Research Associate


The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF; the Foundation), located in Princeton, N.J., is the largest philanthropy in America dedicated solely to health. Since 1972, we have focused on developing and promoting innovations in health and healthcare to improve the lives of millions. In partnership with others, we are working toward a nation that is rooted in equity, compassion, and respect. A nation that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity to thrive, no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they have. This requires addressing many harmful obstacles to well-being, including poverty, powerlessness, and discrimination.

We take seriously our responsibilities, and we pledge to work in ways that reflect our Guiding Principles. These are rooted in equity and influence everything we do at RWJF. Equity, diversity, inclusion, and collaboration allow our staff’s wide range of experiences, passions, and perspectives to enrich our work and strengthen our ability to address our nation’s most pressing health issues. The Foundation offers a collaborative, collegial, and creative work environment. With a career at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, you will make a difference.

The Opportunity

Since our inception, the Foundation has been driven by a continuous cycle of research, evaluation, and learning (REL). The Foundation’s REL unit works to expand our nation’s evidence based on the many factors which shape health, and the types of policy and systems changes that have the greatest potential for impact. This includes helping to identify the root causes of health disparities and potential solutions. Associates are based in the Foundation’s Princeton, N.J., office.

Reporting to the associate vice president, the research associate, REL, is responsible for supporting, creating, developing, implementing, and managing the research and evaluation aspects of the Foundation’s initiatives. This work will support a range of applied research programs with grantees, help the Foundation understand its impact based on program evaluations, and improve decision-making and strategies through shared learnings.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Program Development and Monitoring

  • Assist in developing and guiding research initiatives, including:

o   Identifying areas of investment
o   Helping determine appropriate methodology
o   Reviewing proposals
o   Managing research projects and time lines
o   Analyzing and summarizing study findings for wider dissemination and impact

  • Expedite necessary steps and quality assurance tasks including but not limited to:

o   Consulting relevant Foundation staff
o   Engaging internal and external stakeholders
o   Helping develop requests for proposals
o   Communicating required deliverables
o   Assuring quality grantees and proposals
o   Managing research projects and timelines
o   Interpreting and sharing findings as appropriate

–Work with staff and grantees to assess, evaluate, and disseminate results of programs and projects, including measures of impact.
–Analyze grantee research, datasets, surveys, and study findings.
–Maintain data files and corresponding documentation of methods.

Foundation and Field Contributions

  • Synthesize and produce written products that integrate findings from Foundation-funded projects and highlight lessons learned for internal and external audiences.
  • Summarize findings for wider dissemination and impact, including academic publications.
  • Conduct literature reviews, develop and implement plans for disseminating the results of research; assist in preparing and co-authoring articles, reports, and presentations for internal and external use.
  • Work with REL officers to foster Foundation learning efforts, including internal assessments of internal organizational performance and culture, as well as external assessments.
  • Coordinate research and evaluation activities to gather and share lessons across the Foundation, for greater strategic coordination and program development.
  • Participate in staff presentations and presentations at policy, research, and professional conferences.
  • Assist vice president and associate vice president in preparing and refining internal and external presentations, both written and oral.

Minimum Requirements

  • Commitment to racial and health equity and the Foundation’s vision, values, and Guiding Principles.
  • Two (2) years of related work experience in health or a related field including the social determinants of health, preferably in the nonprofit or government sector; knowledge of philanthropy helpful.
  • Proficiency with statistics and research and evaluation methods.
  • Experience with:

o   Data collection and analysis
o   Database and project management
o   Statistical packages such as SPSS/STATA/SAS (helpful, but not required)

  • Able to translate research and evaluation findings for use by internal and external audiences.
  • Experience fostering an inclusive environment working as part of a multidisciplinary team and working effectively with persons from diverse cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office Suite and experience with file sharing systems (Dropbox, Google docs).
  • Able to work and think independently with confidence, and in teams; to think imaginatively about opportunities; to create and respond to novel and innovative approaches to addressing an issue; to inspire others to work toward achieving team goals; and to be tolerant of ambiguity and differences in grantmaking approaches.
  • Intellectually curious; able to apply learning to work responsibilities.
  • Collaborative, collegial, team-oriented, and energetic; able to develop productive relationships with colleagues, grantees, consultants, external funders, and others.
  • Strong time, project, and people management skills, ability to balance multiple priorities.
  • Able to read, analyze, and interpret professional journals and periodicals, technical procedures, and governmental regulations. Able to synthesize and translate complicated material into clear and simple language.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Able to make decisions and justify recommendations.
  • Able to travel as required.
  • Education and experience equivalent to a master’s degree (e.g., Master of Public Health or Public Policy), or a bachelor’s degree and two (2) years of related experience or training, especially in Public Health, Public Policy, or a related health, behavioral, or social science field.

Physical Requirements/Working Conditions

The associate will perform job duties in a typical business office environment. Specific physical abilities required by this job include operating basic office equipment. Will be required to attend meetings, potentially both in person and off-site via phone or videoconference.

How to Apply

Submit your resume and letter of interest.


The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ and other underrepresented applicants.

How to Apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume.

Application Deadline: November 7, 2021

(Post Date: October 4, 2021)

This position is located in Princeton, N.J. If hired, you would be required to work from our Princeton office when our facilities re-open.


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