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Equity-Focused Policy Research: Building Cross-Cutting Evidence on Supports for Families with Young Children

Grants to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, IHEs, and For-Profits for Research
Addressing Health Inequity During and Following the COVID-19 Crisis

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

05/11/21 3:00 PM ET


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Grants to USA and territories nonprofit organizations, government agencies, IHEs, and for-profits for research addressing sustainable health equity policies during and following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Applicants are required to submit a preliminary proposal prior to a full grant application. Priority will be given to studies that address the root causes of health inequity.

The purpose of this funding opportunity is to support action-oriented research that advances health equity, builds the knowledge base, and informs policymaking. Evidence generated through funded projects should inform practice and policy, and guide practitioners and policymakers (federal, state, and local) in setting priorities and allocating resources. Through this call for proposals, RWJF intends to support research that advances policy and programmatic solutions to help families gain equitable access to needed supports during and after the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and ensure that a Culture of Health with health equity for all families remains front and center in the national dialogue.  

Research funded under this opportunity might:

  • Clarify the drivers of inequitable access to supports;
  • Evaluate innovations that have the potential to improve access to supports and reduce disparities through policy change or implementation;
  • Assess or review strategies for scaling up effective policies and innovations; or
  • Explore new measures to monitor progress toward achieving equity in access to key supports. 

Although RWJF recognizes the importance of identifying the magnitude of gaps in access to supports and disparate outcomes for families, for this call for proposals, the Foundation is prioritizing research that illuminates the structural reasons for or drivers of disparities and that has direct implications for policy or programmatic changes that will promote equity.

In the context of the pandemic, RWJF is taking steps to focus attention on and provide resources to families and communities facing the greatest strain. For this call for proposals, RWJF is particularly interested in research exploring issues that cut across policy domains. RWJF seeks to support studies that reveal the ways that ECE access, income supports, and nutrition supports interact and potentially reinforce one another to promote families’ well-being.

In addition, RWJF intends to fund studies that highlight cross-cutting policy and programmatic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic that have the potential to uphold or increase families’ equitable access to ECE, income supports, and nutrition supports. The Foundation is primarily interested in policy responses that may persist beyond the immediate crisis. RWJF hopes this research will draw attention to the ways that innovations at the federal, state, and local levels can sustain or expand families’ access to supports, promote the healthy development of young children, and prevent deepening of inequities, especially in the context of a public health and economic crisis and in its aftermath. 

For a examples of research questions that address the RWJF's special interests, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 185828

Number of Grants:

RWJF expects to make up to 20 awards through this funding opportunity.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Awards will range from $50,000 to $200,000 each.

Term of Contract:

For projects that involve primary data collection through surveys, interviews, focus groups, observations, and other methods (or a combination of methods), applicants may request funding for a project duration of up to 24 months.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- Eligible applicant organizations include academic institutions, public entities and private nonprofit organizations, state and local government agencies, and for-profit organizations.
- All organizations must be based in the United States or its territories.
- Applicants also may represent partnerships between service providers or practitioners and researchers.

Pre-Application Information:

February 23, 2021 (3 p.m. ET) - Deadline for receipt of brief proposals.
May 11, 2021 (3 p.m. ET) - Deadline for receipt of full proposals. RWJF will accept only those proposals that are completed/submitted at the time of the deadline.

If an applicant experiences a problem with the online application system that may prevent them from submitting on time, please notify the program administrator immediately. RWJF encourages you to submit your proposal in advance of the deadline so that any unforeseen difficulties, e.g., technical problems, may be addressed well before the deadline.

The review and approval time is between four and seven months.

All proposals for this solicitation must be submitted via the RWJF online system. If you have not already done so, you will be required to register before you begin the proposal process.

Webinar Recording from January 12, 2021:


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.


Gina Hijjawi, PhD, senior program officer
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Phone: (609) 627-5782

Equity-Focused Policy Research project team
Mathematica Policy Research

50 College Road East
Princeton, NJ 08540-6614
US Toll Free: (877) 843-7953
International: +1 (609) 627-6000

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

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