Food Innovation Center funding programs are intended to incentivize interdisciplinary collaborations that advance an adequate, safe, and health-promoting food system. The Food Innovation Center strategically leverages start-up funds provided by the Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of Research to foster new faculty development, networking, and the engagement of graduate students.
Current Funding Programs:
- Matching Program Support: In recognition of the need to leverage financial support in order to bring high level food-focused programming to the university, the FIC offers matching fund opportunities.
- Graduate Student Travel Awards: Awards up to $500 for graduate students. They support those who have worked on research projects consistent with the FIC mission under the direction of a current FIC member.
Examples of FIC-Funded Initiatives:
Mapping the Food Environment
Dr. Michelle Kaiser (Social Work), along with other OSU faculty and community partners, has developed a long-desired food mapping project by circulating a survey to residents in targeted Columbus neighborhoods. The survey responses provided critical information about where people obtain their food, how often they shop, the kind of transportation they use to get there, their fruit and vegetable consumption, and more. Learn more.
Growing HOPE: A Pilot Project
Colleen Spees (Medical Dietetics), Matthew Kleinhenz (Horticulture and Crop Science), Steven Clinton (Oncology, Internal Medicine) and others have created Growing HOPE, a garden-based health and wellness intervention among extended stage cancer survivors. Participants were encouraged to engage in health promoting lifestyle behaviors by providing them access to health and vegetable gardening education. Learn more.
Cancer-Fighting Black Raspberry Confections
Dr. Yael Vodovotz (Food Science) and team have developed a black raspberry-based functional food confection that may help fight cancer. Black raspberries have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may halt tumor growth. The confections are currently being used in a clinical study of men with prostate cancer undergoing surgery. The researchers hope to see if the candies can improve post-surgery outcomes.
Online Dietary Assessments to Improve Nutrition Education
Dietary and lifestyle interventions can effectively treat and prevent diet-related chronic diseases. However, physicians often lack the time and expertise to provide dietary advice. Dr. Chris Taylor (Medical Dietetics) and his team are creating tools to connect physicians with registered dieticians based in grocery stores, supporting increased access to nutrition counseling.
Ozone Processed, Salmonella-Free Fresh Eggs
The U.S. Egg Safety Action plan called for Salmonella-free eggs by 2010. Hospitals, nursing homes, and the U.S. military stopped using fresh eggs as a result. Ahmed Yousef (Food Science) developed a new process that pasteurizes eggs in the shell while maintaining their fresh qualities. Ken Lee (Food Science), along with Dr. Yousef, are working to commercialize the method that makes whole-shell eggs safe.
Previous Funding Programs:
- Seed grants : Awards of up to $25,000 to support cross-college teams in generating preliminary data to enhance the competitiveness of extramural proposals (annual competitions)
- Cost share : Relevant proposals from center members may be matched up to $10,000 (ongoing, open deadline)
- Innovation incentives : Planning grants to foster collaborations and approaches inspired by annual meeting participation (2010)
- Team awards : Awards of up to $2,500 for teams to network and plan new collaborative projects in food quality, local food security and health, obesity, or industry partnership (most recent RFP released at 2012 annual meeting)
- Innovation initiatives : Awards of up to $50,000 to support multi-college teams in executing new research projectsand programmatic initiatives.
- Graduate student travel awards: Awards of up to $500 to support graduate student travel to conferences and meetings of national significance. (two funding rounds per year).
- Collaborative Studies Program with CCTS: One award of up to $50,000 to encourage faculty investigators to address integrated solutions to complex clinical and translational problems under the university wide theme of food discovery. (one-time offering in 2012)
- Social science data grants: Awards of up to $2,500 to identify, obtain, or develop primary or secondary data to address questions regarding the relationship between the changing nature and characteristics of food and the economic and organizational systems used to produce and distribute food. (summer 2012)
- Doctoral research grants: Awards of up to $5,000 to support post-candidacy doctoral students in advancing innovative research consistent with the FIC mission. (began in 2012)
The Food Innovation Center has created the Faculty Grant Proposal Review Committee to aid in the decision-making within its funding programs. Through its activities, the committee will support the achievement of the Center’s mission and ensure transparency and objectivity in review processes. Due to ethical and time constraints, none of the review committee members, FIC staff nor Co-directors may review grants in advance of the competition, nor serve as principal investigators on Food Innovation proposals that they review.