About Us

Policies for Action (P4A) is a signature research program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) administered through the National Coordinating Center at the Urban Institute and in collaboration with five Research Hubs at Temple University, New York University, the University of Illinois at Chicago together with Washington University at St. Louis, the University of Michigan, and the Urban Institute.

Founded in 2015, the program funds research identifying policies, laws, and other system and community levers in the public and private sectors that can support RWJF’s vision, working with others, to build a Culture of Health.

P4A works by funding investigator-initiated grants at institutions across the country. Funded research examines policies and laws that are traditionally and directly correlated with health outcomes, but also nontraditional areas of focus that influence population health, well-being and equity—including policies and regulations from areas such as education, economics, transportation, justice, and housing. Learn more about our research priorities.

The hubs provide a transdisciplinary setting to develop, implement, and manage programs of strategic policy research in specific issue areas such as housing, transportation, and financing. The hubs bring expertise and experience in conducting research that matters at the local, state and national policy levels. Learn more about their projects.

The P4A program builds on the Urban Institute’s wealth of experience in health, social welfare, and social and economic policy, including its cross-center initiative on the social determinants of health that brings together experts spanning health, housing, labor, income and benefits, justice, and tax policy.