Accelerating Food Security: Food Supply Chain Innovation Fellowship

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation is seeking an RDN member of the Academy to serve as a fellow. The fellow will lead the Foundation’s “Accelerating Food Security: Food Supply Chain Innovation” Fellowship (AFS Fellowship). This project is part of the Foundation’s Future of Food program. 

The fellowship begins on or around May 31, 2021.

This opportunity, available through an educational grant from National Dairy Council to the Foundation, is a full-time fellowship role for one year.

The fellow will work closely with Academy’s Research, International and Scientific Affairs (RISA) team and the Foundation.


Interested candidates should apply online by 3:00 pm CT on Monday, April 19, 2021. 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.

Questions? Please 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 with the subject “AFS Fellowship.” 


As part of the Foundation’s successful Fellowship program, this project will focus on evaluating innovative solutions that have increased the supply of nutritious food for food insecure individuals in rural, suburban, and urban communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. To achieve the program’s goals, the Fellow will begin by convening an advisory group of 10 to 12 experts to provide guidance and mentorship to the Fellow.

This program seeks to:

  • Conduct case study research on multiple food distribution sites that have utilized a variety of innovative distribution models to successfully provide nutritious foods to food insecure communities.
  • Communicate the results of the case studies through written and oral communications including submission to peer-reviewed publication(s).
  • Develop resources to inform food system stakeholders, health and wellness professionals, and community organizations about scalable strategies and interventions that address the nutritional needs of food insecure populations.

Details and Responsibilities

The Fellow will be responsible for leading this program of work with the support of the Foundation, Academy RISA team, and the advisory group. This includes:

  • Developing a detailed case study protocol to collect qualitative and quantitative data on factors and initiatives that have led to food banks across the U.S. increase the supply of and access to nutritious foods in food insecure populations, including evaluating food supply chain strategy.
  • Identifying six to eight food distribution sites (e.g., food banks, drive-through pantries, emergency food distribution sites, school meal sites) in rural, suburban, and urban communities that have developed innovative solutions to increase the supply of nutritious foods during the pandemic.
  • Implementing the case study protocol with the identified sites, including assessing how and why these innovative solutions have been successful, with the hopes of replicating and scaling these solutions in other communities.
  • Analyzing case study data to identify relevant, recommended solutions and key solution drivers that can be systematized and scaled for use within food bank networks.
  • Creating case studies, including unique challenges for each site/community and creating community profiles, to inform and inspire RDNs working to support food security as well as food banks and their distribution sites, food system stakeholders, and other health and wellness professionals.
  • Creating and disseminating resources with key learnings and outcomes, including resources for RDNs and food banks; a webinar targeting food system stakeholders, health and wellness professionals and community organizations; and a manuscript for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.

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

  1. RDN expert selected as the Fellow to lead the program of work
  2. Advisory group assembled to provide project guidance
  3. Case study protocol and identification of six to eight food distribution sites in rural, suburban and urban communities
  4. Completed case studies
  5. Manuscript with research findings submitted to a peer-reviewed journal
  6. Resources with key learnings and outcomes
  7. Webinar hosted by the Foundation

Additional Position Details

  • 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.
  • This is a full-time position.

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 food and nutrition security, food supply chains, and research

 Strongly Preferred:

  • Doctoral degree in nutrition/dietetics, public health or other relevant degree strongly preferred
    • Candidates without a doctoral degree but with a master’s degree and significant, relevant work experience may be considered.
  • Faculty or staff appointment at a university, including familiarity with the local IRB
  • Considerable research experience, including creating and implementing research protocols and qualitative analyses

 Fellow Skills:

  • As the program lead, qualified applicants should have demonstrated experience and expertise in:
    • Knowledge of key food and nutrition security challenges, particularly related to the COVID-19 pandemic
    • Knowledge of food supply chains
    • 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
    • Strong leadership, interpersonal and team skills
    • Ability to exercise sound judgment and make decisions independently

Additional Fellow Requirements

  • Willingness to travel as needed to partner sites, Foundation meetings and conferences (once travel is able to safely resume)
  • Willingness to participate fully in the expectations of the Academy and Foundation, including project calls and reports, manuscript development and professional presentations
  • Availability and commitment to the full-time position beginning late May 2021* for one year.
    • *Please refer to the FAQ document for questions about the start date

Fellowship Award

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

  • $75,000 Fellowship Stipend
    The stipend is based on the standard set by other Foundation fellowships and includes a health insurance stipend.

Additional funds will be made available for travel stipends to support work-related travel, including lodging, meals and professional conference fees as well as for continuing education as deemed appropriate by the Foundation.

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