You can expect a timely and fair review of your application with clear communication throughout the process. Most importantly, we don’t want our process to be a barrier to hearing and considering fresh ideas with the potential to advance a Culture of Health. If you have suggestions for improvements, please email us.
Here’s an overview of how the submission and review process works—outlining the path from submitting a Pioneering Ideas Brief Proposal to potential funding and the steps along the way.
All grant proposals submitted to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—including Pioneering Ideas Brief Proposal—must be completed online.
Within eight weeks of receipt of your brief proposal we will do one of the following:
- Contact you to request additional information;
- Request that you submit a full proposal;
- Inform you via email that your project will not be supported at this time.
If this process is delayed for any reason, we will get in touch with a revised timeline.
We review your brief proposal in up to three stages.
First review: our Office of Proposal Management will review the proposal to ensure it falls within the guidelines of what the Foundation funds.
Second review: Eligible brief proposals will be read by no fewer than three RWJF staff who independently make recommendations for further discussion of the idea.
Third review: If your brief proposal moves past the second review, RWJF program staff reviewing Pioneering Ideas Brief Proposals will discuss your proposal. Outcomes from this stage of review are: 1) turndown; 2) request for more information; or 3) request for submission of a full proposal.
What happens next?
Turndown: Due to the volume of proposals we receive, many excellent projects that meet our criteria still do not receive funding. If we decline your proposal, it is not a reflection of our opinion of the merit of your idea, nor is it a rejection of you, the grant applicant. In fact, many current grantees have had earlier proposals turned down. We do not provide feedback on proposals.
Requests for more information: Following review by program staff at the third stage of review, a program officer may contact you to talk through your idea in more detail, share comments and questions from the review team and discuss next steps.
Invitation to submit a full proposal: If—based on the brief proposal review—RWJF believes your project is a strong candidate for funding and is interested in learning more, you will receive an email inviting you to submit a full proposal.
A full proposal asks you to provide more detailed information, including:
- a detailed proposal narrative
- budget and budget narrative
After you have submitted a full proposal, RWJF will:
- Assign the appropriate decision-making groups at RWJF to review it.
- When we feel we don’t have internal expertise to understand the feasibility or novelty of your work, we may send your proposal to an outside expert or experts for review.
Time frame: Within eight weeks from the time the Foundation receives your full proposal, you can expect to receive a response. If the response is that full proposal will be funded, the amount of time from receipt of the full proposal to award varies greatly depending on the complexity of the project, typically taking an average of three months from receipt of full proposal.
We hope this overview gives you a clear understanding of the process. Please read the rest of the FAQs on this page and the pages linked to at the top.