Building Health Policy Research Capacity in the Social Sciences

This chapter of the Anthology, written by David C. Colby, currently vice president of Research and Evaluation at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, examines the Foundation's investments in building capacity among social scientists to do health policy analysis. The series of programs analyzed by Colby underscores the Foundation's commitment to building health policy expertise among social science researchers at the nation's academic institutions. Colby traces the evolution of the Foundation's programs from its initial support of four well-established university professors; through an unsuccessful fellowship program in health care finance; to its two current, more tightly structured fellowship programs.

Interest in workforce initiatives remains strong at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—so strong, in fact, that these initiatives are considered to be “core” programs.