Transforming Vision into Action Award

The Council on Future Practice's Transforming Vision into Action Award is given in recognition of outstanding collaborative contributions of Academy members and their teams. The purpose of this Award is to recognize an innovation that has transformed a vision into nutrition and dietetics practice and/or education with favorable outcomes relevant to the future.

The Academy values innovation and strives to promote the public's health and advance the profession of nutrition and dietetics. An innovation is defined as a new or different idea that is converted into a useful product, service, process, protocol, guideline, device or tool that satisfies a specific need, is sustainable and is replicable at a reasonable cost.

The Council on Future Practice:

  • Seeks to showcase the best innovation based on originality, creativity, sustainability and cost effectiveness as it relates to advancing the practice of nutrition and dietetics.
  • Explores opportunities to advance the nutrition and dietetics profession forward through innovation, collaboration, and recognition of positive impact and achievements in the practice of nutrition and dietetics.  

As part of the Council's visioning process, the Council has identified priority areas and change drivers that are relevant to the future. In the spirit of innovation, applicants are encouraged to relate their work to these priority areas and change drivers but are not limited to these identified areas.

Important Dates

  • Open: November 1, 2017
  • Close: March 1, 2018


  1. In the spirit of collaboration, teams that include current Academy members are eligible for the award. Individual applicants are not eligible. Eligible teams may include interprofessional members and/or groups of RDNs and NDTRs across practice areas and settings.
  2. RDNs and NDTRs on the team submitting an application are members of the Academy. There is no minimum requirement for the number of years the RDN or NDTR has held Academy membership.
  3. Only one application and submission per team, institution, organization or business is permitted.
  4. The innovation must be future-focused and related to the field (or practice) of nutrition and dietetics.
  5. The innovation has been fully executed and demonstrates direct application to the practice or education of nutrition and dietetics.
  6. The innovation is consistent with the Academy's mission and vision.
  7. An explanation and demonstration of the innovation is provided in the form of a 90 second or less digital presentation (e.g. video clip, digital poster, photo story) which is shared with the Academy membership as part of the voting process.
  8. Evaluation data demonstrate the effectiveness, benefits and positive outcomes of the innovation.

Scoring Critera

1. The innovation is planned, implemented, and evaluated by a team including at least one RDN and/or NDTR. Eligible teams utilize collaborative analysis and decision making to create an innovation that enhances the practice of each team member. (10 points)

2. Evaluation data demonstrate the effectiveness, benefits and positive outcomes of the innovation.  (45 points total)
        a. Appropriateness of qualitative measures and/or quantitative measures. (10 points
        b. Evaluation and outcomes. (15 points)

        Please review the definitions and resources for process and outcome evaluations below:

  • A process evaluation looks at the actual development and implementation of a particular project. It establishes whether you have achieved quantifiable targets and planned strategies. A process evaluation is conducted throughout the project, assessing cause-and-effect relationships between the project components and outcomes. This type of evaluation can be very useful in determining whether a project should be continued, expanded upon, refined or eliminated.
  • Outcome evaluation is an important addition to a process evaluation. Outcome evaluation measures the change that has occurred as a result of a project. For example, a process evaluation might confirm that 200 people have completed your training program. An outcome evaluation would indicate how many participants demonstrated increased confidence, changed behaviors, secured employment based on new skills acquired, etc.
  • To learn more about evaluation and outcomes, you may find the following resources and examples useful:

        c. Significance and impact on patients/clients/population. (20 points)

3. The innovation seizes an opportunity to positively impact the future and utilizes novel ideas, direction and solutions. (20 points total) 
        a. Demonstrates value for the profession and advances the Academy’s vision and mission. (8 points) 
        b. Serves as a potential change agent for the profession. (8 points) 
        c. Promotes visibility of RDN/NDTR. (4 points)

4. The innovation is replicable and sustainable. (10 points total
        a. Potential for Replication. (6 points) 
        b. Innovation Sustainability. (4 points)

5. The innovation includes a list of potential ideas for dissemination to the Academy membership and/or the public. (5 points)

6. The innovation includes a digital presentation that provides a brief explanation (90 seconds or less) and demonstration of the innovation. (10 points)

View a scoring criteria chart containing a breakdown of the point distribution.

Application Process

Each submission will include a completed application form which includes:

  • Demographic and team data
  • Title of project
  • Rationale and impact (300 words or less each)
  • Literature review (provide a short synopsis of related literature with a few key references)
  • Timeline, budget, and funding disclosure
  • Brief explanation and demonstration of the innovation in the form of a digital presentation (90 seconds or less)
  • A written description of the innovation (should not exceed three pages in length, single-spaced, 12 point font with one inch margins) containing:
    • A concise abstract, not to exceed 300 words in length
    • The goals, scope, methods, and evaluation results of the project. Evaluation and outcomes should include assessment of the innovation process, outcomes, and benefits or effectiveness
      •  Please see the above definitions and resources.
  • Letter of support from a colleague who has personal knowledge of the innovation, is not a member of the team, and describes how the innovation advances nutrition and dietetics education and/or practice
  • Completed Conflict of Interest submitted for each team member. These will submitted in the additional attachments section of the application.

Download the application.

Council Process

A workgroup of Council members will review all applications and choose the top three to five entries, based on the award criteria, to move forward for Council approval. The Council maintains discretion in moving applicants forward to the voting process (i.e., if not enough applicants are received or if they are not of good quality).

  • If there is only one application, the award will still be given if it's high quality and meets the criteria.
  • If there is more than one quality applicant, the qualified applicants will be moved forward for member voting.
  • If there are no quality applicants, the award will not be given that year.

Benefits to Award Recipients

  • Featured in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and other publications as appropriate; featured in Eat Right Weekly; mentioned in Academy’s social media channels
  • Presented with a personalized achievement award and certificate
  • The project lead will receive complimentary 2018 FNCE® registration as well as travel, one night hotel stay, and one day per diem (amount TBD) for Washington, D.C.

2017 Award Recipient

For their project titled "Use of Computer Assisted Instruction to Teach Nutrition Focused Physical Examination," a team led by Jennifer Tomesko, DCN, RD, CNSC, has been given the inaugural Transforming Vision into Action Award.

Read more about the award in the October 2017 Journal article.

Project Team Members

  • Jennifer Tomesko, DCN, RD, CNSC (Project Lead)
  • Rebecca Brody, PhD, RD, LD, CNSC
  • Jillian Redgate, MS, RDN, CNSC
  • Riva Touger-Decker PhD, RD,CDN, FADA
  • Sarah Ashley M.S., M.Ed. — Instructional Designer