Global Ideas for U.S. Solutions: Cities Taking Action to Address Health, Equity, and Climate Change

2020 Call for Proposals

    Release Date: March 23, 2020 | Application Deadline: Thu, 28 May 2020


Cities around the world are taking meaningful action to advance health equity by designing solutions that benefit the health of people and our planet.  

Through this $3 million funding opportunity, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation seeks to bring the most impactful ideas from across the globe to U.S. cities to address the intertwined issues of health, equity, and climate change. 

We’re seeking proposals that foster learning and stimulate action in U.S. cities around smart, effective approaches from abroad that mitigate the unequal health risks posed by climate change. Specifically, we’re seeking proposals that explore changes in city planning, policies, and programs that address: buildings and energy; land use and urban planning; transportation; waste; food systems and food security; and air quality.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

We are seeking applicants who represent organizations from a wide range of fields and disciplines—both within and outside the health/public health sector. We encourage proposals from both U.S.-based applicants to adopt or adapt a successful approach from outside the United States, and from non-U.S.-based applicants with a successful approach that could work in the United States. We encourage submissions from teams that include both U.S.-based and non-U.S.-based members. We seek to attract diversity of thought, professional background, race, ethnicity, life experience, and cultural perspective in our applicant pool. Building a Culture of Health means integrating health into all aspects of society, so we encourage multisector partnerships and collaboration.

Please note:

  • Applicants may be based almost anywhere in the world;* however, we will only fund proposals that demonstrate clear applicability to the United States and propose work in a U.S. city(ies).
  • Awards will be made to organizations, not individuals. Preference will be given to applicants that are either public entities (e.g., city department of health, city planning department), public charities, or nongovernmental organizations. Applicants not representing city government will be required to submit a letter of support from the head of the U.S. city department with whom the applicant will most closely work.
  • Proposals must be based on a successful approach from a non-U.S. city(ies), region, or global city network. See examples here.
  • Applicants need not have an existing relationship with the non-U.S. city(ies), region, or network in which the approach has been implemented. However, applicants must have an established relationship with the U.S. city(ies) in which the proposed project will take place.
  • The organization implementing the successful approach to address health, equity, and climate change in a U.S. city(ies) must serve as the primary applicant, and will be the prime recipient of funds. The project director should be affiliated with the applicant organization. An individual from a collaborating organization (e.g., community organization, research partner) may serve as the co-project director.

Key Dates

  • April 9, 2020 (11 a.m.–12 p.m. ET)
    Optional applicant webinar. Slides are available here. A recording is available here.
  • May 28, 2020 (3 p.m. ET)
    Deadline for receipt of proposals.
  • Late July 2020
    Semifinalists notified and asked to address questions in scheduled telephone call with RWJF staff.
  • August 3 to August 7, 2020
    Telephone calls with semifinalists. Please hold these dates on your calendars.
  • September 2020
    Finalists notified.
  • November 2020
    Grants begin.

Please note: If needed, we will make adjustment to the timeline due to evolving circumstances with COVID-19.

Total Awards

Up to $3 million will be available for this funding opportunity. The funding period will be 30 months in duration (2.5 years), and will include a brief planning period, implementation, and dissemination/communication activities, as well as active participation in a learning network. The proposed budget should be appropriate to the scope of work, but no more than $600,000 for the project period. RWJF is interested in supporting a portfolio of projects which, together, represent an array of action areas and a range of budgets that are commensurate with grantees’ expected activities.

Application is Now Closed

Application closed as of:
May 28, 2020, 3:00 p.m. ET

from the blog

Global Approaches to Curb the Health Impact of Climate Change

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Global Ideas for U.S. Solutions

RWJF is learning from abroad to improve health and well-being in the United States.

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