Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Physician Faculty Scholars Program

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Physician Faculty Scholars, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) Human Capital Portfolio, was designed to strengthen the leadership and academic productivity of junior medical school faculty dedicated to improving health and health care.

During the six-year, $21 million program, some 60 scholars from a broad range of disciplines received three-year awards supported by either RWJF or the Veterans Affairs Career Development award program.

Under the program, scholars received funds to support a research project; 50 percent protected time for three years to conduct research; active mentorship by nationally recognized leaders; and opportunities to work with other talented scholars.

This report details the program’s specific strengths and challenges, provides information on the program’s evolution, and assesses important findings for the field.

The RWJF Physician Faculty Scholars program:

  • Establishes pipeline programs for young, underrepresented minorities who are interested in careers in health services research and related fields.
  • Puts in place systems to help encourage underrepresented minority candidates and medical schools without a strong research base to participate in career development programs such as the Physician Faculty Scholars Program.
  • Develops clear expectations and directions about mentoring from the start.
  • Provides opportunities for junior faculty to interact and learn from one another throughout the year through cohort calls, webinars and newsletters.
  • Provides opportunities for health care leaders to interact and learn from their peers in other disciplines as a way to encourage collaboration and broader perspectives.