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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Health Policy Fellows

Fellowships to USA Mid-Career Professionals
to Improve Health Care and Health Care Policy

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

02/06/19 3:00 PM ET Receipt


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Fellowships to USA mid-career professionals working at nonprofits, government agencies, and academic institutions to engage with the federal health policy process in Washington, DC. The fellowship provides exemplary health professionals and social and behavioral scientists the opportunity to learn more about health and health care policy. Fellows participate in the policy process at the federal level and use that leadership experience to improve health, health care, and health policy.

The fellowship requires, at a minimum, a 12-month residential experience in Washington, D.C., with additional support for health policy leadership development activities.

The Washington experience prepares individuals to influence the future of public health and health care and accelerate their own career development. Beginning in September with an intensive three-and-a-half- month orientation arranged by the NAM, fellows meet with leaders of health and health care policy think tanks and interest groups, key executive branch officials responsible for health policy and programs, and members of Congress and their staffs. Fellows also participate in seminars on health economics, major federal health and health research programs, the congressional budget process, current priority issues in federal health policy, and the process of federal decision-making. The concentrated orientation is designed to prepare fellows for immediate success in federal legislative and administrative positions.

In November, fellows join the American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship Program to expand their knowledge and awareness about Congress and the political process. Fellowship placements begin in January. During these assignments, fellows are full-time, contributing participants in the policy process with members of Congress or in the executive branch. Solely under the supervision of the office in which they are placed, fellows typically will:

-Help develop legislative or regulatory proposals;
-Organize hearings, briefings, and stakeholder meetings;
-Meet with constituents;
-Brief legislators or senior administration officials on a range of health issues; and
-Staff House-Senate conferences.

Fellowship assignments are supplemented throughout the year by seminars and group discussions on contemporary federal policy topics, as well as media training, and leadership development. Fellows are asked to prepare a formal presentation on a health policy issue with which they have been engaged. Fellows also take part in meetings of the NAM and other health policy organizations, as well as cultural and social functions.

Fellows may request approval from the national program office (NPO) to extend the Washington stay past the 12-month fellowship period of September to August through the legislative session, or until December 31, 2019. A fellow may carry out additional activities with the support of any remaining funds until August 31, 2020, subject to review and approval of those activities by the NPO and RWJF.

After the Washington fellowship assignment, fellows return to their respective institutions or take another position in which they further develop their health policy leadership skills. Fellows also become part of a nationwide alumni network and typically return to Washington each year to attend the program’s annual meeting, and be briefed on issues and trends in health and health care policy.

Diversity Statement:
Consistent with RWJF values, this program embraces diversity and inclusion across multiple dimensions, such as race, ethnicity, gender, disability, age and socioeconomic status. The Foundation strongly encourages applications in support of individual candidates who will help expand the perspectives and experiences brought to the field.

The Ideal Candidate:
While the program highly values diversity in many areas, including professional, geographic, racial and ethnic, gender and political views, there are certain characteristics that tend to be associated with a more successful fellowship experience. Because of the unique nature of working on Capitol Hill or in the executive branch and the uncertainty that often accompanies the legislative process, individuals who are flexible, team players, quick studies, with raw processing power as well as a sense of humor tend to be more easily assimilated into the process. Also highly regarded are a positive attitude, confidence, humility, listening skills, discretion and patience. Those who are adept at networking, including the use of social media, will be able to maximize the value of this experience in their subsequent roles as leaders in promoting the health of the nation.

Members of the RWJF Health Policy Fellows advisory board will assess each applicant, based on the following criteria:
-Professional achievements
-Potential for leadership in health policy
-Potential for future growth and career advancement
-Potential for significant contributions to building a Culture of Health
-Interpersonal and communications skills
-Individual plans for incorporating the fellowship experience into specific career goals

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 162334

Number of Grants:

Up to six awards will be made.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Fellowships will provide up to $165,000 each.

Fellowship funds of up to $104,000 may be used for the residential stay (not to exceed the fellow’s salary prior to entering the program). The continuation of fringe benefits at levels corresponding to the level of stipend support being requested may be covered with the award, and sponsoring institutions may supplement fellowship funds.

Term of Contract:

Fellowship funds may be used for the residential stay from September 1, 2019, through August 31, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligibility and Selection Criteria:

-Exceptional midcareer professionals from academic faculties, government (including military, U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and state offices who are not considered government officials under Section 4946 of the Internal Revenue Code)* and nonprofit health care organizations who are interested in experiencing the health policy process at the federal level are encouraged to apply.

-Applicants must have earned an advanced degree in one of the following disciplines: allied health professions; biomedical sciences; dentistry; economics or other social sciences; health services organization and administration; medicine; nursing; public health; social and behavioral health; or health law.

-Applicants whose official job description or responsibilities are primarily government relations or advocacy are not eligible to apply.

-Applicants must be U.S. Citizens, permanent residents at the time of application, or individuals who have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Because Health Policy Fellows are placed in assignments in the federal government, changes in federal policy or law may necessitate that we consider adjustments in eligibility and grant terms, as well as placements in the program.

-Individual candidates for receipt of award funds cannot be related by blood or marriage to any Officer** or Trustee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, or be a descendant of its founder, Robert Wood Johnson.

* For these purposes, government officials are defined as any person who holds one of the following:

1. An elective public office in the executive or legislative branch of the Government of the United States;

2. An office in the executive or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, appointment to which was made by the President;

3. A position in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States— (A) which is listed in schedule C of rule VI of the Civil Service Rules, or (B) the compensation for which is equal to or greater than the lowest rate of basic pay for the Senior Executive Service under section 5382 of title 5, United States Code;

4. A position under the House of Representatives or the Senate of the United States held by an individual receiving gross compensation at an annual rate of $15,000 or more;

5. An elective or appointive public office in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the government of a State, possession of the United States, or political subdivision or other area of any of the foregoing, or of the District of Columbia, held by an individual receiving gross compensation at an annual rate of $20,000 or more, and a significant part of whose activities include "the independent performance of policymaking functions.”

6. A position as personal or executive assistant or secretary to any of the foregoing; or

7. A member of the Internal Revenue Service Oversight Board.

Prior to selection, any finalist who is a government employee will be required to furnish a letter from the applicant’s supervisor confirming that the applicant is not a government official under this definition.

**The Officers are the Chairman of the Board of Trustees; President and CEO; Chief of Staff; Executive Vice President; General Counsel; Secretary; Assistant Secretary; Treasurer; and Assistant Treasurer of the Foundation.

Pre-proposal Conference:

September 25, 2018 (11 a.m. ET) and October 25, 2018 (2 p.m. ET): Optional applicant Web conference calls. Registration is required.

Please visit the program’s website for complete details and to register.

Pre-Application Information:

The advisory board will select finalists from the applicants and interview them in Washington, D.C. By mid-January 2019, the advisory board will invite a subset of applicants for in-person interviews. Interviews for the select group will take place in Washington, D.C., on February 26, 2019. Applicants who are selected for interviews will receive details about the remainder of the process upon invitation.

Key Dates:

November 7, 2018 (3 p.m. ET): Deadline for receipt of applications
January 15, 2019: Selection of finalists
February 6, 2019 (3 p.m. ET): Deadline for receipt of full applications
February 26, 2019: Board interviews of finalists
February 27, 2019: Selection and notification
September 1, 2019: Start of grants


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

RWJF Health Policy Fellows
National Academy of Medicine
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001

(202) 334-1506

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming