At the Institute for the Advancement of Food and Nutrition Sciences research serves as the foundation for our actions. See our current grant opportunities below.

Current Opportunities:

Advancing Exposure Assessment for Food Contaminants Through Implementation of Probabilistic Modeling

The IAFNS Food and Chemical Safety Committee is pleased to announce it is accepting applications for the above project.

Risk assessments for foods, ingredients and additives have evolved over the past few decades to incorporate new techniques such as benchmark dose modeling. Additionally, risk assessment approaches have evolved to include thresholds of toxicological concern, and advancements in carcinogen risk assessment. While these advancements have enhanced the way in which health-based guidance values are derived, exposure assessments still tend to rely on deterministic approaches utilizing very conservative inputs. Deterministic assessments are easy to conduct and easy to interpret; however, as point estimates of exposure, they do not account for variability in the level and/or likelihood of occurrence of a chemical/contaminant or population differences in exposure inputs (e.g., food consumption amount and frequency). Probabilistic assessments can further refine deterministic assessments using distributions for various exposure inputs and, as such, better account for exposure variability and uncertainty.

Building from analysis of the current state of adoption of probabilistic exposure modeling by regulatory agencies to inform risk management decisions and regulation for food contaminants, this project will highlight the value of further integration of probabilistic exposure assessments into regulatory frameworks and discuss factors that hinder widespread adoption of probabilistic exposure models. Details and full instructions can be found in this RFP form.

Please submit proposals by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on April 10, 2021 to Neal Saab at



Knowledge Mapping Opportunity: Metabolic and Physiological Effects of Fiber Sources for Children Across the Age Spectrum

The IAFNS Carbohydrates Committee is pleased to announce it is accepting applications for the above project.

The objective of this effort is to publish a qualitative scoping assessment on metabolic and physiological effects of added isolated or synthetic fibers among children from 1 to 18 years of age in order to identify evidence, research gaps and priority research needs, as well as determine whether there is sufficient evidence to conduct a quality systematic review on a specific added fiber and health outcome.

Proposal information is available here. Instructions for submissions can be found in this RFP form

Please submit pre-proposals by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on April 30, 2021 to Barbara Lyle at



Scientific integrity is a core value of IAFNS. Learn how we embed scientific integrity into every step of our research process.

Projects Funded by IAFNS:

IAFNS's mission is to advance food safety and nutrition science for the benefit of public health. View projects funded by IAFNS below, and learn how we embed scientific integrity into every step of our research process.

Nutritional and Probiotic Development for the Pre-Term Gut Microbiome

The human intestine is home to dense and diverse communities of microorganisms, referred to as the gut microbiota. Ushered by the revolution in “omics,” the microbiota is implicated in numerous health and disease states. Despite the growing recognition of the significance of the microbiota, there are fundamental aspects of the microbiota that are largely unexplored […]

Assessing Human Health Impacts of Global Adoption of Codex Deoxynivalenol (DON) Guidelines

Due to climate change, there has been an increase in occurrence of mycotoxins in food and food ingredients. Multiple strategies have been developed to reduce mycotoxin risks before harvest (in the field), after harvest (in storage, transportation, or processing), and in diets. Developed nations have stricter limits for mycotoxins as compared to developing nations. Strict […]

Evaluation of the Dose-Response for Peanut Allergen

Due to the potentially severe nature of the response and absence of approved treatments, allergic individuals have been advised to avoid the food of concern, and food allergens must be included in the ingredients lists of packaged food. However, with statements such as “may contain allergen X” or “also packaged in a facility that contains […]

Precision Nutrition: How Combinatory Patterns of SNPs and Nutrition Interact with Mechanistic Elements of Lipid Metabolism

Genetic differences have been shown to explain why blood LDL-cholesterol increases in many people fed dairy fat, but in others this results in a neutral or decreased response LDL response. Likewise, specific genetic modifiers have been shown to predict why cholesterol-lowering plant sterols are highly effective in many people, but not in others. Customizing dietary […]

Best Practices for the Design, Laboratory Analysis, and Reporting of Trials Involving Fatty Acids

Differences in how samples are collected, analyzed, and reported hamper research reproducibility and translation into dietary guidance. The goal of this project is to develop best practices for measuring and reporting circulating fatty acids in blood. The resulting best practices are intended to improve reproducibility in studies in which blood fatty acids are reported, by […]

Evaluating the Applicability of Read-Across Tools and High-Throughput Screening Data for Food Relevant Chemicals

The IAFNS Food and Chemical Safety Committee invests in the training and education of future scientists and leaders in the fields of food and chemical safety and food toxicology by supporting a Summer Fellowship Program for doctoral students. This project focused on Evaluating the Applicability of Read-Across Tools and High-Throughput Screening Data for Food Relevant […]

Camp DASH Ancillary Studies

The Camp DASH study trial will compare the effect of two dietary patterns and two levels of sodium intake on blood pressure and blood lipids in adolescents in the upper third of distribution for blood pressure. The two dietary patterns are based on the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) trial in adults. Purdue University […]

Vitamin B12 and Perinatal Health: Elucidating Mechanisms and Biomarkers for Prevention of Birth Defects

Neural tube defects (NTDs) are one of the most common and severe birth defects in the United States and globally. Vitamin B12 deficiency and perturbations in one-carbon metabolism have been linked to common adverse pregnancy outcomes, including neural tube closure defects. Recent evidence from population studies have identified vitamin B12 deficiency as the leading nutritional […]

Impact of Fortification/Enrichment on Total Nutrient Intakes from Foods within Specific Groups by Socioeconomic Status

As part of its review every five years, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) estimates the nutrient intake of the American population and identifies those nutrients of national concern. The Scientific Report of the 2015 DGAC identified “shortfall nutrients” and “overconsumed nutrients” and assessed which of those nutrients posed “substantial” public health concern. The aims […]

Novel Estimation of Energy Balance through the Calibration of Consumer Devices in Free-Living, Rural US Children

Children in rural areas are disproportionately affected by pediatric obesity. The American Heart Association has listed delivery of obesity treatment to rural families using mobile health (mHealth) as a major research priority. Improving the estimation of energy intake and balance is a priority for developing successful mHealth obesity treatment programs. The aims of this project […]

Dietary Patterns Associated with Cognition During Aging

In 2011, 15% of Canadians 65 and older were living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common form of dementia. Despite the fact that the cause of AD is not known, age and the presence of the epsilon 4 allele of apolipoprotein E (APOE4) are the most important risk factors.  Diet is central to health […]

Survival and Inactivation of Bacterial and Viral Pathogens in Model Low-Moisture Foods

Low-moisture food (LMF) products are often ingredients (e.g. nuts, dried fruits, cereal products, and chocolate) used in the manufacture of many food products. Because of this, they carry significant potential for the amplification of outbreaks and recalls over a wide variety of products. There has been worldwide recognition of the need to more seriously manage […]