Apply your doctoral
research to build
healthier communities

“HPRS complements my doctoral program through the well-rounded support we get from leadership coaching to specialized training on policy making and research methods. Additionally, it provides us with access and resources to building relationships with change makers and experts in the health and policy fields.”

Cheryl Aguilar

PhD Student, Social Work
Smith College School for Social Work

Who is Health Policy Research Scholars for?

Doctoral students from a variety of disciplines—such as urban planning, political science, economics, anthropology, education, social work, geography, and sociology—who are committed to using policy change to advance population health and health equity.

Applicants must be:

  • Full-time doctoral students who are starting the second year of their programs in fall 2023 and do not expect to graduate before spring/summer 2026.
  • From historically marginalized backgrounds and/or populations underrepresented in specific doctoral disciplines.
  • Pursuing a research-focused discipline that can advance a Culture of Health.
  • Interested in health policy and interdisciplinary approaches.

What do scholars receive?

  • Annual award funding of up to $30,000 for up to four years or until they complete their doctoral program (whichever is sooner).
  • Mentoring and training in health policy and leadership.
  • Professional ties to public health and policy leaders and innovators from diverse fields.
  • Opportunity to compete for an additional dissertationgrant of up to $10,000.
  • Membership in a network of scholars and alumni for research and advocacy collaborations.

Applications For 2024 are now closed.

Health Policy Research Scholars is a national leadership program for doctoral students in any academic discipline who are starting their second year of study and want to apply their research to help build healthier and more equitable communities.

But don’t get hung up on our name, because we’re not just looking for students who do health policy research. We’re looking for doctoral students whose research has the potential to impact health and well-being: The economics student examining how the marketplace drives decisions that create barriers to good health. The engineering student studying systems that better support wellness. The agriculture student who pursues research while keeping an eye on how it impacts long-term health. The goal of the program is to train doctoral students to use their discipline-based research training to advance health equity to build a Culture of Health, one that enables everyone to live longer, healthier lives.

We need far greater diversity in future generations of researchers and policymakers. With more voices in the conversation, policies and solutions can be more inclusive and relevant to a broader range of communities.

That’s why we intentionally designed Health Policy Research Scholars for students from marginalized backgrounds who can describe how their background identity, or lived experiences have positioned them to contribute to the goals of the program, including bringing unique and diverse perspectives to their research.

HPRS scholars gain access to the tools, insights, and diversity of mentors needed to accelerate and distinguish their research. And because we know that pursuing a graduate degree is intense and time-consuming in and of itself, we provide annual award funding to give the scholar added research funds, or simply greater financial stability.

Alumni from this program carry the unique distinction of being a graduate of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation leadership program and become a part of a tightly knit network of visionary change agents across sectors and disciplines.

See the Health Policy Research Scholars in action

Health Policy Research Scholars

Meet our current scholars who are collaborating to advance a Culture of Health. These scholars are leading innovative, discipline-spanning work across the country and taking bold steps to change the status quo and achieve greater equity in their home communities.









Health Policy Research Scholars is a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, led by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Our partners include:

Leadership Programs at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Health Policy Research Scholars is just one of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s leadership programs offering high-level training and funding for people interested in applying their expertise—no matter what their discipline—to help make our country healthier and more equitable.
Collaborate. Innovate. Transform Communities.
Individuals working in every field and profession receive $20,000 per year to advance a Culture of Health—one that enables everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives.
Collaborating to Advance Community Change.
Teams of three—two researchers and one community partner—come together to use the power of applied research to strengthen communities, with annual support of $25,000 per person and a one-time research project grant of up to $125,000 for the team.

[contact-form-7 id=”1684″ title=”Share This Opportunity”]