To address national objectives for improved food security and dietary quality, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) supports useful extramural research in economics aimed at understanding and enhancing the nation’s nutrition assistance programs. With support from USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) and Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), the Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics (RIDGE) Partnership is administered by a partnership of Tufts University, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Missouri.

A request for proposals (RFP) for the 2024 grant cycle will be posted in November 2023. Previously, this extramural small grants program supported three rounds of awards in 2017, 2019, and 2023 (see the accomplishments page). In these previous rounds, the RIDGE Partnership: oversaw research grants on both major and smaller nutrition assistance programs, supported a broad community of researchers applying their expertise to nutrition assistance topics, mentored new investigators in nutrition assistance research, promoted the relevance of extramural research for nutrition assistance policy, and sought to enhance communication of results through appropriate technology innovations.

A recording of the 2020 final RIDGE Research Conference is available on Vimeo. Check out the announcements page to learn more about the conference and past grantees. The RIDGE Partnership builds on our team’s knowledge of U.S. nutrition assistance policy and a long-term career commitment to the field of nutrition assistance research. The project team includes directors and a National Advisory Board.