Clinical Scholars

2020 Call for Applications

    Release Date: January 10, 2020 | Application Deadline: Fri, 13 Mar 2020

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The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is working alongside others to build a national Culture of Health that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. We are facing many obstacles that pose challenges to this audacious vision—inequities in life expectancy across communities; high-cost health care but poorer quality of care and health; and more.

That’s why RWJF supports a number of leadership programs that aim to develop a generation of leaders who see that we need new approaches to these pressing problems. These programs support and connect leaders who are caring, curious, collaborative, and committed to taking risks and moving boldly toward real pathways to change—and to achieving greater equity in communities across our country.


Clinical Scholars is a three-year, team-based program for a wide variety of health professionals in community, clinical, or academic settings. By the end of the program, fellows will have gained the skills they need to appraise, synthesize, use the best evidence to guide practice and inform policy in addressing complex health problems in their teams, organizations, and communities.

We are seeking up to 35 individuals (in teams of three to five) with the potential to become national change leaders in their focus areas and a demonstrated long-term commitment to fostering and achieving health equity.

Those selected for this program will engage in:

  • Personal, in-depth leadership training in health equity and community engagement
  • Collaborative work across disciplines and professions to tackle problems that emerge from complex systems in communities
  • Robust and customizable distance-based learning (8–10 hours/month)
  • Required in-person team meetings/activities three times per year
  • Planning and implementation of your team’s “Wicked Problem Impact Project”
  • Receipt of grant funds based on team size (from up to $315,000 for a three-person to $525,000 for a five-person team)
  • Mentoring and networking across all Clinical Scholars cohorts, other RWJF leadership programs, and with experts nationwide.

Do you share our vision for leadership—and do you want to take the next step in your leadership journey? We encourage you to explore the Clinical Scholars program.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Clinical Scholars is a team-based program for a wide variety of health professionals in community, clinical, or academic settings (e.g., audiologists, clinical counselors, dentists, dieticians, nurses, nurse practitioners, nutritionists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, physical therapists, physicians, physician assistants, psychologists, social workers, speech therapists, veterinarians). The team must be sponsored by an applicant organization that will manage the award. Complete eligibility requirements are included in the call for applications.

Key Dates

  • January 28, 2020 (4–5 p.m. ET)
    Optional webinar for potential applicants of Clinical Scholars; a recording is available here, using this password YwpfQ3dh.
  • March 11, 2020 (3 p.m. ET)
    Deadline for receipt of full applications, including video and references.
  • June 3–4, 2020 
    Web-based semifinalist interviews with the national advisory committee (attendance required); semi-finalists will be notified by May 8. 
  • July 9, 2020
    Deadline for receipt of finalist supplemental applications.
  • Mid-July 2020
    Notification of finalist teams. 
  • September 15, 2020
    Program begins. Grant funding initiated.
  • October 24–29, 2020
    Clinical Scholars Leadership Retreat (on-site attendance required), Durham, N.C.
  • 2020 or 2021 (date TBD by RWJF)
    RWJF Annual Leadership Institute, (on-site attendance required), date and location TBD.
  • April 10–15, 2021
    Clinical Scholars Leadership Retreat (attendance required), Durham, N.C. 

Total Awards

  • Number of fellows in the 2020 cohort: up to 35 (in teams of three to five)
  • Grant funds: Grant funding is awarded based on team size—ranging from up to $315,000 for a three-person team to a maximum of $525,000 for a five-person team—to support the ongoing participation of all team members for all three years, including salary support for leadership development and project time, project funding, and project travel. This “up to” amount does not include an optional administrative fee, which the applicant organization may include to support the administrative costs of managing the award. All travel expenses to participate in the program’s on-site trainings are provided to fellows at no cost. Please note: The size of the team may not increase during the grant term. 

Application is Now Closed

Application closed as of:
March 13, 2020, 3:00 p.m. ET

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