Health Policy Research Scholars Program 2023 for Doctoral Students in America (Up to $30,000 per year)

Health Policy Research Scholars Program 2023 for Doctoral Students in America (Up to $30,000 per year)

Deadline: March 15, 2023

Applications are open for the Health Policy Research Scholars Program 2023. Health Policy Research Scholars (HPRS) is a four-year national leadership development program for full-time doctoral students from nonclinical, research-focused disciplines in which policy is a key lever for change (e.g., urban planning; political science; economics; anthropology; education; social work; sociology).

HPRS is designed for students who are committed to ensuring their research is aligned with the health needs of communities in America. The program is focused on doctoral students who want to improve health, well-being, and equity; challenge longstanding, entrenched systems; exhibit new ways of working; collaborate across disciplines and sectors; and bolster their leadership skills. 

Program Details

Over the course of the program, scholars will:

  • Participate in policy and leadership development trainings and coursework via online seminars and courses.
  • Receive an annual award of up to $30,000 for up to four years or until they complete their doctoral program (whichever is sooner).
  • Receive training in health equity, the policy process, leadership, communication, implementation, and dissemination.
  • Continue learning and working from their home institutions.
  • Establish and strengthen professional ties to public health and policy leaders.
  • Be eligible for a competitive dissertation grant of up to $10,000.

Upon completion, scholars should have the tools to:

  • Exercise individual and collective leadership.
  • Apply research and interdisciplinary collaboration skills to engage multiple sectors (e.g., policy, education, business, communities, institutions, and agencies) to effectively translate research findings that will inform and influence policy to advance a Culture of Health.
  • Use strategies to leverage diverse interdisciplinary networks of researchers.
  • Contribute to research and a national dialogue on the policy changes necessary for a Culture of Health.


  • Number of scholars in the 2023 cohort:  up to 40
  • Grant funds from RWJF will include: 
    • Award Funds: $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. 

*Refer to the full Call for Applications for additional details.


  • Applicants must be starting full-time, second-year doctoral studies in fall 2023 at a degree-granting institution based in the United States or its territories; 
  • Applicants must have at least three academic years remaining in their doctoral program and not expect to graduate before spring/summer 2026; 
  • Applicants must be from populations underrepresented in specific doctoral disciplines and/or historically marginalized backgrounds. Examples of marginalized backgrounds include, but are not limited to, first-generation college graduates; individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds; individuals from communities of color; and individuals with disabilities. If an applicant is applying because their background is underrepresented in a specific discipline, or from a marginalized background not listed above, the applicant must clearly describe how they meet the eligibility criteria in the application form; 
  • Applicants cannot be a recipient of a national fellowship program that prohibits participation in additional programs such as HPRS;   
  • Applicants must be at least 21 years old as of September 1, 2023; 
  • Federal, state, tribal, and local government employees are eligible to apply unless they are considered government officials under Section 4946 of the Internal Revenue Code; 
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, individuals granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Status or Temporary Protected Status (TPS) by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the time of application. As federal policy or laws change, we may need to consider adjustments in eligibility and grant terms; 
  • Applicants cannot be related by blood or marriage to any Officer, Manager, or Trustee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, or be a descendant of its founder, Robert Wood Johnson.


  • A curriculum vitae that is a maximum of four pages long.
  • To support you in the program, you'll need to identify a faculty mentor from your home institution granting your doctoral degree. You will need to submit a copy of this person's CV with your application.
  • Your home institution mentor must provide a reference. You can identify another person to provide the second reference.
  • All doctoral transcripts.

Click here to apply

For more information, visit MyRWJF.

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