further information, please refer to Growth through Nutrition small research grant program guidelines.

Electronic submissions should be submitted via the following link: 2019 Small Grant Application 

For more information, please contact Abdulhalik Workicho at


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