Policy and Law Research to Build a Culture of Health

Call for Proposals

Young researcher of color writes on whiteboard

UPDATE: The period for submitting letters of intent is now closed. Applicants will be notified directly if selected to submit a full proposal. 

To advance equitable and inclusive policies, we need greater diversity in policy and law research. In 2019, Policies for Action is issuing a special call for proposals to advance health equity by actively seeking new and diverse perspectives from the policy research field. This opportunity will support early-career researchers from underrepresented and historically disadvantaged backgrounds to help us understand and find solutions that promote health equity and foster action on policies and laws that ensure all people in America can attain and preserve good health and well-being.

Researchers will receive up to $250,000 over two years to:

  • Investigate existing policies or policy changes that can influence population health, well-being, and equity;
  • Engage in career development activities and mentorship;
  • Produce and translate timely research results; and
  • Collaborate with other researchers to create a healthier, more equitable future for all people in America.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

P4A will provide support and training for up to six investigators. Two of these six will be researchers located in and conducting research within the state of New Jersey. Applicants must have completed a doctoral degree within the past 10 years and will identify two institutional mentors to advise on career development and research skills as part of their application.

We welcome all policy research ideas across a range of possible sectors, political ideologies, and perspectives. By policies, we mean laws and regulations at the federal, state, and local levels as well as private-sector practices. We will prioritize policy research ideas that inform one or more of RWJF’s focus areas: healthy communities, health systems, and healthy children and families.

More details on eligibility requirements, mentor selection, areas of policy focus, and application materials can be found in the full call for proposals.

Informational Webinar

We held an informational webinar on Wednesday, September 4, 2019. The recording and transcript is available here

How to Apply

Proposals for this solicitation must be submitted via the RWJF online system. Visit my.rwjf.org to get started. You will be required to create a personal registration login prior to beginning the proposal process.

Application Timeline 

  1. Letters of intent are due October 2, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. (EDT). (Now closed)
  2. Candidates selected to submit a full proposal will be notified by mid-November. 
  3. Full proposals from selected candidates will be accepted through January 2, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. (EDT).
  4. Finalists will be notified mid-February.



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 2019 special call for proposals to increase equity, diversity, and inclusion in policy and law research 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.