Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows

2016-2017 Call for Applications

  • Release Date: September 9, 2015


The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows program provides the nation’s most comprehensive learning experience at the nexus of health, science, and policy in Washington, D.C. It is an outstanding opportunity for exceptional midcareer health professionals and behavioral and social scientists with an interest in health and health care policy. Fellows participate in the policy process at the federal level and use that leadership experience to improve health, health care, and health policy.

Total Awards

Up to seven awards of up to $165,000 each will be made in 2016. Fellowship funds of up to $104,000 may be used for the residential stay (not to exceed the fellow’s salary prior to entering the program) from September 1, 2016 through August 31, 2017. The continuation of fringe benefits at levels corresponding to the level of stipend support being requested may be covered with the award, and sponsoring institutions may supplement fellowship funds.

Key Dates

October 6, 2015 (11 a.m. ET) and November 5, 2015 (2 p.m. ET)
Optional applicant Web conference calls. Registration is required. Please visit the program’s website for complete details and to register.

November 12, 2015 (3 p.m. ET)
Deadline for receipt of applications.*

January 7, 2016
Selection of finalists.

January 29, 2016 (3 p.m. ET)
Deadline for receipt of full proposals.*

February 10, 2016
Board interviews of finalists.

February 11, 2016
Selection and notification.

September 1, 2016
Start of grants.

*All applications for this solicitation must be submitted via the RWJF online system. All applicants should log in to the system and familiarize themselves with online application requirements well before the final submission deadline. Staff may not be able to assist all applicants in the final 24 hours before the submission deadline. In fairness to all applicants, late submissions will not be accepted.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

  • Exceptional midcareer professionals from academic faculties, government (including military, Veterans Administration, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and state offices who are not considered government officials under Section 4946 of the Internal Revenue Code)* and nonprofit health care organizations who are interested in experiencing the health policy process at the federal level are encouraged to apply.
  • Applicants must have earned an advanced degree in one of the following disciplines: allied health professions; biomedical sciences; dentistry; economics or other social sciences; health services organization and administration; medicine; nursing; public health; social and behavioral health; or health law.
  • Applicants whose official job description or responsibilities are primarily government relations or advocacy are not eligible to apply.
  • Applicants must be U.S. Citizens or permanent residents. Additionally, individual candidates for receipt of award funds 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.

* For these purposes, government officials are defined as any person who holds one of the following:  

  1. An elective public office in the executive or legislative branch of the Government of the United States;
  2. An office in the executive or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, appointment to which was made by the President;
  3. A position in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States— (A) which is listed in schedule C of rule VI of the Civil Service Rules, or (B)the compensation for which is equal to or greater than the lowest rate of basic pay for the Senior Executive Service under section 5382 of title 5, United States Code;
  4. A position under the House of Representatives or the Senate of the United States held by an individual receiving gross compensation at an annual rate of $15,000 or more;
  5. An elective or appointive public office in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the government of a State, possession of the United States, or political subdivision or other area of any of the foregoing, or of the District of Columbia, held by an individual receiving gross compensation at an annual rate of $20,000 or more, and a significant part of whose activities include "the independent performance of policy-making functions.” 
  6. A position as personal or executive assistant or secretary to any of the foregoing; or
  7. A member of the Internal Revenue Service Oversight Board.

Prior to selection, any finalist who is a government employee will be required to furnish a letter from the applicant’s supervisor confirming that the applicant is not a government official under this definition.

**The Officers are the Chairman of the Board of Trustees; President and CEO; Chief of Staff; General Counsel; Secretary; Assistant Secretary; Treasurer; and Assistant Treasurer of the Foundation. Applicants may apply from an eligible sponsoring institution (Track 1—see Administration of Fellowship Funds on page 5 or as an individual (Track 2). Sponsors may be either nonprofit health care organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or academic centers based at nonprofit, tax-exempt or public institutions of higher education.

November 12, 2015, 3:00 p.m. ET



Direct inquiries to:

Phone: 202-334-1506