Research in Transforming Health and Health Care Systems

Funding Agency:
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Medicaid program is facing tremendous opportunities and challenges at a time when its role is so vital. States and the federal government have implemented numerous temporary changes to Medicaid in response to the pandemic—such as making it easier to access, qualify and enroll in state coverage and affordable health care services.

With states having the option to make some policies permanent once federal declarations end—it is essential to understand how Medicaid policies being implemented or considered in response to the pandemic may advance racial equity—or, alternatively, reinforce or exacerbate structural racism. Evidence on these issues is needed to inform Medicaid policy in the months and years after the pandemic ends, and to help state and federal Medicaid policymakers identify and eliminate policies that contribute to racial inequities in access, care, and outcomes.

The purpose of this 2021 RTHS call for proposals is to fund research studies that evaluate or predict how enrollees are effected by Medicaid policy changes enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on communities of color, we are requesting studies that examine the impact of Medicaid policies on communities of color and/or explore how current or proposed policies may alleviate or exacerbate racial inequity and structural racism in the context of Medicaid. The goal of this funding opportunity is to generate rigorous evidence on the effects of recent Medicaid policy changes on enrollees, states, and others, and to inform and advance equitable policies and racial equity in Medicaid.

Deadline for receipt of brief proposals: June 28, 2021

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicant organizations must be based in the United States or its territories.
  • Preference will be given to applicants that are either public entities or nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are not private foundations or Type III supporting organizations. The Foundation may require additional documentation.
  • Projects may be generated from disciplines including health services research; economics; sociology; program evaluation; political science; public policy; public health; public administration; law; business administration; or other related fields.
  • Consistent with our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Commitment, we particularly encourage applicants with project directors or team members from backgrounds historically underrepresented in research disciplines as a result of their race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability, or other factors.

Amount Description

  • Up to $1.75 million will be available under this CFP.
  • Funding will range from $150,000 to $350,000 per project to accommodate studies of 12 to 36 months. Applicants should request the amount of funding they will need to complete the proposed research and to translate and disseminate the results. Applicants should propose a grant period that supports the timely dissemination of findings to inform policy.
  • We expect to fund a diverse range of studies with varying budgets and time lines.

Funding Type





Social Sciences

External Deadline

June 28, 2021