Advancing Systemic Changes to Promote Healthy School Environments

    Release Date: October 14, 2016 | Application Deadline: Multiple


RWJF seeks to advance systemic changes that embed health in school environments. To help advance these systemic changes, the Foundation will support a collaborative, multipronged strategy with three complementary areas of work related to Research, Policy, and Strategic Action. This Call for Qualifications (CFQ) represents Phase I of a two-phase selection process designed to identify eligible organizations to lead each area of work, which include:

  1. Applied Research and Translation (one to two grants awarded) to use research to facilitate the implementation of practices and policies that generate healthy, safe, and nurturing school climates that help to reduce health disparities.
  2. Policy Analysis and Development (one to two grants awarded) to identify and elevate effective and equitable policies that generate healthy, safe, and nurturing school climates that help to reduce health disparities. 
  3. Strategic Action and Alignment (one lead grantee with core partners) to expand support from decision-makers, practitioners, and other key stakeholders who will ultimately be responsible for establishing and supporting policy, implementing best practices, and embracing school-change efforts that address the real conditions that support or impede children’s health and learning.

NOTE: An organization may submit qualifications for one or more areas of work. However, each submission must be separate (applications for each body of work will be reviewed separately). To apply for an area of work, click on the appropriate link in one of the blue boxes to the right.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Applicant organizations must be either public entities or nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are not private foundations or Type III supporting organizations.

Applicant organizations must be based in the United States or its territories.

Further details on the additional Eligibility and Selection Criteria listed below are provided within the Call for Qualifications. 

All applicants should possess:

  • Proven track record.
  • Strong credibility and reputation.
  • Commitment to addressing health equity in education.  
  • Strategic direction.
  • Emphasis on partnership and bridge-building.
  • Institutional infrastructure, including administrative capacities.
  • Nonpartisan reputation.
  • Conflicts of interest disclosure.
  • Areas of growth disclosure.

Applicants in each of the three work areas should possess:

Applied Research and Translation

  • Deep expertise in core priority areas. 
  • Strong grounding in school health research data and methodology.
  • Standing among other research entities.   

Policy Analysis and Development

  • Knowledge of general policy processes and core content expertise.
  • Demonstrated expertise in policy analysis and development.
  • Advocacy/lobbying capacity.

Strategic Action and Alignment

  • Knowledge of social change approaches and core content expertise.
  • Network and partnership capacity.  
  • Engagement of core collaborators.
  • Process of continuous input and feedback from direct stakeholders.
  • Ability to identify leverage points for action and broaden stakeholder base.  
  • Ability to regrant.
  • Advocacy/lobbying capacity.

Key Dates

Phase I: Call for Qualifications

October 28, 2016 (3:00 p.m. ET)
Applicant webinar. Click here to access the audio recording, and you can view the slides here.

November 30, 2016 (3:00 p.m. ET)
Deadline for receipt of Phase I proposals.

Week of January 9, 2017
Applicants notified of Phase I decisions. Top-rated applicants invited to participate in Phase II Request for Proposal process.

Phase II: Request for Proposal

February 16, 2017 (3:00 p.m. ET)
Deadline for receipt of Phase II proposals (from invited organizations).

Invitations extended to finalist organizations to participate in the Site Visit Phase.

Late March – Mid April 14, 2017
Site visits with finalist organizations.

Late April
Applicants notified of Phase II decisions.

July 15, 2017
Grants start date.

Total Awards

The process for selecting grantees to lead each body of work for this new effort will be conducted in two separate phases over a 12-month period.

Phase I is a Call for Qualifications. Responses to the Call for Qualifications are due November 30, 2016, at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Phase II is a targeted Request for Proposals (RFP). RWJF expects to conduct the RFP process in early 2017. It will be by invitation only to top-rated applicants who successfully meet the eligibility and qualifications criteria outlined in Phase I. To be considered for Phase II, all applicants must be part of the Phase I Call for Qualifications.

RWJF expects to fund up to $9.5 million for this body of work as follows:

  • Applied Research and Translation: One to two awards of up to $1.5 million total in grant funding over a two-year period (July 2017–July 2019).
  • Policy Analysis and Development: One to two awards of up to $2 million total in grant funding over a two-year period (July 2017–July 2019).
  • Strategic Action and Alignment: One award of up to $6 million total to a lead organization with core partners.

Application is Now Closed

Applications closed as of:
December 07, 2016, 9:42 a.m. ET

Key Contacts

Please direct inquiries to:

Vanessa Farrell at