Research Priorities

Policies for Action (P4A) was created in 2015 as one of four signature research programs of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). P4A solicits, funds, supports and disseminates transdisciplinary research to help develop the evidence base on policies, laws, regulatory changes, system interventions, and community dynamics that can promote the goals of RWJF’s Culture of Health Action Framework.

P4A is eager to work with researchers and other experts from multiple fields, including health care, mental and behavioral health, and public health; early childhood through post-secondary education and vocational training; labor market, employment, and job quality; housing and community development; community safety and criminal justice; planning and transportation, energy and the environment, and technology and communication.

We want to better understand how policies generated by these sectors impact population health, well-being, and equity. By policies, we mean not just laws and regulations at the local, state, and federal level, but also private sector practices, such as those affecting community development and employment policies that promote well-being. We are interested in evaluating the impacts of established laws, regulations, or policies; new policies and approaches; and funding or other mechanisms for implementing, enforcing, or sustaining them.

Our goal is to support innovative research that generates actionable evidence about how, and how well, laws and policies work—the data and information that can guide legislators and other policymakers, public agencies and private firms, educators, advocates, community groups, and individuals concerned with developing and implementing policies for community and population health.