Interdisciplinary Research Leaders

Funding Agency:
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Interdisciplinary Research Leaders is a leadership development opportunity for teams of researchers and community partners, including community organizers and advocates. These teams use the power of applied research—informing and supporting critical work being done in communities—to accelerate that work and advance health and equity. Their innovation helps build a Culture of Health, one that enables everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives.

Over the course of the three-year program, fellows will:

  • Receive $25,000 per year for each team member ($75,000 over three years) to support time in the program (approximately one day per week).
  • Receive up to $125,000 in funding to support a team research project.
  • Develop high-level leadership skills through professional coaching, networking, and an advanced leadership curriculum, including at least one in-person gatherings (travel funded by the program), as well as virtual leadership development trainings and coursework.
  • Work on their project with their team and national program advisers.
  • Continue working in their home communities and applying new learnings in real time.
  • Receive mentoring from national experts in research, community action, health equity, public policy, and advocacy.
  • Explore one of two annual themes. The 2018 themes are “solutions for better health care delivery in rural America” and “addressing the social and economic determinants to prevent chronic conditions and to promote health, wellbeing, and equity in rural America.”

Deadline: Mar. 13, 2019

Agency Website

Areas of Interest


“Community development and health”

“Clinical practice, social services, and health”

Eligibility Requirements

For teams of three—two researchers and one community partner—interested in applied research to build a Culture of Health. Teams represent both health and non-health fields, and are cross-disciplinary when possible. Each team addresses one of our annual themes. Teams should incorporate multiple disciplines, including public policy, design, health, transportation, social work, education, urban planning, and many others. Team researchers must each have a terminal degree (PhD, MD, DrPH) or a master’s degree with evidence of extensive professional experience, including significant research and publications. Community partners must have community-oriented knowledge and relationships, and be interested in gaining research capacity to advance their work.

Funding Type





Community Outreach and Engagement
Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Social Sciences

External Deadline

March 13, 2019