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Health Policy Research Scholars (HPRS)

Opportunity for USA Doctoral Students from Underrepresented
Backgrounds to Participate in a Health Leadership Development Program

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

03/17/21 3:00 PM ET Receipt


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Opportunity for USA and territories second-year doctoral students from underrepresented backgrounds to participate in a health leadership development program. Participants will receive a stipend of $30,000 per year and will participate in activities to supplement their doctoral training. Applicants must be from populations underrepresented in specific doctoral disciplines and/or marginalized backgrounds.

Health Policy Research Scholars (HPRS) is a four-year national leadership development program for full-time doctoral students from nonclinical, research-focused disciplines in which policy is a key lever for change (e.g., urban planning; political science; economics; anthropology; education; social work; sociology)—students who are committed to ensuring their research is aligned with the health needs of communities. The program is focused on doctoral students who want to improve health, well-being, and equity; challenge long-standing, entrenched systems; exhibit new ways of working; collaborate across disciplines and sectors; and bolster their leadership skills.  

The goal of Health Policy Research Scholars is to cultivate transformational leaders from diverse backgrounds with doctoral training—representing a wide range of research-focused disciplines—who will inform and influence policy toward a Culture of Health. Specifically, RWJF aims to recruit doctoral students from a variety of fields/disciplines who are seeking to use policy change to advance population health and health equity. RWJF strongly encourages applications from nonhealth-related disciplines; having scholars from these fields is critical to advancing a Culture of Health. For more information on program goals, see p. 2 of the Full Funding Opportunity in Supporting Documents below.

HPRS is intended to complement a scholar’s doctoral training. Scholars will primarily participate in HPRS through online learning seminars and courses, along with some in-person experiences; participate in training and workshops; and contribute to publications and research presentations—concurrently with their doctoral program. These activities are designed to support and enrich the doctoral program. For more information on program activities, see pp. 4-5 of the Full Funding Opportunity in Supporting Documents below.

For eligible uses of funding, see p. 8 of the Full Funding Opportunity in Supporting Documents below.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 179179

Number of Grants:

Number of scholars in the 2021 cohort: up to 40

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant funds from RWJF will include:
- Stipend: $30,000 per year for up to four years or until you complete your doctoral program (whichever is sooner).
- Administrative fee: Home institutions may include an administrative fee of $1,000 per year, $4,000 in total to the grant amount to cover the administrative costs of managing the award.

Scholars will also be eligible for competitive dissertation grants of up to $10,000, as well as competitive conference and research dissemination grants, awarded by the national program center.

Term of Contract:

Up to four years or until completion of doctoral program (whichever is sooner).

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligibility and Selection Criteria:
- Applicants must be a full-time, second-year doctoral student as of fall 2021 at a degree-granting institution based in the United States or its territories;
- Applicants must have at least three academic years remaining in their doctoral program and not expect to graduate before spring/summer 2024;
- Applicants must be from populations underrepresented in specific doctoral disciplines and/or marginalized backgrounds. Examples of marginalized backgrounds include, but are not limited to, first-generation college graduates; individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds; individuals from communities of color; and individuals with disabilities. If an applicant is applying because their background is underrepresented in a specific discipline, or from a marginalized background not listed above, the applicant must clearly describe how they meet the eligibility criteria.
- Applicants cannot be a recipient of a national fellowship program that prohibits participation in additional programs such as HPRS;
- Applicants must be at least 21 years old as of September 1, 2021;
- Federal, state, tribal and local government employees are eligible to apply unless they are considered government officials under Section 4946 of the Internal Revenue Code;
- Applicants must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or individuals granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the time of application. As federal policy or laws change, we may need to consider adjustments in eligibility and grant terms;
- Applicants cannot be related by blood or marriage to any Officer or Trustee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, or be a descendant of its founder, Robert Wood Johnson.

Grant funding should not replace existing funding, such as teaching assistantships, research assistantships, grants, or other education-related support. Institutions should not use HPRS funds to pay the scholar as part of an existing funding package. RWJF policy does not allow the use of grant funds to support clinical trials of unapproved drugs or devices, to construct or renovate facilities, for lobbying, or for political activities.

Pre-proposal Conference:

February 2, 2021 (1–2 p.m. ET): Optional applicant webinar.

To Register:

Pre-Application Information:

Key Dates:
- February 2, 2021 (1–2 p.m. ET): Optional applicant webinar.
- March 17, 2021 (3 p.m. ET): Deadline for receipt of full applications, including references.
- May 2021: Semifinalist interviews, via web conference.
- Mid-June 2021: Notification of finalists.
- July 13, 2021: Deadline for receipt of finalist supplemental applications.
- September 1, 2021: Program begins. Stipend funding initiated for program participants.
- Mid-September–early October 2021: Onboarding webinars for scholars and mentors.
- October 8–10, 2021: Fall Institute, Baltimore, MD. (in-person attendance required* for program participants).
- 2022 (date TBD by RWJF): RWJF Annual Leadership Institute, (in-person attendance required*), date and location TBD.

* Any required in-person meetings are pending a safe resolution of the pandemic. Until then, RWJF may modify that requirement to offer virtual meetings. Participants will be notified after this determination has been made.

Payment of grant funds: Grant funds are not paid directly to the individual scholar. All grant funds will be paid to an organization (“home institution”).

View the applicant webinar and slides:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Register and Apply Online:

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact:
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Phone: (410) 502-5530

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
624 N. Broadway, Room 380
Baltimore, MD 21215
Phone: (410) 502-9188

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

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