RFP: Improving the WIC Shopping Experience Using Behavioral Economics-Based Approaches

From the Duke-UNC USDA Center for Behavioral Economics and Healthy Food Choice Research (BECR): We seek brief proposals for the 2016 Special Solicitation WIC Grants that draw on behavioral economics theory to develop and test strategies for improving the WIC shopping experience. We will award up to 3 grants ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 (based on the availability of funds) to teams of researchers to investigate strategies to improve the WIC shopping experience that are based on behavioral economics theory. Funding will span a 12-month period.

We expect that the brief proposals will include clearly presented ideas for innovative interventions, based on behavioral economics theory, that are feasible given the current food environment and consistent with WIC program regulations.  Potential methodologies could include small-scale experiments conducted with individuals who are representative of WIC shoppers (for example, a test of response to different formats for identifying WIC products); field experiments in appropriate settings such as WIC-approved retailers or WIC clinics; or “big data” approaches. Outcomes of interest include assessment of how improvements in WIC program effectiveness, defined by such factors as improved WIC shopper satisfaction, program retention, and increased WIC food redemption, are balanced with food cost management.

Following the initial application process, selected applicants will be requested to submit a full proposal including a detailed project narrative. Late proposals will not be reviewed. More information can be found in the Request for Proposals or our recent report about this topic. The deadline for brief proposal receipt is Friday, August 12, 2016 by 5:00 pm EST. Future funding opportunities will be posted on our website at https://becr.sanford.duke.edu/funding/.