Deadline: May 10th, 2017 –

The Nestlé Foundation initiates and supports research in human nutrition with public health relevance in low-income and lower middle-income countries according to the World Bank classification (see The results of the research projects should ideally provide a basis for implementation and action which will lead to sustainable effects in the studied populations as generally applicable to the population at large. They should also enable institution strengthening and capacity building in a sustainable manner in the host country and further cooperation and collaboration between Institutions in developed and developing countries .

The Foundation expects research proposals to be primarily the initiative of local researchers from the developing countries. However the Foundation will be inclined to consider favorably those applications jointly made by scientists from developed countries with those from developing countries provided it is clear that the initiative will result in capacity building and human resource development in the latter and the bulk of the budget is spent in the developing country.

Current funding policy

Sustainable improvement in human nutrition is one of the major issues in the portfolio of the Foundation. During more than 40 years basic and applied research in nutrition has been supported by the Foundation in more than 50 developing countries. In view of the past activities of the Foundation as well as the world’s situation at the turn of the millennium, it was recognized that the public health relevance of the supported research as well as aspects of sustainability, capacity building and educational issues should have a higher priority. Thus, priority is given to projects which lead to sustainable developments with strong elements of capacity building, and the implementation of the results of a research project should be immediate and sustainable. Highly sophisticated nutrition research of mainly academic interest without public health relevance has lower priority for support as well as solely laboratory based studies or animal experimentation.

Research Topics

At present the Foundation’s work is primarily concerned with human nutrition research issues dealing with:

maternal and child nutrition, including breastfeeding and complementary feeding, • macro- and micronutrient deficiencies and imbalances, • interactions between infection and nutrition, and • nutrition education and health promotion.

The precise priorities and goals of the Foundation are modified from time to time to meet emerging public health and nutritional needs in the developing world.

Studies in other areas of human nutrition research might also be considered, as long as they are dealing with problems of malnutrition in eligible countries (see above). Other areas of research may be eventually considered for support if the applicant can offer specific and convincing evidence and justification for the choice of their research topic.

Funded projects are usually of one- to three-year duration. Projects with a high potential for effective and sustainable improvement of the nutritional status as well as a high capacity building component will be funded preferentially. The budget of the projects must be appropriate and reasonable and has to be justified in detail. One of the Foundation’s main aims is the transfer of scientific and technological knowledge to target countries. In cases where Foundation-sponsored research projects are realized in collaboration with scientists at universities and research institutes in high-income countries, at least 75% of the budget has to be earmarked for use within the low-income country.

Research grant applications from high-income countries are normally not considered except under rare and exceptional conditions.

The Foundation does not normally fund: (1) projects with low public health relevance (2) projects with doubtful sustainability (3) projects lacking transfer of scientific, technical and educational knowledge, i.e. lacking a capacity-building component (4) large budget projects i.e. – projects that exceed US$100,000 per year or US$ 300,000 over the total duration ofa 3year project (5) nutrition surveys or surveillance studies (6) research on food policy, food production and food technology except when linked to an intervention with high potential for sustainable improvement of the nutritional status (7) in vitro and/or animal experiments.

Although obesity and related diseases are of emerging importance in several low-income countries, the Foundation does not generally support projects in this specific area unless the proposal demonstrates linkages with under nutrition, the protocol is innovative and exceptionally well justified.

Eligible Institutions

Eligible institutions are departments or institutes from universities, hospitals other institutions of higher education in low- or lower middle-income countries. Joint applications from more than once institution (especially South-South) are welcomed. Joint applications from more than one institution involving a NorthSouth collaboration may also be considered. For project applications demonstrating North-South collaboration, it is important that the following criteria are fulfilled: (i) the Principal Investigator is from the South and the proposal has relevance to nutritional problems of the South, and (ii) the majority of the budget is earmarked for the South, and (iii) demonstration on the completion of the project of institution and capacity building in a sustainable manner in the South.

The capacity building component represents a core issue for all applications to the Foundation. This means that in every application needs to demonstrate a training and human resource and capacity building component for the developing world. Ideally graduate students or young investigators should play a key role and if need be designated as the Principal Investigator (PI) i.e. be the primary grant applicant or Co-PI. Established researchers can nevertheless apply but need to clearly indicate the capacity building component and the designated beneficiaries.. Established investigators alone are not usually eligible to apply for a grant, except when they address innovative and exceptionally well justified research questions in developing countries. Such applications need to clearly state the capacity and human resource building components in the host country as well as the long term sustainability of research in the host institution. Applications from individuals who are non-affiliated researchers and not attached to research or academic institutions can be considered only in very special cases.

Types of Awards

The Nestlé Foundation offers different award and grant categories, some of them using a modular approach, i.e. the Pilot Grant Program represents the starting grant module for a later Full Grant Research application. The eligibility criteria as well as the Research objectives and topics have to be fulfilled independently from the award category (for further details see section “Specific information for applications”):

A. Research Grants 1. Training Grant 2. Pilot Grant 3. Full Grant (small / large)

B. Institutional Support

Institutional support involves the support of research or educational projects in specific institutions in low- or lower-middle income countries which contribute to a focused development of capacity and know-how and human resource development in the corresponding institution.

C. enLINK Research grant program

The enLINK research grant program represents research projects initiated by the Nestlé Foundation. External researchers or institutions are invited by the Foundation to submit a research proposal in a specific area. All applications, including those of the enLINK research grant program will undergo internal and external reviewing.

The Nestlé Foundation does not support individual fees for attendance and travel to scientific meetings or courses except when presenting the of results of a research grant already funded by the Nestlé Foundation. We do not consider queries for support to attend a meeting if you are not a grant holder of the Nestle Foundation. The Foundation does in general not support the organization of meetings or conferences and discourages any solicitation of funds for these purposes.

How to apply

Interested scientists should first submit a “Letter of Intent” in which they describe very briefly the kind of project they would like to undertake, including an estimated budget. Instructions for the letter of intent are available on the Foundation website at “Download application forms and reports”. For a submission of a letter of intent only the downloadable form on our website should be used.

If the suggested project is compatible with the Foundation’s current funding policy, applicants will receive an invitation to submit a full grant proposal. The guidelines and forms for the submission of a full grant proposal are also available on our website. Other formats will not be accepted, neither for the letter of intent nor for the full grant applications.

In the letter of intent and in the grant application, detailed, evidence-based information about the public health relevance of the project as well as its immediate impact and sustainability have to be reported. This part of the applicatio is as important as the scientific section of the application.

Research grant applications are evaluated twice a year by the Foundation’s Council, a group of independent international scientists. The funding of projects is primarily based on the scientific quality, public health relevance in the short and long term, sustainability, capacity-building component and, last but not least, budget considerations.

Applications are accepted all year round, and the Foundation encourages applicants to submit their proposals as early as possible to allow sufficient time for internal as well as external reviews. All submissions should be made electronically by e-mail using a MS Word File (doc).

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