Public Health Law Research Program Funds Nine New Studies

    • November 20, 2014

Princeton, N.J.—The public health effects of laws on issues such as e-cigarettes, fracking, concussions in youth sports and school vaccination requirements will be investigated through nine new research projects funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) Public Health Law Research (PHLR) program.

The grants announced today total nearly $1.2 million and will support short-term and time-sensitive studies on specific laws or regulations and the development of legal datasets.

See the summaries for more details on the latest round of research projects funded by PHLR.

PHLR’s aim is to promote the effective use of law to improve public health. Established in 2009, the program has now funded more than 85 studies and several reviews of existing scientific evidence on major public health challenges.

Besides the traditional research projects funded in this round, PHLR is also funding two mapping studies, one on how states have chosen to address workplace wellness laws and a second one that tracks health issues in oil and gas development.

Research studies already funded by PHLR are aimed at answering important questions: Are anti-bullying laws reducing bullying in schools? Are prescription monitoring programs effectively curbing opioid abuse? Are immigration laws impacting access to care among vulnerable populations?

“With each new set of studies, PHLR and our grantees further expand the body of evidence that helps policymakers make informed decisions about laws and policies that foster communities where health is not only a possibility but a priority, and where individuals can enjoy happy and healthy lives,” said PHLR Director Scott Burris, JD.


About Public Health Law Research

Public Health Law Research (PHLR) is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, with direction and technical assistance by Temple University. The program is dedicated to building the evidence base for laws that improve public health. PHLR funds research, improves research methods, and makes evidence more accessible to policy-makers, the media, and the public. For more information about PHLR, visit

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are striving to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

Media Contacts

Melissa Blair

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (609) 627-5937