Interdisciplinary Research Leaders

2019 Call for Applications

    Release Date: January 11, 2019 | Application Deadline: Wed, 13 Mar 2019


This call for applications (CFA) seeks teams of researchers and community members who are committed to working together to produce community-relevant, action-oriented research to improve health and well-being. The applicant organization (the one group that will accept and distribute RWJF funds) will be represented by the team members listed on its application.

The broad goal of the Interdisciplinary Research Leaders (IRL) program is to produce diverse interdisciplinary leaders who conduct and apply high-quality, community-engaged, action-oriented, equity-focused health research in order to drive improvements in the health of communities. Another central goal of the IRL program is to foster and support new interdisciplinary, action-oriented research collaborations that will help build the evidence base for effective community interventions to improve health for all.

Accordingly, the program will recruit and select applicants represented by teams of three people (“IRL team”): two mid-career researchers and one community member to become IRL program fellows. IRL teams will be the grantees in this program and join together as a diverse cohort of fellows that will participate in a three-year program. During this time, fellows will receive: leadership training; opportunities to learn and apply cutting-edge research methods; expert mentoring; networking opportunities; and, both fellowship and research funds.

With these resources, IRL fellows will be better equipped to effect change and become the next generation of leaders in population health and health equity research.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

The applicant organization must:

  •  Be an organization based in the United States or its territories.
  • Have the administrative and financial capacity and experience to accept the award and to be able to distribute funds consistent with the permitted use of funds described herein, and within the approved budget. This includes having proper governance; sufficient staffing; and strong policies, procedures, and internal controls.
  • Be able to sign a letter of agreement with RWJF and submit annual financial and narrative reports to the Foundation.

All team members must:

  • Be at least 21 years old as of September 1, 2019.
  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or individual granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the time of application. As federal policy or laws change, we may need to consider adjustments in eligibility and grant terms.

Complete eligibility requirements are included in the call for applications.

Key Dates

January 24, 2019 (3–4 p.m. ET)
Informational webinar for prospective Interdisciplinary Research Leaders applicants.

March 13, 2019 (3 p.m. ET)
Deadline for receipt of fellowship applications from applicant organizations.

April 26–May 24, 2019
Semifinalist interviews.

Mid-June 2019
Finalist teams notified of recommendation into fellowship program.

July 10, 2019
Deadline for receipt of finalist supplemental applications.

September 15, 2019
Fellowships begin. Grant funding initiated.

October 15–18, 2019
Interdisciplinary Research Leaders program meeting, Minneapolis, Minn. (attendance required).

January 3, 2020
Refined research proposals from invited teams are due. 

2020 (date TBD)
RWJF Annual Leadership Institute, date and location TBD (attendance required).

March 16, 2020
Research grant funding initiated for teams.

Total Awards

  • Up to $350,000 per applicant organization supporting a team of three fellows for the duration of the three-year program; budget to include:
    • up to $25,000 per year per fellow is to be allocated to support the fellow’s time in the program (approximately one day per week); this represents up to $225,000 of the total award.
    • a portion to be allocated to each team for research purposes; the total 24- to 30-month budget, including indirect costs/overhead for the project, will be up to $125,000 (range $25,000–$125,000). This portion of the grant will support research activities only (e.g., purchasing data or supplies, support staff, travel related to project execution). It is not intended to support intervention/program development or implementation.

Application is Now Closed

Application closed as of:
March 13, 2019, 3:00 p.m. ET