California Walnut Commission
Call for Letters of Intent

The California Walnut Commission (CWC) is dedicated to funding high-quality research that will improve understanding and expand knowledge about the effects of walnut consumption on health-related outcomes.

The CWC is currently soliciting Letters of Intent (LOI) in the following areas:

  1. Human clinical and observational studies examining the association between walnut consumption and health outcomes that significantly impact the quality of life or health span in adults. Examples of such health outcomes include effects on body weight, body composition and/or obesity, metabolic syndrome and/or risk for non-communicable chronic disease. However, all potential health outcomes will be considered if given appropriate justification.
  2. The effects of adding walnuts to or substituting walnuts for other dietary components within a dietary pattern(s) as assessed by Food Pattern Modeling (e.g. Healthy U.S.-Style Eating Pattern, Healthy Mediterranean-Style Eating Pattern, or Healthy Vegetarian Eating Pattern).
  3. Comprehensive narrative review on the association between walnut consumption and health outcomes in studies published in humans from 2017 – 2020.

Application details and deadlines:

CWC uses proposalCENTRAL for online submission of grant applications. There are two stages to the application process: (1) Letters of Intent and (2) Full Applications. Letters of Intent are required from all applicants and must be submitted by Monday, March 2, 2020.

Previously submitted Full Applications may be revised and re-submitted one additional time. If a Full Application was submitted in the last grant cycle, but the project was not funded, the Principal Investigator may submit a Letter of Intent to revise the application in the 2020 funding cycle. Revised projects will NOT necessarily progress to the Full Application stage.

Letters of Intent will be evaluated by the CWC Health Research Advisory Group and a limited number of applicants will be invited to submit Full Applications. No reviewer feedback is provided to the applicant at the Letter of Intent stage.

Invitations to submit full proposals will be sent by Monday, March 30, 2020, and invitees will be asked to submit their full proposal by Monday, May 18, 2020.

Full proposals will undergo evaluation by the CWC Peer Review Panel (PRP). Researchers selected to receive funding will be informed of the decision by Friday, August 28, 2020. CWC will hold all information provided by the researcher in confidence while the LOI and full proposal are under consideration.


Eligibility requirements:

Before submitting the LOI, please ensure that our pre-eligibility criteria are met:

  • The Principal Investigator must have a PhD, MD, or equivalent doctoral level degree and be on the research staff or faculty of a non-profit academic or research
  • The proposed study must adhere to the CWC Research Principles (see Appendix).
  • The proposed study must address the effects of walnut consumption as a whole food (shelled halves and pieces) on the above stated priority areas.
  • The total proposed budget must be no greater than $500,000 for the entire Indirect (i.e., facility and administrative) costs of up to 10% of total direct costs are permitted and should be included in the total proposed budget. Proposals will be considered for single-year and multiple-year projects. Please note that whole walnuts (shelled halves and pieces) must be used for interventional studies and will provided by the CWC in order to facilitate research efforts.

To find out more about the type of studies and research areas CWC has funded in the past, please visit the health research section of the CWC website.

Letter of Intent (LOI) Format

Upload the LOI into the proposalCENTRAL online form according to the instructions provided there. The LOI must be limited to 2 pages (excluding list of references and optional letters of support), single-spaced, 11-point font and should include:

  1. Specific aims
  2. Background and significance
  3. Project description/methodology
  4. Expected outcomes and limitations
  5. Consumer message (translational message for health professionals and consumers that accurately describes the successful outcome of the study)
  6. Budget and timeline
  7. Expertise/experience

Upload letters of support if included (limited to 4 pages) and references (limited to 2 pages) as PDF file attachments.

If you have any questions, please contact Carol Sloan RDN, FAND, Health Research Director, California Walnut Commission at or 916-932-7070.

For technical questions regarding the proposalCENTRAL online application system, please contact their customer support hotline at 800-875-2562 or


About the California Walnut Commission (CWC)

The CWC was established in 1987 under California law and is funded by mandatory assessments on California walnut growers. It is a non-profit agency of the State of California that works in concurrence with the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The CWC maintains a rigorous health research program. Since 1991, the CWC has supported research resulting in the publication of 155 peer-reviewed scientific papers. This body of research has provided insight as to the beneficial impact of walnut consumption on various areas of nutrition, health, and disease.


Guiding Principles for Private Funding of Food Science and Nutrition Research

The California Walnut Commission abides by the Guiding Principles on Industry Funding of Research developed by the International Life Sciences Institute, North American (ILSI NA) ( work/scientific-integrity/) and requests the same of supported researchers and scientists.

  1. Conduct or sponsor research that is factual, transparent, and designed objectively, and, according to accepted principles of scientific inquiry, the research design will generate an appropriately phrased hypothesis and the research will answer the appropriate questions, rather than favor a particular outcome;
  2. Require control of both study design and research itself to remain with scientific investigators;
  3. Not offer or accept remuneration geared to the outcome of a research project;
  4. Ensure, before the commencement of studies, that there is a written agreement that the investigative team has the freedom and obligation to attempt to publish the findings within some specified time frame;
  5. Require, in publications and conference presentations, full signed disclosure of all financial interests;
  6. Not participate in undisclosed paid authorship arrangements in industry-sponsored publications or presentations;
  7. Guarantee accessibility to all data and control of statistical analysis by investigators and appropriate auditors/reviewers;
  8. Require that academic researchers, when they work in contract research organizations (CRO) or act as contract researchers, make clear statements of their affiliation; and require that such researchers publish only under the auspices of the CRO.
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