Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy Research

Dates of Program: 1991 through 2015

Field of Work: Attracting young economists, political scientists, and sociologists to the field of health policy.

Problem Synopsis: As the health sector has grown in size and complexity, so too has the need for health policy research that informs and advances policies to improve the health and health care of people. The field of health policy research is young, and knowledgeable observers generally agree that it suffers from a shortage of creative thinkers and policy analysts.

Synopsis of the Work: RWJF established the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy Research Program in 1991 to produce the next generation of creative thinkers and problem solvers in health policy. The program places talented recent graduates of doctoral programs in economics, political science, and sociology at one of three prestigious universities for two years. Scholars receive an annual $89,000 stipend (as of 2012) to support them in designing and executing health policy research projects.

Key Results

  • Some 200 Scholars had completed the program.

  • Some 163 (85%) of graduates hold academic appointments, including 33 full professors, 63 associate professors, and 67 assistant professors.

  • Scholars have published 39 books, 167 book chapters, and 915 peer-reviewed journal articles about health policy or health.

  • Scholars have served on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and in senior positions at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

  • Scholars held 149 editorial affiliations with 101 different journals.