Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economic (RIDGE)

To provide economic and other social science information and analysis for public and private decisions on agriculture, food, natural resources, and rural America.

ERS produces such information for use by the general public and to help the executive and legislative branches develop, administer,
and evaluate agricultural and rural policies and programs.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2016: The Effects of SNAP on Non-Food Consumption: An Instrumental Variables Approach Lorenzo Almada, School of Social Work, Columbia University Design Flaws: The Effect of the Coverage Gap in Food Assistance Programs on Children?s Well-Being Irma Arteaga and Colleen Heflin, School of Public Affairs, University of Missouri The Impact of Expanding the National School Meals Program on School Performance Joseph Price, Department of Economics, Brigham Young University, and Daniel Rees, Department of Economics, University of Colorado, Denver The Impacts of School Lunch Reforms on Student Outcomes Diane Schanzenbach, School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University Identifying Multiple Patterns of Characteristics that Result in U.S.

Urban and Rural Households having Very Low Food Security Using Classification Trees Edward Frongillo Jr., Maryah S.

Fram, and Seul Ki Choi, University of South Carolina Community Eligibility and Child Well-Being Colleen Heflin, University of Missouri and Daniel P.

Miller, Boston University School of Social Work Spatially Heterogeneous Effects of SNAP Participation and Food Insecurity on Hispanic Children?s Physical and Mental Health Shannon Monnat and Jennifer Van Hook, Pennsylvania State University Rural and Urban Comparisons of SNAP Participation, Neighborhood Effects, and Food Outlet Availability on Childhood and Adult Time with Normal and Obese Weight: Using the NLSY Thomas Vartanian, Bryn Mawr College Using Geo-ethnography to Understand How Place and Space Matter in Issues of Food Access Lillian MacNell, North Carolina State University Also in FY 2016, an Interagency Agreement between the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and the Economic Research Service (ERS) was initiated to provide funding for the recompetition of a grant to establish a Research Center to administer the Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics (RIDGE) Program.

The recompetition was implemented to (1) provide renewed focus on economic aspects of food and nutrition assistance research, (2) stimulate new and innovative research on domestic food and nutrition assistance issues by providing small grants for new analyses of the USDA major food and nutrition assistance programs, food security, and smaller, less studied programs such as the Summer Food Service Program, (3) broaden the support of both established and emerging scholars to increase the number and diversity of researchers who collaborate in tackling the unique food and nutrition challenges that exist across communities, regions, and States, and (4) achieve cost savings through administration of program activities at a single center.

A grant was awarded to Tufts University and the University of Connecticut (Tufts/UConn) to jointly administer a program of sub-awards to investigators at universities and other institutions for research projects conducted during FY 2017-18.

Tufts/UConn provides oversight of the application, peer review, sub-grant award, and quality-assurance processes of the RIDGE Program to (1) support food and nutrition assistance research at the national level as well as for specific populations, such as immigrants, Native Americans, people living in rural areas, or residents in areas who experience limited access to healthy foods; and (2) disseminate these research findings to a diverse stakeholder audience, including other researchers, policy and program officials, and the general public.

Fiscal Year 2017: The newly established Tufts/UConn RIDGE Program announced a call for research projects in FY 2017.

To evaluate the proposals, Tufts/UConn developed an online proposal and submission site through the FluidReview platform, formed an external advisory committee, and established a community of proposal reviewers and project mentors.

A diverse set of projects was selected through this competitive review process, with input from ERS and FNS, for research to be conducted during FY 2017-18.

Grants were awarded for: Is Food Assistance Like Cash for Retailers? Marianne Bitler, University of California, Davis The Effects of Disability, SNAP Participation and Changes in Benefits on Food Insecurity Seungyeon Cho, Texas A&M University, Texas AgriLife Research Does SNAP Encourage Claiming Disability Insurance Benefits? Emmanuel Drabo, Stanford University Understanding the Impact of Changes to the Child and Adult Care Food Program on Food Expenditures, Food Quality, and Young Children?s Dietary Intake in Urban Family Child Care Homes Erica Kenney, Harvard T.H.

Chan School of Public Health Food Choices of SNAP/WIC Participants at Convenience Stores and Supermarkets Grace Melo, University of Georgia Multi-generational Effects of Prenatal and Early Life Access to SNAP Marianne Page, University of California, Davis The Impact of the Monthly SNAP Issuance Cycle on Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Purchasing and Implications for Policy Change Eric Rimm, Harvard T.H.

Chan School of Public Health Does Universal Free School Meals Reduce Childhood Obesity? Michah Rothbart, Maxwell School, Syracuse University Organizational Readiness for Knowledge Translation and WIC Participation Naisi Zhao, Tufts University School of Medicine.

Fiscal Year 2018: Research projects funded by Tufts/UConn in FY 2017 will be completed during FY 2018 and findings presented at the annual RIDGE Conference scheduled in October 2018.

Additional activities of the Tufts/UConn RIDGE Program and awarding of further research projects are dependent upon availability of funding.


Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.




Selected Recipients for this Program


RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Trustees Of Tufts College $ 600,000   2016-09-192021-09-13
University Of Wisconsin System $ 458,398   2015-01-202017-02-19
Purdue University $ 218,156   2015-01-272017-01-26
Mississippi State University $ 1,000,000   2010-01-272015-12-31
University Of Wisconsin System $ 1,000,000   2010-01-202015-12-31
University Of Wisconsin System $ 250,000   2010-01-202015-12-31
Mississippi State University $ 250,000   2010-01-272015-12-31
University Of Wisconsin System $ 170,000   2013-09-112015-09-30
University Of Wisconsin System-$ 458,398   2010-01-202015-01-19
Mississippi State University $ 250,000   2010-01-272014-12-31



Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: The impact of food assistance programs on consumption patterns, food choices, and nutritional outcomes was a central theme of research funded through the RIDGE Program in FY 2016. Findings from these RIDGE research projects were presented at the annual conference held in Washington, DC, October 2016. Summaries of the studies were added to the ERS website at https://data.ers.usda.gov/FANRP-ridge-project-summaries.aspx. The research studies were: The Effects of SNAP on Non-Food Consumption: An Instrumental Variables Approach Lorenzo Almada, School of Social Work, Columbia University Design Flaws: The Effect of the Coverage Gap in Food Assistance Programs on Children?s Well-Being Irma Arteaga and Colleen Heflin, School of Public Affairs, University of Missouri The Impact of Expanding the National School Meals Program on School Performance Joseph Price, Department of Economics, Brigham Young University, and Daniel Rees, Department of Economics, University of Colorado, Denver The Impacts of School Lunch Reforms on Student Outcomes Diane Schanzenbach, School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University Identifying Multiple Patterns of Characteristics that Result in U.S. Urban and Rural Households having Very Low Food Security Using Classification Trees Edward Frongillo Jr., Maryah S. Fram, and Seul Ki Choi, University of South Carolina Community Eligibility and Child Well-Being Colleen Heflin, University of Missouri and Daniel P. Miller, Boston University School of Social Work Spatially Heterogeneous Effects of SNAP Participation and Food Insecurity on Hispanic Children?s Physical and Mental Health Shannon Monnat and Jennifer Van Hook, Pennsylvania State University Rural and Urban Comparisons of SNAP Participation, Neighborhood Effects, and Food Outlet Availability on Childhood and Adult Time with Normal and Obese Weight: Using the NLSY Thomas Vartanian, Bryn Mawr College Using Geo-ethnography to Understand How Place and Space Matter in Issues of Food Access Lillian MacNell, North Carolina State University Also in FY 2016, an Interagency Agreement between the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and the Economic Research Service (ERS) was initiated to provide funding for the recompetition of a grant to establish a Research Center to administer the Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics (RIDGE) Program. The recompetition was implemented to (1) provide renewed focus on economic aspects of food and nutrition assistance research, (2) stimulate new and innovative research on domestic food and nutrition assistance issues by providing small grants for new analyses of the USDA major food and nutrition assistance programs, food security, and smaller, less studied programs such as the Summer Food Service Program, (3) broaden the support of both established and emerging scholars to increase the number and diversity of researchers who collaborate in tackling the unique food and nutrition challenges that exist across communities, regions, and States, and (4) achieve cost savings through administration of program activities at a single center. A grant was awarded to Tufts University and the University of Connecticut (Tufts/UConn) to jointly administer a program of sub-awards to investigators at universities and other institutions for research projects conducted during FY 2017-18. Tufts/UConn provides oversight of the application, peer review, sub-grant award, and quality-assurance processes of the RIDGE Program to (1) support food and nutrition assistance research at the national level as well as for specific populations, such as immigrants, Native Americans, people living in rural areas, or residents in areas who experience limited access to healthy foods; and (2) disseminate these research findings to a diverse stakeholder audience, including other researchers, policy and program officials, and the general public. Fiscal Year 2017: The Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics (RIDGE) Program encourages new and innovative research on food and nutrition assistance issues and broadens the participation of social science scholars in such research. RIDGE is funded by USDA?s Economic Research Service and Food and Nutrition Service and administered in partnership with several universities during FY 2016-18: ? The RIDGE Center for National Food and Nutrition Assistance Research at the Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin-Madison (ended FY 2016), and ? The RIDGE Center for Targeted Food and Nutrition Assistance Research at the Center for Regional Development, Purdue University (ended FY 2016); ? Tufts University, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and the University of Connecticut (beginning FY 2017). The RIDGE partnership institutions oversee the application, peer review, award, and performance processes of the research grants provided through the RIDGE Program. The institutions serve as a hub for mentoring and training researchers interested in food and nutrition assistance issues and provide a source of timely and accessible information on new research findings. RIDGE Program Activities, FY 2017 The newly established Tufts/UConn RIDGE Program announced a call for research projects in FY 2017. To evaluate the proposals, Tufts/UConn developed an online proposal and submission site through the FluidReview platform, formed an external advisory committee, and established a community of proposal reviewers and project mentors. A diverse set of projects was selected through this competitive review process, with input from ERS and FNS, for research to be conducted during FY 2017-18. Grants were awarded for: Is Food Assistance Like Cash for Retailers? Marianne Bitler, University of California, Davis The Effects of Disability, SNAP Participation and Changes in Benefits on Food Insecurity Seungyeon Cho, Texas A&M University, Texas AgriLife Research Does SNAP Encourage Claiming Disability Insurance Benefits? Emmanuel Drabo, Stanford University Understanding the Impact of Changes to the Child and Adult Care Food Program on Food Expenditures, Food Quality, and Young Children?s Dietary Intake in Urban Family Child Care Homes Erica Kenney, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Food Choices of SNAP/WIC Participants at Convenience Stores and Supermarkets Grace Melo, University of Georgia Multi-generational Effects of Prenatal and Early Life Access to SNAP Marianne Page, University of California, Davis The Impact of the Monthly SNAP Issuance Cycle on Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Purchasing and Implications for Policy Change Eric Rimm, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Does Universal Free School Meals Reduce Childhood Obesity? Michah Rothbart, Maxwell School, Syracuse University Organizational Readiness for Knowledge Translation and WIC Participation Naisi Zhao, Tufts University School of Medicine. Fiscal Year 2018: The Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics (RIDGE) Program encourages new and innovative research on food and nutrition assistance issues and broadens the participation of social science scholars in such research. RIDGE is funded by USDA?s Economic Research Service and Food and Nutrition Service and administered in partnership with several universities during FY 2016-18: ? The RIDGE Center for National Food and Nutrition Assistance Research at the Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin-Madison (ended FY 2016), and ? The RIDGE Center for Targeted Food and Nutrition Assistance Research at the Center for Regional Development, Purdue University (ended FY 2016); ? Tufts University, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and the University of Connecticut (beginning FY 2017). The RIDGE partnership institutions oversee the application, peer review, award, and performance processes of the research grants provided through the RIDGE Program. The institutions serve as a hub for mentoring and training researchers interested in food and nutrition assistance issues and provide a source of timely and accessible information on new research findings. Projected RIDGE Program Activities, FY 2018 Research projects funded by Tufts/UConn in FY 2017 will be completed during FY 2018 and findings presented at the annual RIDGE Conference scheduled in October 2018. Additional activities of the Tufts/UConn RIDGE Program and awarding of further research projects are dependent upon availability of funding.

Uses and Use Restrictions

ERS performs economic research and analyses related to U. S. and world agriculture that addresses a multitude of economic concerns and decision making needs of Federal, State, and local governments, farmers, farm organizations, farm suppliers, marketers, processors, and consumers.

There are no restrictions on the use of ERS produced information.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Any individual or organization in the U.S.

and U.S.

Territories is eligible to receive the popular or technical research publications that convey the research results, although there may be a fee.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Any individual or organization in the U.S. and U.S. Territories is eligible to receive the popular or technical research publications that convey the research results, although there may be a fee.

Credentials/Documentation

No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. Requests for technical information may be made to the Chief, Publishing and Communications Branch, Economic Research Service (ERS), 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Mail Stop 1800, Washington, DC 20520-1800.

Award Procedures

None.

Deadlines

Not Applicable.

Authorization

FY 2012 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, Public Law 109-97, 7 U.S.C. 292, 411, 427, 1441a, 1621-1627, 1704, 1761-68, 2201, 2202, 3103, 3291, 3311, 3504; 22 U.S.C. 3101; 42 U.S.C. 1891-93; 44 U.S.C. 3501-11; 50 U.S.C. 2061 et seq, 2251 et seq. 2CFR Part 400, 2CFR Part 415, 2CFR Part 416, 7USC 3318c.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

None.

Appeals

none.

Renewals

none.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. This program has no matching requirements. none. This program does not have MOE requirements. None.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

None. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: None.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Progress reports, final technical reports, financial statements, and inventions and subaward reports.

The frequency of reports is outlined in the terms of the agreement.

Cash reports are not applicable.

No progress reports are required.

No expenditure reports are required.

No performance monitoring is required.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.

Records

Financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other records pertinent to an award shall be retained for a period of three years from the final expenditure report or, for awards that are renewed quarterly or annually, from the date of the submission of the quarterly or annual financial report, as authorized by the Federal awarding agency.

Financial Information

Account Identification

12-1701-0-1-352.

Obigations

(Formula Grants (Cooperative Agreements)) FY 16 $600,000; FY 17 est $0; and FY 18 est $0

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

No Data Available.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Not Applicable.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

None.

Headquarters Office

Nancy A. Thomas 355 E Street SW, Room 5-254, Washington, District of Columbia 20024-3231 Email: NThomas@ers.usda.gov Phone: 202-694-5008

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not Applicable.



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