Grants and Grant Programs

Learn about the types of programs and activities the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation supports, and our grantmaking process.

What We Fund

Our grants and grant programs generally have three aims:

  1. Discover and Explore—Seeking creative solutions through targeted solicitations and an ongoing request for bold ideas with transformative potential.
  2. Spread Model Interventions—Identifying and expanding public policies, community-based programs, system changes and other interventions that are having a meaningful impact on health.
  3. Conduct Research and Evaluation—Expanding the evidence around key health issues, and evaluating, learning from, and sharing key lessons both from our own grantmaking and from other health-improvement initiatives tied to our areas of interest.

Connected with these objectives, we fund a wide range of activities, including but not limited to:

  • Planning and demonstration projects
  • Research and evaluations
  • Policy and statistical analysis
  • Learning networks and communities
  • Public education and strategic communications
  • Community engagement and coalition-building
  • Training and fellowship programs
  • Technical assistance

In general, the activities we support are carried out by public agencies, universities, and public charities that are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. While we are focused on a healthier U.S., we also fund grants that help us learn from and adapt global innovations.

How We Develop and Administer Grant Programs

Our grant programs are developed by RWJF program staff, in consultation with leading experts in fields of shared interest, and with guidance and final approval from our Board of Trustees.

We typically issue a competitive call for proposals (CFP) which defines the challenges we wish to address, activities we will support to achieve desired outcomes, and eligibility criteria. We often establish an intermediary organization to support subsequent program activity and provide technical assistance. We also provide funding through open calls for ideas and different types of challenges and prize competitions, as well as direct solicitations for projects in support of specific programmatic objectives.

What We Do Not Support

RWJF funds many initiatives in support of our vision for a Culture of Health. Specific activities we do not fund include:

  • Basic biomedical research
  • Research on drug therapies or devices
  • Lobbying of any kind

On a continual basis, we monitor trends in our fields of interest, and assess and adjust our grantmaking in ways we believe will help us achieve the greatest impact. Through this process, as we transition into new priority areas over time, we may cease funding in others. 

Often, our major shifts in funding priorities come following long-term investments that have helped to plant seeds of sustained progress. In all cases, we continue to draw on lessons from our past work to help guide our current and future grantmaking.


Contact our Office of Proposal Management at:

  • US Toll Free: (877) 843-7953
  • International: +1 (609) 627-6000

Hours: Mon.-Fri., 8:45 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Eastern time