Dates of Program: 1993 to 2014
Description: RWJF became concerned that it was not discovering future leaders in health policy. Many in the field also considered health policy research too narrowly focused and data driven to inform the critical challenges facing the nation.
Its response: In 1991, RWJF began the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research, which relies on a competitive application process to support researchers in numerous fields who think creatively about the most important problems affecting American health and health care.
The program aims to build the foundations of future health policy. Grants range up to $335,000 over two to four years.
Key Results: As of September 2013:
The program has awarded more than $56 million to 224 investigators pursuing 175 projects. Through August 2013, Investigators have published 91 books, 173 book chapters, and 965 articles in more than 150 journals.
Investigators have shed light on longstanding health challenges, such as the social determinants of health, the impact of firearms on public health, the organization of physician practices on the quality of medical care, and hospital nurse staffing levels on patient outcomes.
Investigators have influenced health care reform. For example, in her dissenting opinion asserting that the Supreme Court should have upheld the Affordable Care Act in its entirety, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg cited the work of investigators Theda Skocpol, PhD; Mark Hall, JD; and Andrea Campbell, PhD.
Numerous investigators have received outside awards for work pursued under the program. For example, many have received Distinguished Investigator Awards from AcademyHealth, and more than 40 have been elected to the Institute of Medicine.