Policy and Law Research to Build a Culture of Health

Call for Proposals

Father and daughter outside house playing on a swing

Where you live matters a great deal to your health and well-being, and that of your family. Housing and neighborhood conditions shape lifelong health trajectories and are especially important to understanding the poorer health outcomes experienced by lower-income groups and communities of color.

This year, Policies for Action is issuing a call for proposals to investigate the effectiveness of state, county, and city public policies aimed at increasing housing affordability and stability, addressing racial segregation and isolation from opportunity, and increasing access to opportunity-rich neighborhoods and place-based resources.

We are particularly interested in understanding how such policies affect racial equity in housing and neighborhood conditions.

Given the extensive evidence that already links housing affordability, stability, and neighborhood quality to health, we do not require that the proposed research examine the impact of policy changes on individuals’ health outcomes. The research must, however, centrally focus on evaluation of impact or implementation of one or more public policies.

Award Details and Eligibility

Approximately $2 million will be awarded through this CFP. Each grant awarded will be up to $250,000 for up to 24 months. Eligible applicant organizations include academic institutions; public entities; private nonprofit organizations; state and local government agencies; and for-profit organizations. Applicants also may represent partnerships between service providers or practitioners and researchers.

We strongly encourage applications that include researchers who are from groups that are underrepresented in policy research and/or who are affiliated with institutions that serve underrepresented groups.

Informational Webinar

An informational webinar was held on March 30, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. ET for interested researchers to learn more about this special funding opportunity and ask questions. You can access a recording of this webinar here

How to Apply

Proposals for this solicitation must be submitted via the RWJF online system. Visit www.rwjf.org/cfp/p4a-housing and click “Apply Online”. If you have not already done so, you will be required to register before you begin the proposal process.

Application Timeline

  1. Letters of intent are due April 29, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. ET.
  2. Candidates selected to submit a full proposal will be notified by mid-June.
  3. Full proposals from selected candidates will be accepted through August 19, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. ET.
  4. Finalists will be notified late September.
  5. Grants begin December 1, 2020.


Policies for Action funds investigator-initiated research through its annual call for proposals. The solicitations are intentionally broad in order to foster high-impact policy research from a wide range of disciplines and focus areas. Past successful proposals have investigated the health-related impacts of housing vouchers and other forms of assistance, sick pay mandates, universal prekindergarten programs, local partnerships to combat opioid use, federal food assistance programs, paid family leave policies, and more.

Our 2020 call for proposals research on housing policies that promote equity is now open. Sign up for our newsletter for the latest updates!

Interested in learning more about P4A’s grantmaking process? 
Representatives from all four of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s signature research programs shared more information about the application process, what makes each program unique, and the application evaluation criteria our reviewers use. You can access the recording from the March 27, 2018 webinar using the link below.