Questions about the RFP and Concept Memo Submission

Q1: What are the major reasons for a concept memo not being successful?

A: The proposed research:
1) is from a group with no demonstrable research experience.
2) is from a group with no in-country linkages.
3) does not address food choice. The following are examples of topics that are unlikely to be successful: breastfeeding, complementary feeding that does not address food choice, agricultural innovations that do not address food choice.


Q2: Is the same institution allowed to submit more than one concept memo?

A: There is no limit on the number of applications from an institution.


Q3: Can we apply for research in a country which is not included among the 41 countries prioritized in the RFP?

A:  We state in the RFP that “The DFC Competitive Grants Program aims to fund research projects that provide a deep understanding of the drivers of food choice among the poor in LMIC, with preference given to projects based in the 41 countries identified.” Our primary aim is to fund projects that have the greatest potential for providing insight into the drivers of food choice in LMIC to inform policy and practice.  This may include high quality proposals for work based in other LMIC not included on this list.


Q4: Are U.S.- or UK-based partners required for projects to be eligible for funding?

A: No. We welcome applicants based anywhere in the world, in particular from areas in Asia and Africa where projects are based.


Q5. Is a PhD student eligible to be the Principal Investigator of a project?

A: No. We welcome the involvement of PhD students in research, but the PI of a project should have demonstrated experience leading research projects, including scientific and financial oversight.


Q6: Will there be another Request for Proposals released in the future?

A: We do not anticipate having another RFP next year. We are prepared to fund 7 research projects in this second round of funding, based on the quality of submissions.


Q7: How many applications do you expect to invite to full proposals?

A: We invited 25 full proposals in the first round of funding. We do not anticipate inviting more than 25 in the second round of funding.


Q8: Do you have a preference for market-based versus household-based research?

A: No. As outlined in the RFP, we are interested in proposals that address drivers of food choice at all levels.


Q9: May projects have only university partners, or are NGO or other partners required?

A: Proposed research must demonstrate how it will be used to influence policy and programming in the country of study, as well as be useful to others outside the country of study. To that end, relationships within country or collaborations that will facilitate that process or help to disseminate findings will need to be documented. While it may make sense for a particular research project to have only academic partners, we have an interest in supporting projects that demonstrate strong in-country relationships.


Q10: What is considered sufficient expertise in financial management, previous research, and project management?

A: Sufficient expertise can be demonstrated by:

1) previous experience managing a research project with similar necessary skills.

2) evidence of being able to document the flow and use of funds.


Q11: Is an application aimed at introducing edible insects as a new food component eligible for grant funding?

A: Yes, as long as the focus of the project is on understanding the drivers of food choice.


Answers to more questions about the program and RFP submission process can be found in the recordings of the March 6th, 2017, and the September 30, 2015, Informational Webinars. To access the webinar recordings and a transcript of the Q&A session, click here:



Questions about Full Proposal Submission

Q1: How should I submit budget information for subcontracts?

A: We ask that you submit detailed budget information for subcontracts. Please use the same form, and submit separate budget worksheets for the total project and each subcontract. There is a three-page limit for the overall budget; the page limit is the same for each sub-contract budget.


Q2: May I include collaborators in my full proposal that were not mentioned in my concept memo?

A: Investigators are free to change or include new collaborators in the full proposals as warranted.