Health Policy Research Scholars

Funding Agency:
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Health Policy Research Scholars is a national leadership program for second-year doctoral students in any academic discipline who want to apply their research to help build healthier and more equitable communities.

But don’t get hung up on our name, because we’re not just looking for students who do health policy research. We’re looking for any student whose research has the potential to impact health and well-being—the economics PhD student examining how the marketplace drives decisions that create barriers to good health. The engineering PhD student studying systems that better support wellness. The agriculture PhD student who pursues research while keeping an eye on how it impacts long-term health. The goal of the program is to train doctoral students to use their discipline-based research training to advance health equity to build a Culture of Health, one that enables everyone to live longer, healthier lives.

We need far greater diversity in future generations of researchers and policymakers. With more voices in the conversation, policies and solutions can be more inclusive and relevant to a broader range of communities. That’s why we intentionally designed Health Policy Research Scholars for students from underrepresented populations and/or disadvantaged backgrounds—students whose ethnicity, socioeconomic status, ability and other factors allow them to bring unique and diverse perspectives to their research.

Our scholars gain access to the tools, insights and diversity of mentors needed to accelerate and distinguish their research. And because we know that pursuing a graduate degree is intense and time-consuming in and of itself, we provide an annual stipend to give our scholars added research funds, or simply greater financial stability.

Alumni from this program carry the unique distinction of being a graduate of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation leadership program and become a part of tightly knit network of visionary change agents across sectors and disciplines.

Deadline: Mar. 17, 2021

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

  • Full-time doctoral students, entering their second year of studies in fall 2021, who will have at least three years of doctoral study remaining as of September 2021.
  • From historically marginalized backgrounds and/or populations underrepresented in specific doctoral disciplines. Examples of eligible individuals include, but are not limited to: first-generation college graduates; individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds; individuals from communities of color; and individuals with disabilities.
  • Pursuing a research-focused discipline that can advance a Culture of Health.
  • Interested in health policy and interdisciplinary approaches.



Amount Description

Grant funds from RWJF will include:

  • Stipend: $30,000, per year for up to four years or until you complete your doctoral program (whichever is sooner).
  • Administrative fee: Home Institutions may include an administrative fee of $1,000 per year, $4,000 in total to the grant amount to cover the administrative costs of managing the award. 

Funding Type



Grad/Prof Students
Minorities encouraged
Women and minorities encouraged


Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Social Sciences

External Deadline

March 17, 2021