The Global Food Research Program is committed to advancing the principles of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) throughout our research, collaborations, and service. Our efforts are ongoing and intentional, as we continue to learn and seek to thoughtfully integrate these principles into our practices and structures. We acknowledge that we may make mistakes along the way but are committed to reflection and correction as needed.

  • Inclusion ensures that diverse people with different identities are able to fully participate in all aspects of the work of a team, including leadership positions and decision-making processes. This concept refers to the way that diverse individuals are valued as respected members and welcomed in a team and/or community.
  • Diversity is the presence of differences including (but not limited to) gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, and sexual orientation. This concept is key to ensuring that multiple perspectives are represented.
  • Access ensures equitable access to everyone regardless of ability and experience.
  • Equity ensures that everyone has access to the same opportunities to grow, contribute, and develop, regardless of their individual or group identity. It is the fair and just treatment of all members of a community.

To advance our commitment, we participate in ongoing initiatives aimed at addressing gaps in the development of a pipeline of more diverse nutrition researchers within the United States and globally:

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Fellowship for Exploring Research in Nutrition (FERN)

This fellowship is a 9-week paid summer research internship aimed at strengthening the future nutrition research workforce in the United States by enabling and encouraging broader participation by all. FERN provides opportunities for US-based undergraduate students to engage in real-world food and nutrition policy research with our team. No previous research experience is required. Fellows will be hosted by GFRP and engage in our research with mentorship from faculty and graduate students, developing foundational research skills.

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Vital Strategies Healthy Food Policy Fellowship

The goal of the Healthy Food Policy Fellowship is to strengthen health systems by developing research expertise to bridge existing research gaps and guide national policies for healthier food environments in Barbados, Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica, Mexico, and South Africa — all countries in which GFRP works. GFRP faculty have actively supported such capacity-building efforts for years and are open to taking on new doctoral students from these countries who plan to apply for the Healthy Food Policy Fellowship.

Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity (CPPFD)

GFRP is participating in the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity (CPPFD), which aims to develop and support scholars from different backgrounds, with potential advancement to tenure track faculty appointments at UNC or other research universities. Applications were due 15 November 2022 for the 2023 cycle. Learn more about GFRP’s involvement.

Presentations to local Elementary, Middle, and High Schools

Researchers and staff from GFRP have made presentations to public school students in the local Triangle area via Zoom to introduce them to nutrition concepts, explain how nutrition policy impacts their lives, and inspire them to think about nutrition research as a possible college major or career path. If you are a principal, teacher, or parent who is interested in exploring such an opportunity for your student/s, please contact us at

We are also actively seeking ways to better incorporate and address IDEA concepts in how we undertake, apply, and disseminate our research and collaborations through ongoing trainings, journal clubs, seminars, and discussions.  Other ways in which we are seeking to better engage with our local communities include volunteering at community gardens and minority owned farms, food banks and contracting with local minority owned businesses for services.