Nutrisystem Inc. Research Grants

The Obesity Society announces a request for proposals in application for a grant sponsored by Nutrisystem, Inc.

Nutrisystem, Inc. is a leading provider of structured meal programs for weight loss and weight maintenance in the U.S. and Canada.  The company is pleased to announce its third annual grant opportunity through The Obesity Society, for investigators interested in performing a clinical study using one of its weight management programs.  One award of $40,000, plus any required quantity of program meals, will be issued to the proposal chosen by TOS’ Scientific Review Committee. Applications (Letters of Intent) are due April 16, 2012 with funding available Sept. 04, 2012. The award may be expended over a period of up to one year.


Eligible applicants

Members of The Obesity Society.  Proposals from outside the US and Canada cannot be accepted due to logistical complications with food import regulations and restrictions.


About the Nutrisystem® Weight Management Programs

The Nutrisystem® weight loss program provides home delivery of shelf stable or frozen meal entrées, snacks and desserts which, when complemented with grocery items including fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy items, result in structured meal plans which are hypo-caloric, portion controlled, low glycemic index, and consistent with national guidelines for nutrient delivery.  Plans are broadly tailored to the needs of the population subgroups including men, women, type 2 diabetics, vegetarians, and seniors, and can be further customized by the consumer in consultation with nutrition counselors by phone or online.  Educational support and tools (for nutrition, physical activity, and behavioral skills) are offered via the web and in print, and there is an online community.  Transition programs are available during weight loss and maintenance to help consumers maintain a healthy pattern of eating while decreasing dependence on the full structured program. Nutrisystem does not offer programs for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding infants less than 6 months old, or persons with certain medical conditions or allergies.  Nutrisystem also does not offer programs to persons under 18 years of age, however the company can support research proposals with a tailored meal plan for adolescents age 14-17.  Further information about the programs may be found at


Study Questions

Preference will be given to randomized, controlled studies using the complete Nutrisystem® program(s).  Possible study questions to be explored include, but are not limited to:

  1. Effects of weight loss using a Nutrisystem program on disease risk or management.
  2. Effects of weight loss using the Nutrisystem-D plan on diabetes or pre-diabetes
  3. Role of Nutrisystem® programs in support of weight maintenance

How to Apply

Step 1

  • Prepare a one-page letter of intent cover page (MS Word) downloadable from the link below
  • Describe the scientific project, including AIMS and hypotheses, on a maximum of 1 page on Institutional letterhead, 1 inch margins, font-size no smaller than 11 point font
  • Prepare an NIH style biosketch (4 pages maximum) of the principal investigator only, if the prinicipal investigator is a postdoctoral fellow, the biosketch of the mentor should also be included.
  • Files (MS Word) are downloadable from the link below
  1. o2012 Nutrisystem LOI Cover Page
  2. oTOS Biosketch (PI and postdoctoral mentor, if applicable)

Please create one PDF of the above listed documents with the file name: LASTNAME-NRG LOI 2012, then Click Here and submit by Monday April 16th @ 11:59pm Eastern Time

Step 2

Successful applicants selected by The Obesity Society's Scientific Review Committee, will be announced by May 29, 2012 and will be invited to submit a proposal of no more than 4 pages (plus references, one page for budget and justification, and biosketch pages) by June 29, 2012.  The application should contain the following sections:

  1. oBackground, Relevance, and Novelty of Research
  2. oResearch Design
  3. oMethods
  4. oTimeline and Schedule of Deliverables
  5. oBudget and Budget Justification
  6. oBiosketch (2 page maximum) for each Investigator and mentor if applicable)


Criteria for evaluating applications 

Applications scored on the following criteria:

  • Responsiveness to the intent of the announcement
  • Novelty of the research
  • Feasibility of producing meaningful research results within two years of the award
  • Scientific design
  • Feasibility of meeting budgetary constraints
  • Adequacy of proposed timeline and schedule of deliverables

Post award requirements 

An IRB Approval Letter is necessary prior to receiving award or shipment of program meals. Awardees are required to submit a final report including a statement of financial expenditure. 

 All funded trials are required to register with the National Clinical Trial Registry. Data obtained from these studies may be used to support claims for the Nutrisystem program.  Principal Investigators are required to work with Nutrisystem to provide support in preparing claims for the Nutrisystem programs. 


Important dates

  • Letter of Intent Submission Deadline: April 16, 2012
  • Full Proposal Request Notification: May 29, 2012
  • Full Proposal Submission Deadline: June 29, 2012
  • Grant Recipients Notified: July 30,2012
  • Anticipated Grant Start Date: September 4, 2012 (50% of grant paid to recipient’s institution)
  • Anticipated Research Completed: September 4, 2013
  • Final Report and Financial Statement Due:November 1, 2013 (50% of grant paid to recipient’s institution upon successful completion of final report and financial statement)


(Please note: External Links are provided as a courtesy. The Obesity Society is not responsible for the content on sites accessed through external links.)

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