Halal Research Fellowship: Food and Nutrition Security Among College Students

Food insecurity on college campuses has become increasingly more challenging. Recent data suggests that 15-35% percent of college students may be food insecure while another 16% were at risk for food insecurity. College students who are Muslim may have added challenges related to accessing halal foods when eating on campuses, which can impact their food security. Halal foods are those that adhere to Islamic law and include foods such as meat and gelatin. It has been suggested that when halal foods are limited on college campuses, it impacts the availability of protein sources to the students and may impact their overall nutritional intake. When halal-sourced meat is not available, some individuals may substitute with fish/seafood or vegetarian protein options (tofu, etc.); however, these options can be expensive or take skill to prepare and may not meet student taste preferences. The lack of consistently available, accessible, and nutritious halal food sources in combination with the overall risk of food insecurity among college students is of great concern.

To better understand the rates of food insecurity in college students who are Muslim and potential barriers to food security, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ (Academy) Research, International and Scientific Affairs (RISA) team is leading a multi-year research project. This project includes initial exploratory and planning activities as well as two years for study implementation.

As part of this study, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation (Foundation) is seeking a fellow to lead research activities and function as the study coordinator. The Foundation’s Fellowship program deploys dynamic RDNs in the U.S. and globally to advance the profession and to address food and nutrition challenges around the world, and this new fellowship opportunity will continue in the spirit of the program. The fellow will work closely with the RISA team and the Foundation to accomplish the goals of the project. This two-year opportunity is available through a grant from the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA) to the Foundation.


Interested candidates should apply online by 10:00 am CT on Monday, April 24, 2023. Applications should include a tailored resume and letter of interest highlighting relevant experience and skills that makes this candidate a good fit for the fellowship.

The fellowship begins on or around June 1, 2023. 

Questions? Please read the Frequently Asked Questions first. Further questions can be directed via email to Nicci Brown, MS, RDN, FAND, Program Director, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation at nbrown@eatright.org with the subject “Halal Research Fellowship.”


This program is a part of a multi-phase project that will seek to provide evidence on food and nutrition security among Muslim college students in the United States. The first phase includes a national student survey that will provide information on topics such as the importance of having halal options, nutrition security, healthfulness and dietary control, utilization barriers, coping techniques as well as food security status evaluated through the U.S. Adult Food Security Survey Module. 

The second phase of the project will build off the results from the student survey from phase one and provide additional evidence on food and nutrition security and halal options for Muslim colleges students. As part of the Foundation’s successful Fellowship program, an RDN expert selected for the fellowship will lead the second phase of the project which includes a two-year study, including project planning and implementation.

This program seeks to provide more evidence as appropriate on the following:

  • Barriers to food security among Muslim college students
  • Impact of food and nutrition insecurity on health and well-being of Muslim college students 
  • Inventory of halal food options on campuses
  • Potential cost-effective solutions to reduce food and nutrition insecurity among Muslim college students

Program success will be measured against the successful creation of the following deliverables:

  1. RDN expert selected as the Fellow to lead and execute the program of work
  2. Work with advisory group assembled as appropriate to provide project guidance 
  3. Protocol for project phase 2, including developing study collection tools, participant training, IRB approval, and all aspects of study implementation.
  4. Support study coordination for the multi-site study
  5. Work with RISA staff to support data cleaning and data analysis
  6. Manuscript with outcomes from phase 2 submitted to a peer-reviewed journal
  7. Additional dissemination of study results as appropriate , including key learnings and outcomes
  8. Webinar hosted by the Foundation

Additional Position Details

  • Location:
    • The position is based in Chicago, but applicants outside of area are encouraged to apply. The Fellow will not be required to relocate.
    • Most work will be accomplished through telecommuting methods (webinars, conference calls, etc.) with occasional travel.
  • Funding:
    • This position will require a near-fulltime effort. The grant for this fellowship is $85,000/year and can be used for the fellow’s time on the project and/or at the fellow’s discretion.
    • Faculty at academic institutions are encouraged to apply. Overhead/indirect fees are prohibited.

Fellow Criteria


  • Credentialed status as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
  • Member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Five to ten years of relevant experience, particularly related to multi-site studies in academic settings, working with Muslim populations, and food insecurity research

Strongly Preferred:

  • Doctoral degree in nutrition/dietetics, public health or other relevant degree 
    • Candidates without a doctoral degree but with a master’s degree and significant, relevant work experience may be considered. Preference will be given to those with a doctoral degree or those in a doctoral program.
  • Faculty or staff appointment at a university, including familiarity with the local IRB
  • Experience in studies in academic settings and managing/leading multi-site studies

Fellow Skills

As the project lead, qualified applicants should have demonstrated experience and expertise in:

  • Knowledge of multi-site research in academic institutions, from development through data collection and analysis
  • Knowledge of food insecurity among college students
  • Experience working with Muslim populations that include college students
  • Collaboration with external partners and organizations (both public and private)
  • Experience collecting, analyzing and reporting on data, such as through surveys, interviews and reviewing existing literature and reports
  • Experience in literature review and qualitative thematic analysis
  • Preparing, submitting and publishing manuscripts and articles for peer reviewed journals
  • Experience in presenting research results to lay and professional audiences

Additional skills include:

  • Self-motivated with the ability to work and make decisions independently
  • Ability to function at a high level and lead this program of work with minimal oversight
  • Strong leadership, interpersonal and team skills
  • Ability to exercise sound judgement and critical thinking
  • Responsive and collaborative

Fellowship Award

The Foundation will provide funding support for the fellowship as five, quarterly payments as follows:

$85,000 per year fellowship grant, which can be used for the fellow’s time on the project or at the fellow’s discretion to accomplish the goals of the project

  • The fund does not provide for living or relocation expenses. Additional benefits (retirement, etc.) are not available for this fellowship.

Apply Here