Policies for Action: Public Policy Research to Advance Racial Equity and Racial Justice

2020 Call for Proposals

    Release Date: September 30, 2020 | Application Deadline: Tue, 24 Nov 2020

For more than 45 years, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has worked with others to address the major health and health care issues of our time. A constant cycle of research, evaluation, and learning has always driven our work.

RWJF’s vision of a Culture of Health is rooted in our collective belief that everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to be healthier. RWJF recognizes the significant role that racism plays in the American landscape—undergirding entrenched policies and practices shaping virtually every aspect of life, opportunity, and well-being across the country.

The effects of racism in federal, state, and local policies on the lives of people of color are profound and enduring. Racism in policies can make it more difficult for people of color and immigrants to secure quality housing, health care, early care and education, and wealth and income.


Achieving racial equity and justice in the United States requires a sustained, multipronged intersectional policy approach that addresses both the immediate social conditions leading to poor health outcomes, but also the long-standing structures fostering such conditions. The goal of the Policies for Action call for proposals is to build the evidence base about how national, state, and local policies can improve racial equity in health and well-being in the United States.

RWJF’s commitment to advancing a bold research agenda helps bring evidence to bear on some of the most complex health and policy issues facing the United States today. Together, we can make progress toward a Culture of Health by transforming policies to expand access and opportunities.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

  • Preference will be given to applicants that are 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. The Foundation may require additional documentation.
  • Applicant organizations must be based in the United States or its territories.
  • Awards will be made to organizations, not to individuals.
  • We welcome applications from all investigators. The following are especially encouraged to apply:
    • interdisciplinary research teams;
    • community-partnered research teams;
    • investigators from diverse backgrounds or with diverse life experiences (e.g., race, gender, class origin/first generation college, LGBTQI, disability, ethnicity, national origin);
    • investigators from a wide range of disciplines;
    • first-time applicants for an RWJF grant.

Key Dates

  • October 21, 2020 (2:30 p.m. ET)
    Optional applicant webinar. A recording is available here.
  • November 24, 2020 (3 p.m. ET)*
    Deadline for receipt of letters of intent.
  • April 28, 2021 (3 p.m. ET)*
    Deadline for receipt of full proposals.

Total Awards

  • Approximately $2 million will be awarded through this CFP.
  • There is not an explicit range for allowable budget requests. You should request the amount of funding you will need to complete your proposed research project and to translate and disseminate the results. The size of the budget will be weighed in relation to the importance and likely contribution of the proposed research, with higher budgets subject to greater scrutiny. Typically, P4A grants are funded at $250,000 each.
  • The duration of awards will be up to 24 months.
  • The grant opportunity outlined in this call for proposals is contingent upon final funding confirmation from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for such grants.

Application is Now Closed

Application closed as of:
November 24, 2020, 3:00 p.m. ET

Key Contacts

Policies for Action National Coordinating Center
Urban Institute
Email: policies4action@urban.org
Website: www.policiesforaction.org

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