Health Policy Research Scholars is a leadership opportunity for second-year full-time doctoral students from historically underrepresented populations and/or disadvantaged backgrounds—students whose race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, ability, or other factors allow them to bring unique and diverse perspectives to their research. They want to apply their research to advance health and equity, and their innovation helps build a Culture of Health, one that enables everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives.

The Health Policy Research Scholars program includes scholars from disciplines as diverse as economics, political science, psychology, architecture, transportation, sociology, social welfare, and environmental health. We’re always looking for students from any research-focused discipline that can advance a Culture of Health.

“The Culture of Health reminds me of an olelo no`eau, ‘ua ola loko i ke aloha’ (love gives life within). HPRS promotes the health of Native Hawaiians by making health a shared value. The health of our people, land, and resources must be supported by everyone through policies and programs that are made with Native Hawaiians in mind and with a seat at the table.”

Samantha R. H. Scott, DrPH Student, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa


Upon completion, scholars will have the tools to:

  • Lead and collaborate across sectors, professions, and disciplines.
  • Apply and translate research to shape and advocate for systemic change.
  • Frame issues and build policy solutions.
  • Integrate equity and related concepts into their research.


Over the course of the program, scholars will:

  • Participate in policy and leadership development trainings and coursework via webinars and other virtual learning technology.
  • Receive an annual stipend of up to $30,000 for up to four years.
  • Receive training in health policy translation, dissemination, communication, health equity, and population health.
  • 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.

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

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

These programs continue the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s legacy of supporting the development and diversity of leaders. Initially focused on health and health care, the programs have been expanded, because we know that building a Culture of Health requires all of us in every sector, profession, and discipline working together.

For more than 40 years, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. It is working with others to build a national Culture of Health, enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives.


Keshia M. Pollack Porter, PhD, MPH
Keshia M. Pollack Porter, PhD, MPH Director, HPRS
Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Keshia M. Pollack Porter, PhD, MPH is, in addition to directing the Health Policy Research Scholars program, is a Professor of Health Policy and Management and Associate Dean for Faculty at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Pollack Porter’s research advances policies that create safe and healthy environments where people live, work, play, and travel. She is an injury epidemiologist and policy researcher studying active play, sports injury prevention, active transportation, and the nexus of transportation and health. She is also an expert in advancing health equity and policy change using tools such as health impact assessment and strategies that promote health in all policies.

Shannon Frattaroli
Shannon Frattaroli Associate Director, HPRS
Associate Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management
The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Shannon Frattaroli is a core faculty member of the Center for Injury Research and Policy, the Center for Gun Policy and Research, and the Center for Qualitative Studies in Health and Medicine at the School. Her work involves bringing evidence to policy formulation and implementation processes in order to maximize the potential for public health benefits from policy interventions. Dr. Frattaroli’s current research portfolio includes projects examining Extreme Risk Protection Order laws, home fire sprinkler policies, strategies to prevent opioid overdose, and safe systems for road safety. She teaches courses in Policy Formulation, Qualitative Methods, and Implementation Research and Practice.

Laurie Unruh, MSc
Laurie Unruh, MSc Deputy Director, HPRS
Department of Health Policy and Management
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Laurie G Unruh is the Deputy Director of Health Policy Research Scholars at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her work involves managing multiple program aspects, including operations, logistics, finances, recruitment, and scholar support. Ms. Unruh was a Program Manager at the previous National Program Center of Health Policy Research Scholars at George Washington University. Prior to her time at HPRS, she worked in online higher education management, student services, and recruitment.

Attia Goheer, PhD, MHS
Attia Goheer, PhD, MHS Director of Evaluation, HPRS
Assistant Scientist, Department of Health Policy and Management
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Attia Goheer is the director of evaluation for HPRS and co-instructor of the course for 4th year scholars. Her past work focused on developing, implementing, and evaluating obesity interventions in diverse settings, including schools, corner stores, churches, fire stations, and recreation centers. She received both her masters and her doctorate in Human Nutrition from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and completed her post-doctoral training at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine as a fellow with the American Heart Association’s Strategically-Focused Obesity Research Network (SFORN).

Caitlin Hoffman, MPH
Caitlin Hoffman, MPH Director of Communications, HPRS
Communications Associate, Department of Health Policy and Management
Bloomberg School of Public Health

Caitlin Hoffman is a public health communications professional with over a decade of experience in program development, evaluation and communicating public health information to government officials, community stakeholders, healthcare professionals and the public. She leads the strategic communication program for the Department of Health Policy and Management. She has conducted original research on health communication strategies and presented work at national conferences including the National Conference on Health Communication. Caitlin is passionate about translating evidence-based research into practice, using data to drive policy change, and emphasizing the importance of effective communication strategies. Caitlin earned her BA from the Pennsylvania State University and an MPH from Emory University.

Jessica Harrington
Jessica Harrington Director of Leadership and Scholar Coaching, HPRS
Office of Student Affairs
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

In addition to working with HPRS, Jessica Harrington is Director of Student Life and a Certified Executive & Leadership Development Coach. She is passionate about providing the necessary tools to facilitate the growth and development of college student populations including those of underrepresented backgrounds. Ms. Harrington is responsible for developing graduate student wellbeing events and workshops and conducting individual coaching sessions. In addition, Ms. Harrington runs a 10-week summer public health internship program for undergraduate historically underrepresented minority students. She is dedicated to the personal and academic progress of each student whom she encounters.

Nicole Moseley, MS
Nicole Moseley, MS Administrative Lead, HPRS
Sr. Administrative Assistant
Department of Health Policy and Management
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Nicole S. Moseley began her college career at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, PA and later transferred to Morgan State University (MSU), obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2014 and her Master of Science in Project Management in 2018.

Nicole has over 12 years of experience working in the Administrative field, starting with The State of Maryland in the Business and Economic Department as a Project Coordinator.  There, she was responsible for managing the project workflow, in addition to customer and vendor relationships for the Graphic Art Team. She was a major contributor to the project processes the Graphic Art Team implemented and are currently using today. Nicole is currently working at Johns Hopkins University as a Senior Administrative Coordinator with the Institute in Health and Social Policy, School of Public Health and has recently taken on the role of Administrative Lead for the Health Research Scholars Program.  

Our partners are instrumental in developing and delivering curriculum, providing mentorship and coaching, and extending the network of scholars.


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