Funded Projects

The Policies for Action program (P4A) funds research identifying policies, laws, and other regulatory tools in the public and private sectors that can support RWJF’s mission to build a Culture of Health.

Research is conducted at institutions across the United States. The projects by our Research Hubs and other grantees investigate 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.

Funded Projects

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This study will investigate the causal impacts of implementation—and, in more recent years, repeal—of state sentencing policies on racial disparities in health among infants and young adults.

Principal Investigator: Courtney Boen - University of Pennsylvania

This project evaluates the effects of the passing of Amendment 4 in Florida, which was designed to restore the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions after completing all terms of their sentence, including a requirement that people with felony records pay all fines and fees associated with their sentence prior to the restoration of their voting rights.

Principal Investigator: Alex R. Piquero - University of Miami

This research will generate key evidence needed to understand the effects of exclusionary discipline on equitable access to education and potential alternative strategies that address or prevent the behavioral and emotional difficulties that have given rise to exclusion. 

Principal Investigator: Oscar A. Barbarin - University of Maryland

This research will provide actionable results as counties develop their mental health diversion policies and procedures in accordance with AB 1810, particularly as courts re-open in the wake of COVID-19. In so doing, this project will not only benefit racial justice in the criminal legal system in California but also efforts to pursue racial equity through the increased use of mental health diversion nationwide.

Principal Investigator: Stephanie Brooks Holliday - RAND Corporation

This study will examine how formal declarations of racism as a public health issue can be used to create, maintain, or strengthen local policies and systems intended to dismantle structural racism and invest in community well-being.

Principal Investigator: Xavier Morales - Praxis Project 

This project will evaluate the two-tiered wage policy and its impact on racial equity, by comparing the racial wage gap and related health impacts, especially during COVID, on service workers between the seven states that require all workers to be paid a full minimum wage with tips on top and the 43 states that allow a subminimum wage. This research will help to inform discussions around policy being considered in 7 states and at the federal level to eliminate the subminimum wage for tipped workers.

Principal Investigator: Saru  Jayaraman - University of California, Berkeley

This project will quantitatively assess whether the impacts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on health care access and utilization were equitable between Indigenous and non-Indigenous women.  

Principal Investigator: Claire Margerison - Michigan State University

This research will provide valuable evidence of the effects of a guaranteed income on families with low incomes and allow other jurisdictions who may be considering similar policies to use the program in Compton, CA as a model.

Principal Investigator: Sidhya Balakrishnan - Jain Family Institute

This project will examine the impact of existing student debt forgiveness policies on racial wealth gaps, specifically on Black-White and Hispanic-White wealth gaps.

Principal Investigator: Gerald Daniels - Howard University

This study will examine the extent to which health and wellness outcomes for tribal citizens are tied to state policies requiring state and local agencies to engage in government-to-government consultation with tribes when carrying out environmental decision-making activities impacting tribal cultural resources.

Principal Investigator: Cynthia R. Harris - Environmental Law Institute