Evidence for Action (E4A), a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, funds research that expands the evidence needed to build a Culture of Health, with an explicit emphasis on advancing racial equity. We recognize that achieving racial equity is not possible without a focus on the foundational and structural drivers of health, often referred to as the social determinants of health (e.g., housing, education, built environment, economic opportunity, law enforcement, and others). Therefore, we partner with researchers, practitioners, community leaders, advocates, and policymakers to develop evidence about what works to dismantle or remedy unjust systems and practices and produce more equitable outcomes for people and communities of color.
Evidence for Action prioritizes research to evaluate specific interventions (e.g., policies, programs, practices) that have the potential to counteract the harms of structural and systemic racism and improve health, well-being, and equity outcomes. We are concerned both with the direct impacts of structural racism on the health and well-being of people and communities of color (e.g., Black, Latina/o/x, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander people, and other races and ethnicities)—as well as the ways in which racism intersects with other forms of marginalization, such as having low income, being an immigrant, having a disability, or identifying as LGBTQ+ or a gender minority.
This funding is focused on studies about upstream causes of health inequities, such as the systems, structures, laws, policies, norms, and practices that determine the distribution of resources and opportunities, which in turn influence individuals’ options and behaviors. Research should center on the needs and experiences of communities exhibiting the greatest health burdens and be motivated by real-world priorities. It should be able to inform a specific course of action and/or establish beneficial practices, not stop at characterizing or documenting the extent of a problem.
E4A seeks grantees who are deeply committed to conducting rigorous and equitable research and ensuring that their findings are actionable in the real world. In addition to research funding, RWJF also supports grantees with stakeholder engagement, dissemination of findings, and other activities that can enhance their projects’ potential to “move the needle” on health and racial equity. Only through intentional and collaborative efforts to disrupt racism and translate research to action can we hope to build a more just and equitable society and a Culture of Health.
Eligibility and Selection Criteria
- Applicant organizations must be based in the United States or its territories. Submissions from teams that include both U.S. and international members are eligible, but the lead applicant must be based in the United States.
- Preference will be given to applicant organizations that are either institutes of higher education, public entities, or nonprofits that are tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are not private foundations or Type III supporting organizations. Other types of nonprofit and for-profit organizations are also eligible to apply. RWJF may require additional documentation.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Applicants will generally receive notice within six to nine weeks of applying as to whether they are invited to submit a full proposal. Full proposals will be due two months from the date of notification. Funding recommendations will generally be made within eight weeks of receipt of the full proposal. In circumstances when a research opportunity is time sensitive, reviews may be expedited. An explanation of the time-sensitive nature of the research should be included in the LOI application.
There is not an explicit range for allowable budget requests. You should request the amount of funding you will need to complete and disseminate findings from your proposed research project—including direct and indirect costs for the entire duration of your grant. The size of the budget will be weighed in relation to the importance and likely contribution of the proposed work. Pilot studies and formative stage research are expected to correspond with lower budgets. As a research funding program, E4A does not fund the costs of program implementation or operations. Visit the Funded Projects section of our website for a sense of the budget range of grants funded by E4A.
Grant periods are flexible up to 36 months; rare exceptions may be made for projects needing up to 48 months if sufficient justification is provided. Our preference is for projects that produce findings in the near term.
To provide color and context for RWJF’s call for racial equity research, physician and epidemiologist Sandro Galea shares personal and professional insights on why we must turn to compassion and evidence-based action to heal the nation.Read the blog post