2023 Fellowship Program

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Jordan Nutrition Innovation Lab Fellowships Program 2023
 

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The USAID-supported Jordan Nutrition Innovation Lab (JNIL) at Tufts University, in coordination with the JNIL Technical Advisory Committee and Mindset, a Jordan-based research firm, is pleased to announce 9-month Fellowships each totaling $5,000 USD (3544 JD) to be awarded to four emerging Jordanian scholars in the maternal, infant, and young child nutrition (MIYCN) field.

JNIL pursues research to generate evidence on the potential for large maternal, infant, and young child nutrition and reproductive health programs, such as the USAID Community Health and Nutrition Program (CHN), to improve the health and wellbeing of pregnant and lactating women and their children in Jordan. JNIL also aims to build academic capacity to support research on optimal health and nutritional status of pregnant and lactating women (PLW) and children under the age of two. For more information on JNIL, visit our page here.

For 2023, JNIL will award four fellowships to Jordanian faculty, researchers, policy specialists, technical officers in government and local non-governmental organization, and/or graduate students conducting their master’s or PhD research to support optimal infant, young child, and maternal nutrition and health.  

Applicants will be selected in a two-stage process. Applicants must first submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to confirm eligibility to submit the full proposal. The deadline for submission of LOIs is February 2, 2023. 

 

Download LOI Template
Click Here to Access Full Proposal Submission Portal

Eligible candidates must be Jordanian nationals or residents who are conducting their master’s or doctoral research or have earned a master’s or doctoral degree (PhD, DPhil, DPH, MD, MSc, or similar degree) in fields related to MIYCN, breastfeeding support,  or diet related non-communicable diseases, and are building a career in policy-relevant research, education, policy, programming, or community engagement. JNIL fellowships are open to everyone without any specific preference. Women, men, youth, and persons with disabilities are welcome to apply, including early-career applicants with research or faculty appointments in Jordan or who already have institutional affiliations in research or academic institutions.

Applicants who have been granted a fellowship cannot reapply and will not be considered. Selected applicants will be asked to sign a conflict-of-interest declaration.

JNIL fellows are expected to play an active role in JNIL’s research and capacity building activities in Jordan. This includes participation in policy and academic seminars, webinars, and a scientific symposium hosted by JNIL.

Illustrative research topics are provided below. Please consider the topic list to be only indicative as we welcome other topics that may meet JNIL's objectives.

A.  Optimal infant and young child nutrition 

  • Exclusive breastfeeding – supporting breastfeeding and early initiation of breastfeeding
  • Optimal complementary feeding practices, breastmilk substitutes (BMS), BMS code, and managing infant formula
  • Micronutrient deficiencies, anemia, poor growth 
  • Healthy versus unhealthy dietary patterns and practices
  • Non-communicable diseases, especially overweight and obesity-related, that have short-and longer-term impacts on mothers and infants (e.g., gestational diabetes, hypertension, etc.)
  • Managing infant and young child feeding in refugee camps in Jordan
  • Post-partum depression and effects on optimal infant and young child nutrition
     

B.  Maternal health and nutrition 

  • Gestational weight gain
  • Optimal nutrition throughout the pre-pregnant, pregnant, post-partum and lactating phase
  • Micronutrient status, healthy dietary patterns, and practices in pregnant and lactating women
  • Risks of non-communicable diseases that will help inform programs and policies in Jordan and contribute to the development of a comprehensive strategic plan on maternal and child nutrition
  • The role of junk food in the diets and health of pregnant and lactating women
  • Effects of workload on pregnancy outcomes
  • Effects of workload on lactation performance and exclusive breastfeeding potential
  • High-risk pregnancies, mental health, depression, anxiety and its pre- and post-natal complications
  • Post-partum depression and effects on maternal health and nutrition
     

C.  Nutrition and health outcomes 

  • Assessment of maternal dietary diversity in pregnant and lactating Jordanian women
  • How and to what extent does social and behavior change communication in Jordan currently focus on improving women’s diet during and post-pregnancy, and the geographic dietary differences and similarities between different communities
  • Barriers to optimal breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices and nutrition and its impact on the physical and cognitive growth of a child, including undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies
  • Diet-related overweight, obesity, and associated non-communicable diseases, as well as physical and psychosocial wellbeing and other impacts on Jordanian women of childbearing age
  • Effect of gender dynamics and other dimensions of social inclusion such as caste, age, and household structure on diet diversity and nutrient availability in pregnant women’s diet during and pre- and post-pregnancy
  • Socioeconomic factors and cultural practices that prohibit food consumption and prevent women from achieving minimum dietary diversity during pregnancy
  • Role of the rural and urban food systems in addressing poverty, inner house food security, and provision of adequate access to nutritious foods to support MIYCN
  • Regulations, guidelines, and interventions from the government of Jordan and other non-governmental organizations that can improve surveillance and governance throughout the food supply chains
  • Role of family planning and reproductive health issues in optimal health and nutrition of pregnant and lactating women and their offspring
  • Assessment of novel post-partum family planning (PPFP) counseling and its effect/impact on uptake of modern family planning methods in Jordan
  • Assessment of the use of modern family planning methods as post-partum family planning method for birth spacing in Jordan
  • Perceived barriers of using modern family planning methods for birth spacing in Jordan
  • Socio-demographic determinants of use of modern family planning methods in Jordan

 

D.  Programs and Policies around MIYCN

  • Role of public private partnerships in improving delivery and sustainability of optimal MIYCN behaviors and practices
  • The use of a participatory nutrition capacity approach to build capacity and create a strong and shared commitment within the local health sectors in Jordan MIYCN
  • Integrating MIYCN curriculum into academic curricula at the undergraduate and graduate level as part of the longer-term nutrition research capacity building of Jordanian professionals and students
     

E.  Disabilities in vulnerable populations (women and children)

  • Access to good quality health care, neonatal care, and mental health care in limiting disability at birth in Jordan
  • Improved understanding of malnutrition in pregnant women and prevalence of disability in Jordan
  • Role of improved nutrition in two-way causality link: poor nutrition can lead to disability, but people with disabilities might also have restricted access to good nutrition
  • Entry points for early child interventions for children with disabilities 

Applicants will be selected in a two-stage process. Applicants must first submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to confirm eligibility to submit the full proposal. The deadline for submission of LOIs is February 2, 2023. 

LOIs will then be assessed by a review committee, and shortlisted applicants will be informed no later than February 13, 2023.

Shortlisted applicants will then be invited to submit a full proposal. Full proposals must be submitted by March 15, 2023.

Finalists will be invited for an interview to be undertaken by March 23, 2023.

Selected candidates will be notified by March 31, 2023. JNIL-awarded fellows will begin their 9-month fellowship between April 1 - December 31, 2023.
 

Summary of Key Dates:

  • Letter of Intent (LOI) must be submitted by February 2, 2023
  • LOI shortlist will be finalized by February 13, 2023
  • Full proposals from shortlisted applicants must be submitted by March 15, 2023
  • Finalists will be interviewed by March 23, 2023
  • Selected applicants will be notified by March 31, 2023
  • Fellowships begin between April 1 - December 31 , 2023
The application portal (Piestar) will require the following information:
  • Applicant’s full name, sex, and nationality/resident status, with personal postal address, email, and phone contact details
  • Applicant’s current employment or affiliation, with institutional address, email, and phone contact details
  • Applicant’s educational history, listing all degrees earned by year and field, with titles of theses (if any)
  • Proposed Mentor's name and affiliation, with institutional address, email, and phone
  • Letter of Intent (1 page, single-spaced, no less than 1 cm margins) in MS Word format, (12 font, preferable Times New Roman), describing how you will work on your topic of interest. Applicant's must download the Letter of Intent Template provided here and upload it to the portal.
  • Applicant's Curriculum Vitae (Word or PDF). Applicant's CV must demonstrate their capabilities and capacity to undertake the fellowship. 
  • Mentor's Curriculum Vitae (Word or PDF). Mentor's CV must demonstrate expertise in the area of research proposed by the applicant.

     

*To be completed only if shortlisted in the LOI stage

Once shortlisted, applicants will submit the following information through our submission portal once it becomes available no earlier than February 13, 2023. Full proposals must be submitted by March 15, 2023The following details will be required to submit a full proposal: 

A.  Applicant and Mentor Contact Details

  1. Applicant’s full name, gender, and nationality/resident status, with personal postal address (if available), email, and phone
  2. Applicant’s current status (employment/student), type of affiliation, with institutional address, email, and phone
  3. Applicant’s educational history, listing all degrees earned by year and field, with titles of theses
  4. Proposed Mentor’s name and affiliation, with institutional address, email, and phone (this person will be required to provide a reference)
  5. Name and affiliation of another reference from whom you have requested the support letter (if you do not have a mentor, then please submit two references)

B.  Research Proposal (max. 3,000 words)

When preparing the proposal, use the section headings provided below:

  1.  Title of the project, specifying topic and location as briefly as possible (~10-20 words)
  2.  Abstract summarizing the project for a general audience (max. 500 words)
  3.  Significance of the problem and proposed research (max. 500 words)
  4. Methods and metrics to be advanced (max. 500 words)
  5. Workplan, including description of existing data and previous work (literature) to be complemented by new data collection (if any), analyses and writing for presentation and submission within the fellowship year to specified target journals and other outlets (max. 1000 words)
  6. Linkage to applicant's degree training and future career (max. 300 words)
  7. Locations and resources to be used, start date, and timeline (max. 200 words)

C.  Curriculum Vitae 

Please append two separates CV in any format (Word or PDF)

  1.  Applicant CV
  2.  Mentor CV

D.  Letters of Support

Please submit two letters of support from the proposed mentor and another reference. Letters of support are typically no longer than two pages.

  1. One letter must be from the proposed mentor and should describe the applicant’s training, previous work, professional potential, and potential impact of the proposed application. The letter should outline the mentor’s professional relationship with the applicant and how the mentor will contribute to the proposed project. 
  2. The second reference letter should also describe the applicant's professional potential and the potential impact of the proposed application. It may be from a policy official, academic, or a professional supervisor of the applicant.
     

Full Proposal Portal to Open After February 13, 2023

For any questions regarding the Fellowships Program or application, please reach out to our team at JNILFellowships@gmail.com.