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 entering the second year of their programs in fall 2022 and do not expect to graduate before spring/summer 2025.
  • 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.

“Building a Culture of Health means that health needs to be valued at a cultural level and understanding that everyone deserves access to a healthy life. As a Health Policy Research Scholar, I am paving the way for future generations of leaders.”

Mario Alberto Viveros Espinoza-Kulick

PhD, Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara

Applicant Requirements

Applicants must be:
  • Full-time doctoral students, starting their second year of studies in fall 2024, who will have at least three years of doctoral study remaining as of September 2024.
  • From historically marginalized backgrounds and be able to describe how their background, identity, or lived experiences have positioned them to contribute to the goals of the program.
    • 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 they have a marginalized background not listed above, the applicant must clearly describe how they meet the eligibility criteria in the application form.
  • Pursuing a research-focused discipline that can advance a Culture of Health.
  • Interested in health policy and interdisciplinary approaches.
The best way to see who this program is for is to meet the current scholars. But keep in mind that this is just the start – the experience will only grow stronger as new scholars from many other backgrounds, disciplines, and perspectives round out this growing community. Imagine yourself as part of the community!

2024 APPLICATION timeline

Call for applications
jan 4
Applicant webinar
jan 25
Application deadline
march 7
Applications reviewed
Applicant interviews
Finalists notified
Finalist paperwork due
july 10
Award notifications sent
Program begins
Sept 1

*Timeline subject to change. Check back for updates. 

Application Process Overview

Here is a quick guide to help you prepare a successful application
  • Visit the About the Program page to learn more about the Health Policy Research Scholars experience.
  • Review Applicant Requirements above.
  • Before you begin your application, you can preview a blank application to understand the kind of information and level of detail required.
  • View current Health Policy Research Scholars profiles.
  • Watch last year’s 2023 Applicant Webinar for information and tips.
  • Register for MyRWJF by going to Use your email address to set up a free, password-protected account.
  • Visit and sign up to be notified when this and other funding opportunities are available.
  • 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.
  • Have questions? Visit our FAQ page.
  • Sign up for HPRS news and updates to receive useful application information and other news about the HPRS program.
See the Health Policy Research Scholars in action

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