Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows -- Call for Applications

Funding Agency:
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is committed to improving health and health equity in the United States. In partnership with others, RWJF is working to develop a Culture of Health rooted in equity that provides every individual with a fair and just opportunity to thrive, no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they have. RWJF focuses on identifying and addressing barriers to health, including all forms of discrimination, such as structural racism, sexism, ableism, and prejudice based on sexual orientation.

The RWJF Health Policy Fellows program supports RWJF’s vision for building a Culture of Health by creating a strong and diverse leadership in health policy committed to advancing health and health equity. Initiated in 1973, this is a nonpartisan fellowship program located in Washington, D.C., for midcareer professionals interested in increasing their expertise in health policy.

The program is seeking outstanding midcareer health professionals, behavioral and social scientists, and others with an interest in health and the drivers of health who are skilled and committed; with expertise in health and health equity; and can offer an informed perspective on important and complex challenges facing policymakers. Fellows actively participate in the policy process in congressional or executive branch offices of their choosing and leverage this leadership experience to promote policies, practices, and systems changes that advance health and health equity. The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) conducts and administers the fellowship, with funding support from RWJF.

The fellowship requires a full-time commitment starting in September with a minimum 12-month residence in Washington, D.C., which prepares individuals to influence the future of health in the nation. Fellows will meet with national leaders well-versed in health, healthcare policy, health equity, social determinants of health, and structural racism; think tanks and interest groups; key executive branch officials; and members of Congress and their staffs. A concentrated orientation is designed to prepare the fellows for immediate success in federal legislative and executive branch positions.

Deadline for Preliminary Applications: Nov. 1, 2023

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Exceptional midcareer professionals from academic institutions, not-for-profit organizations, or government (including military; U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs; U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps; and state offices who are not considered government officials under Section 4946 of the Internal Revenue Code).

• Applicants must have earned an advanced degree (masters or doctoral degree)

• In addition, applicants must have deep experience and subject matter expertise in a health-related discipline. Examples include but are not limited to medicine; nursing; public health; law, dentistry; economics and other social sciences (especially disciplines related to factors that influence population health, such as housing, transportation, nutrition, wealth, employment, education, and environmental and community conditions); health services and social work/behavioral health; and other health professions.

• Applicants whose official job description or responsibilities are primarily government relations or advocacy are not eligible.

• Individual candidates for receipt of award funds must be U.S. citizens, or permanent residents at the time of application. Because the RWJF Health Policy Fellows are placed in assignments in the federal government, changes in federal policy or law may necessitate that RWJF consider adjustments in eligibility and grant terms, as well as placements in the program.

• Additionally, individual candidates for receipt of award funds cannot be related by blood or marriage to any Officer or Trustee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, or be a descendant of its founder, Robert Wood Johnson.



Amount Description

• Up to eight awards of up to $175,000 each will be made for fellowships that begin in 2024. For Track 1 fellows, an amount to cover fringe benefits at the sponsoring institution.

• Track 2 fellows may use the award to continue health coverage through COBRA or cover the sponsor portion of a health insurance plan provided to fellows by the NPO.

Funding Type



Women and minorities encouraged


Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational
Social Sciences

External Deadline

November 1, 2023