2022 Evidence Analysis Center Summer Fellowship

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation (Foundation) is seeking two doctoral students who are RDN members of the Academy to serve as their 2022 Summer Evidence Analysis Center (EAC) fellows. The fellows will work closely with the Academy’s Research, International and Scientific Affairs (RISA) EAC team and content experts in the proposed research areas.

The fellowships begin on or around May 16, 2022.

This opportunity, available through funding from the Foundation’s Research Endowment, is a full-time, remote fellowship role for 12 weeks.

Application

Interested candidates should apply online by 3:00 p.m. (Central time) on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. Applications should include a CV, tailored personal statement highlighting relevant experience and skills that makes the candidate a good fit for the fellowship, and a letter of support from their current academic advisor.

Questions? Please visit the Foundation’s fellowship page to read the Frequently Asked Questions first. Further questions can be directed via email to Nicci Brown, MS, RDN, Senior Program Manager, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation at nbrown@eatright.org with the subject “EAC Fellowship.”

Background

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has invested in developing and synthesizing evidence to support evidence-based practice since 2004. The Evidence Analysis Center is a branch of the Academy’s Research, International, and Scientific Affairs team, and its staff work with content advisors and expert advisory groups to conduct scoping and systematic reviews, evidence-based nutrition practice guidelines, and consensus and position papers.

The researched topics are ones prioritized by the Council on Research and through member and staff recommendations in addition to evidence-based nutrition practice guidelines and position papers that continually need updating. The output of this work is used by the Policy Initiatives and Advocacy, Publications, Continuing Education, and Nutrition Service Coverage teams in their work. Additionally, the journal articles, guidelines, and position statements are used by educators, students, practitioners in a variety of settings, clinical nutrition managers, and grant writers and funders.

In an effort to train more RDNs in the methodology behind scoping and systematic reviews and to address topics prioritized by the Academy’s Policy Initiatives and Advocacy team, a summer EAC fellowship was created and funded by the Academy Foundation. The summer of 2021 was the inaugural year for the summer fellowship program, and two fellows worked collaboratively on systematic reviews in dyslipidemia with particular interest in adults older than 65 years of age. The process was highly successful, and the first manuscript was submitted for publication.

Overview

As part of the Foundation’s successful Fellowship program, this project will focus on conducting systematic reviews on topics that have been identified as important for both advocacy and practice. Each fellow will work on one topic.

The fellows will spend 12 weeks with EAC staff and content experts in the proposed research areas. Additionally, fellows will have the opportunity to apply for and, if accepted, participate in the WHO/Cochrane/Cornell Summer Institute for Systematic Reviews in Nutrition for Global Policy Making program.

  • Cost effectiveness of Medical Nutrition Therapy by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    • This topic has been identified by the Nutrition Service Coverage and Policy Initiatives and Advocacy as a high priority for their work. To advocate effectively for coverage of nutrition services, data on cost of effective nutrition care is needed regardless of population or condition.
    • The project will be a systematic review conducted with the aid of a specialist librarian and guided by staff methodologists using the GRADE method and tools as well as the Academy’s Data Extraction Tool.
    • Results of the systematic review will be housed in the Evidence Analysis Library and will be described within a submitted abstract to a scientific conference and a published article in an appropriate peer-reviewed journal for the topic. Results will be used to inform policy and future interventions.
  • Oncology
    • Currently, the Evidence Analysis Library has a comprehensive evidence-based nutrition practice guideline on the topic of nutrition care in oncology. This project was completed and housed in the Evidence Analysis Library in 2013.
    • While many of the recommendations within this guideline may still be relevant, other recommendations may need to be updated based on current evidence. It is important that RDNs working with patients who have cancer are using the most up-to-date evidence.
    • A scoping review will be conducted to assess availability of new literature which has emerged in this area. Results of the scoping review will help determine whether further systematic reviews and new guidelines in specific areas under the umbrella of oncology are warranted. Additionally, the results will be described within a submitted abstract to a scientific conference and a peer reviewed article in an appropriate peer-reviewed journal for the topic.

Details and Responsibilities

With the support of the Academy's RISA team, the fellows will produce the following outcomes:

  • One or more manuscript(s) submitted to a nutrition science, peer-reviewed journal
  • Systematic reviews published within the Academy's Evidence Analysis Library

This fellowship work may also be leveraged to create abstracts and additional papers for publication.

Additional Position Details

  • All fellowship work will be accomplished through telecommuting methods (webinars, conference calls, etc.). Relocation is not required.
  • This is a full-time position. Applicants must be able to commit to 40 hours per week for this 12-week summer fellowship.

Fellow Criteria

  • Currently enrolled as a doctoral student in a university nutrition and dietetics program.
    • Doctoral students enrolled in universities within and outside of the United States are encouraged to apply.
    • Recent graduates of doctoral programs (less than five years) may be considered.
  • Fluency in English, both written and spoken
  • Be either:
    • Currently credentialed as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) by the Commission on Dietetic Registration
    • Currently pursuing the RDN credential, evidenced by enrollment in an ACEND-accredited program leading to RDN examination eligibility

Fellow Skills

Qualified applicants are required to demonstrate experience and proficiency in the following skills:

  • R or SAS statistical analysis
  • Conducting scoping or systematic reviews

Additional desirable skills include:

  • Self-motivated
  • Ability to function at a high level
  • Strong interpersonal and team skills
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment and make decisions independently

Fellowship Award

The Foundation will provide funding support for the fellowship as follows:

$15,000 Fellowship Stipend

  • The stipend is based on the standard set by other Foundation fellowships.

Additional benefits (health insurance, retirement, etc.) are not available for this position.