Curiosity is at the core of who we are as an organization. To drive science with impact — science that matters — we have to ask smart, tough questions. It’s only fair that we welcome questions about who we are and how we work.

We value transparency and scientific integrity above all. Below we’ve provided some answers to frequently asked questions. Of course, if you have other questions, don’t hesitate to reach us at

Who is IAFNS?

The Institute for the Advancement of Food and Nutrition Sciences, (IAFNS; ‘eye-fins’) is a non-profit, scientific research organization. Born out of ILSI North America, we are now establishing IAFNS as a new, independent organization as the next step in a natural evolution that represents where we are today and where we are headed.

We continue to build on our proud heritage to create a brand that better communicates the work we do and our focus on public health and evidence-based science. We believe that collaboration and inclusion of diverse perspectives is crucial to strong, evidence-based science that benefits the entire food and beverage ecosystem.

Does IAFNS lobby?

No. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, IAFNS does not lobby. Nor do we seek to influence individuals, positions, and/or any specific policies.

How are you structured?

We maintain a tripartite operating model — focused on bringing together government, academia, and industry. Our Board of Trustees is made up of a majority of public sector scientists.

Further, prior to initiating any new project, we ask our Board Program Committee to review and approve the project. (Our Board Program Committee also is majority public sector scientists.)

How are you funded?

IAFNS is a 501(c)(3) organization that receives funding and in-kind support from international organizations, government agencies, academic institutions, and private foundations. In full transparency, we do receive the majority funding from companies in different industries.

Our structure counters any real or perceived conflicts of interest. Funding from industry collaborators is pooled, and scientists from academia, government and industry work together to identify knowledge gaps and award funding to independent researchers to address these gaps.

IAFNS’s multi-sector operating model is specifically designed so that no one interest dominates. All decisions about our research efforts require representation and agreement by government, academic and industry scientists, minimizing bias.

Who are your members?

We proudly count as members the scientists from government, academia, and industry who serve on our scientific committees and on our Board of Trustees. (Membership is not limited to industry only).

We are also eager to engage with the broader scientific community who are part of the food and beverage ecosystem. Throughout the year, we offer a range of opportunities and educational events for members and non-members to learn more about food safety and nutritional science. Many activities are low-cost or free to participants. See our website for updates on upcoming events or past recordings, some of which offer continuing professional education credits.

We are a charitable, educational, and scientific research organization. As such, we do not offer individual scientists’ membership for a fee, like professional societies do. Additionally, unlike many professional societies, we do not publish a journal.

What research are you funding? How do I apply for a grant?

IAFNS is proud of the science we support. Descriptions of all of the food safety and nutritional science research we fund can be found here.

New research projects that IAFNS is funding are regularly posted here.

Have a question that we did not answer? Email us at