Global Ideas for U.S. Solutions

2016 Call for Proposals

  • Release Date: March 1, 2016


Throughout its history, the United States has learned from great ideas from abroad, from bagels to democracy. Why not do the same for health? In that spirit, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is looking globally for ideas to help us build a Culture of Health in the United States, where everyone has the opportunity to live healthier lives, no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they make.

We imagine a future where neighborhoods are designed with an eye toward physical activity and community engagement. Where health care providers focus on promoting wellness, not just treating illness. Where all sectors, from health care to social services to urban planning, work together with health in mind. This vision for the United States is a reality in many countries and communities around the world, and we want to learn from them.

If you have an idea that has worked abroad and has the potential to be adapted to work in the United States, we want to hear from you.

We are looking for projects, programs, and models that promote health equity and are aligned with our Culture of Health Action Framework; this year, we have a particular interest in ideas that:

  • Build healthy places;
  • Build social connection across the lifespan;
  • Get and keep children healthy;
  • Integrate health and social services; and Increase the health care system’s focus on the root causes of poor health.

We will give priority to approaches that have demonstrated impact but have not been widely tested or implemented in the United States. 

Total Awards

  • We will support grants from $50,000 up to $250,000 (USD), for up to 18 months. The total number of grants is undetermined.
  • This funding opportunity will remain open for three months; however, decisions about modifications to the program and the duration of the program will be made by RWJF at its sole discretion.
  • The grant opportunity outlined in this call for proposals is contingent upon final funding confirmation from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for such grants.

Key Dates

March 30, 2016 (11 a.m.–12 p.m. ET)
Webinar for prospective applicants. A recording is available here.

May 31, 2016 (3 p.m. ET)
Deadline for receipt of brief proposals.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

We are looking for applicants who represent organizations from a wide range of fields and disciplines—both within and outside the health sector. We seek to attract diversity of thought, professional background, race, ethnicity, and cultural perspective in our applicant pool. Building a Culture of Health means integrating health into all aspects of society, so we encourage multisector partnerships and collaboration.

We encourage proposals from both U.S.-based applicants with ideas for adapting an overseas model and international applicants with ideas that could work in the United States.

May 31, 2016, 3:00 p.m. ET



From the Blog

Wanted: Global Ideas for a Healthier U.S.

We are looking beyond our borders to identify effective approaches that other countries employ to help build a Culture of Health in the U.S. RWJF's Karabi Acharya tells us more about this opportunity and her connections to the work.


Read the blog post

Learn More About

Children of Somalian refugees are brought together with social workers and cultural brokers at Frederick Middle School in Dorchester, MA.
Our Grant Programs