Recent Innovations in Nutrition and Health in Developing Societies

Rainer Gross Award


The Rainer Gross Award: Recent Innovations in Nutrition and Health in Developing Societies was created by the Hildegard Grunow Foundation to honour the memory of the late Dr. Rainer Gross ( and memorialise his unique approach to innovation in concepts and research in critical — but novel — areas of inquiry, with a view to better the nutrition and health of the less fortunate. With the awarding of this Prize, we recognize the merits of others who continue the generation and pursuit of innovative ideas and projects in nutrition and health in developing societies. The Prize is endowed with 2500 USD, and is awarded on the occasion of a large international nutrition-related meeting.

Nomination process

Applicants may come from any region of the world, as long as they are still actively involved in science or technology for the benefit of low- or middle-income settings. The officers and staff of the Hildegard Grunow Foundation and members of the jury are not eligible. Applicants may either submit the application themselves, or be nominated by third parties.

All nominations and entries should be accompanied by a brief report in English of not more than one single-spaced, printed page, which includes and covers the following details:

Applicant’s Information:

a) General information on the nominated individual

b) The characteristics, merits, and contributions of the project proposed/carried out by the individual

c) The methodology used for the development, financing and implementation of the nominated project

d) The localities or communities benefited by the project

Rules of nomination and application

Submitted work must be recent (conducted within the last 5 years) and innovative – i.e. judged as making needy communities at nutritional risk and fellow professionals aware of previously unrecognized problems, while beginning to open a pathway to their practical solution.

Such concepts should have sufficient supporting evidence regarding their feasibility and likely applicability. Moreover, they should have passed beyond the “idea” stage into proof-of-principle evidence or initial (“pilot”) demonstration, although the derivative findings do not necessarily need to have been formally published in the scientific or technical literature at the time of the Prize application.

Topics may include the entire gamut of problems related to human nutrition, ranging from the molecular to the population level. This does not exclude technical inventions and plant- or animal-breeding initiatives, provided they are original and novel and deemed likely to solve important nutritional problems for disadvantaged people in developing countries.

Publication or Manuscript

In addition to the summarized information (a – d), a recent publication or submission-ready manuscript must be submitted. It can be: already published (within the last 5 years), currently submitted, or ready for submission, and must be originally written in or translated into English. If submitted in manuscript form, the length must not exceed 20 typewritten pages (216 x 279 mm / 8½ x 11 in) or ISO A4 (212 x 297 mm), with margins of at least 2.5 cm; use double-spacing and 12-point type including references, tables and figures.

The last award ceremony took place in 2018.

Only complete submissions, complying with the aforementioned guidelines (a-d plus publication or manuscript) will be included in the judging.

Nominations for the Rainer Gross Prize should preferentially be submitted per e-mail to Gabi Börries and Simone Wallace:


Alternatively, nominations may be submitted in writing using following mail address:

Clemensstr. 27
80803 Munich, Germany

Safe receipt in the Foundation will be confirmed either by e-mail or postal mail.

The application packets (one-page application and publication or manuscript) received will be forwarded to a jury panel consisting of members for the board of HGF, and internationally regarded professionals in the arena of the policy, scientific and technological aspects of human and community nutrition.

The procedure governing the granting of the award will be based on the principles of attention to the dissemination of news, transparency, objectivity and non-discrimination as to race, religion, national origin or geographical residence of the applicants / nominees. The jury will announce its decision on the basis of the highest scoring of submission, and the decision of the jury is final.

The award ceremony includes a lecture by the awardee(s) on the work being recognized and the presentation of the certificate and the monetary award. The awardee(s) are invited to write a corresponding review-style, overview article regarding the background of the innovation, to be published in the Food and Nutrition Bulletin.

The travel costs and meeting expenses of the awardee(s) to present the Prize Lecture will be covered by the Hildegard Grunow Foundation.

Previous prize winners

Rainer Gross Award 2018


The 5th Rainer Gross Prize was awarded during the 18th Latin American Congress of Nutrition in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The winner is Dr. Sun Eun Lee, assistant scientist in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA.

Dr. Lee was honored for her paper in the Journal of Nutrition, entitled, „The Plasma Proteome Is Associated with Anthropometric Status of Undernourished Nepalese School-Aged Children“.

This scientific paper deals with plasma proteomics as a platform on which to assess micronutrient deficiencies and other aspects of malnutrition in low-income populations.


Publication in the Food and Nutrition Bulletin

Professor Dr. Klaus Schümann, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Hildegard Grunow Foundation, handed over the award to Rebecca Kanter (on behalf of Dr. Lee).

The winner Dr. Sun Eun Lee together with Dr. Keith West and Rebecca Kanter.


Award winners 2010 – 2016

2016 The fourth award was awarded to Dr. Saurabh Mehta of Cornell University, New York, during the Micronutrient Forum on “Positioning Women’s Nutrition at the center of Sustainable development”, held in Cancún, Mexico.

Rainer Gross Prize 2016

2014 The third award went to David Thurnham of the United Kingdom at the III WCPHN in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain. Tribute to Rainer Gross 2014.

Rainer Gross Prize 2014

2012 The awardees of the second Rainer Gross Prize were Kenneth H Brown from the USA and Manuel Ruz from Chile. The ceremony was held during the XVI Congress of the Latin American Society of Nutrition (SLAN) in Havana, Cuba.

Rainer Gross Prize 2012

2010 The first award was made to Aaron Lechtig of Peru and Angela Cespedes of Bolivia on the occasion of the II World Congress of Public Health Nutrition in Porto, Portugal.

Rainer Gross Prize 2010