Home » Career Development » 2023 Call for Proposals for Health Equity Scholars for Action (HES4A)

2023 Call for Proposals for Health Equity Scholars for Action (HES4A)


The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is accepting applications for the 2023 Health Equity Scholars for Action (HES4A) to support the career development and academic advancement of HURs conducting health equity research.

Donor Name:  Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

State: All States

County: All Counties

U.S. Territories: American Samoa, Guam, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands

Type of Grant: Grant

Deadline: 05/31/2023

Size of the Grant: Up to $260,000

Grant Duration: 24 months


RWJF supports research that identifies the systemic root causes of U.S. health inequities, which have strong links to structural racism and other forms of oppression. The goal of Health Equity Scholars for Action (HES4A) is to enhance the support, resources, and community necessary for participants with historically underrepresented backgrounds (HURs) to thrive professionally and personally. In turn, researchers will be better able to contribute to and expand health equity-related research and evidence that dismantle systemic and structural barriers to health and wellbeing.

Grants will be awarded to address the challenges that HURs typically experience and help them overcome obstacles to earning tenure. Studies funded through this 2023 call for proposals will need to be completed within a two-year time frame and those involving community centered/engaged approaches are welcome. Research may be conducted as standalone projects or as part of larger studies or trials already underway.

Grants will be awarded to address the challenges that HURs typically experience and help them overcome obstacles to earning tenure. Grants will support three aspects of career development:

  • Research,
  • Mentorship, and
  • Connection with a community of support.

Through its signature research programs, RWJF has supported research that helps identify the root causes of health disparities and potential solutions to improve health, equity, and wellbeing. RWJF prioritizes research on policies, systems, programs, or practices that focus on a wide variety of topics including housing; education; family and community wealth; criminal justice; food and nutrition; paid leave and labor policies; health services and payment models; and interventions. As part of the HES4A grant, scholars will dedicate a portion of their time to a research project that reflects the spirit of one or more of these signature programs:

  • Evidence for Action (E4A) advances health and racial equity by supporting innovative, rigorous research on how programs, policies, and practices impact health and wellbeing.
  • Policies for Action (P4A) funds research that identifies policies, laws, and other public- and private-sector levers that can support RWJF’s vision to build a Culture of Health and help achieve health and racial equity.
  • Systems for Action (S4A) funds research to rigorously test new ways of connecting the nation’s fragmented medical, social, and public health systems. Studies test mechanisms of aligning delivery and financing systems across sectors with a focus on health equity.

Funding Information

  • Amount of Award: Each award will be up to $260,000.
  • Award Duration: Awards will be for 24 months.

Use of Funds

Award funds can cover up to 70 percent of the scholar’s salary for two years (capped at $75,000 per year), with the remainder of the award to be used for research and other related expenses.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for HES4A, the individual applicant must:

  • Be from a systematically marginalized group that has historically been underrepresented in research disciplines. The term “systematically marginalized” refers to the challenges facing individuals because of their race, ethnicity, gender expression or sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or similar factors. Eligible individuals include, but are not limited to:
    • Individuals from ethnically and racially minoritized groups underrepresented in research disciplines;
    • First-generation college graduates;
    • People for whom English is not a native language;
    • People from low-income communities;
    • LGBTQIA+ individuals;
    • Individuals with disabilities.

These examples are intended to be illustrative, not exclusive. Applicants who do not fall within one of these categories, but who believe they meet this eligibility criteria, will have an opportunity to describe their individual circumstances as part of the online application process.

  • Have completed a terminal degree within the last five years. The degree can be in any field and is not limited to public health or health sciences.
  • Be a junior faculty member in an accredited school in the U.S. or its territories (“home institution”), with a full-time academic position that could lead to tenure, or a postdoctoral fellow poised to be in such a position by the start of the grant.
  • Have a home institution that agrees to administer and receive the grant. The home institution must be an accredited academic institution. Applicants from any universities classified among the R2-M3 by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Have never served as a project director or principal investigator on any grant since receiving their doctoral degree. Individuals who have been awarded grants to support predoctoral training or have received a predoctoral fellowship grant are eligible to apply.
  • Not have received support from other post-graduate research fellowships/traineeships (e.g., research career development award or equivalent). Investigators are not discouraged or prevented from applying to other fellowships/traineeships while participating in the program.
  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the time of application. As federal policy or laws change, they may need to consider adjustments in eligibility and grant terms.
  • Not be related by blood or marriage to any Officer or Trustee of RWJF, or be a descendant of its founder, Robert Wood Johnson.
  • 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.

For more information, visit HES4A.

Looking for Grants? Become a Member to search and filter grant information and receive latest grant alerts in your email inbox. Learn more.