For two decades, the Investigator Awards program has built the foundations of health policy by supporting innovative projects, unlikely to receive funding elsewhere, by researchers in sociology, history, political science, law, and ethics, among others.
Dates of Program: 1993 to 2014
Description: RWJF became concerned that it was not discovering future leaders in health policy. Many in the field also considered health policy research too narrowly focused and data driven to inform the critical challenges facing the nation.
Its response: In 1991, RWJF began the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research, which relies on a competitive application process to support researchers in numerous fields who think creatively about the most important problems affecting American health and health care.
The program aims to build the foundations of future health policy. Grants range up to $335,000 over two to four years.
"The award came at a turning point for me. No one was interested in funding research on discrimination in health care, only short-range 'practical' solutions that swept these larger and more controversial problems under the rug."—David B. Smith, PhD
"This award set Jo Phelan, PhD, and myself off on an entirely new research agenda that has dramatically shaped our careers.”—Bruce Link, PhD