Submit an Unsolicited Proposal

RWJF seeks out and supports pioneering ideas and innovative solutions to ensure we stay on the cutting edge in our efforts to work with others to build a national Culture of Health. We accept unsolicited proposals for pioneering ideas and issue awards throughout the year, with no deadlines. (We also issue targeted calls for proposals throughout the year.)

Step 1: Read About the Kind of Ideas We Seek

Step 2: Complete the Proposal Checklist

Step 3: Submit a Brief Proposal

Seeking Innovative Ideas

We are always looking for innovative ideas to help advance a Culture of Health—either from a variety of visionary leaders at specific events, or through online submissions throughout the year.

What Kind of Pioneering Ideas Are We Seeking?

We invest in processes and practices that nurture innovation and breakthroughs. We want to network with others who share our passion for health and health care, as well as those in other sectors whose insights might shed new light on the thorniest issues in our field. The What's Next Health series, for example, highlights perspectives from innovative thinkers who inspire us all to think big about the future of health and health care.

We make numerous grants that explore the potential of cutting-edge ideas and trends to transform health and health care and advance a national Culture of Health. For example, we funded a seminar series that examines placebos and their potential to improve health care delivery and patient well-being, as well as projects that apply behavioral economics to health and health care to better understand how and why doctors and patients make the decisions they do.

We also make a handful of broader commitments to areas of exploration that hold promise for producing big breakthroughs. For example, we are funding an effort to explore the usefulness, value, and limitations of data generated by patients in the real world and in real time, rather than in clinical settings.

Complete the Proposal Checklist

Here’s the checklist we use when we review proposals. It’s okay if your answer to some of these questions is “no,” but generally speaking, the more “yeses,” the more likely your idea is one we’ll want to fund.

1. Original

Is your idea fresh and new, or does it represent a novel application of an established idea?

2. Unconventional

Does your idea challenge traditional thought and practice by seeing the problem—and/or the solution—through a different lens?

3. Transformational

Does your idea have the potential to radically—not incrementally—improve health or health care?

4. Interdisciplinary

Does your project propose to bring in perspectives from other industries or draw together uncommon partners?

5. Sizeable and Transferable

Does your idea address a large-scale problem?

Could your idea be adapted to other contexts and address a wider range of issues?

6. Sustainable

Does your project have the potential to produce outcomes that would be valuable enough to be continued, supported, and adopted by others?

Submit a Brief Proposal

To streamline the process for applicants and staff, all applicants who are interested in applying for a grant must initiate the process by submitting a brief proposal using the Foundation’s online system. To begin, read our FAQs, and: