Grant Eligibility FAQs

These questions address issues of eligibility for a Public Health Law Research grant.

Who is eligible to receive a grant under this program?

PHLR seeks proposals that are collaborative and relevant to the intersection of legal analysis and public health research. Preference will be given to applicants that are either public entities or nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Applicants' organizations must be based in the United States or its territories at the time of the application.

Can we submit an application if we have submitted unsuccessfully in the past?

Yes, PHLR encourages resubmissions when the investigators have spent time improving the application.

Can one institution submit multiple applications?

Yes, but it is not likely that two applications from the same institution would be funded.

Is my idea considered public health law research?

In general, if your proposal examines  the effect of the law or legal practices on population health outcomes the project would be eligible. The range of public health topic areas is kept quite broad to encourage creativity and innovation. Please be clear on the parts of the law you will examine in terms of outcomes or mechanisms and the methods you will use. The study must examine a law or legal intervention that is in place/has passed. Projects that seek to influence the passage of a specific public health law are not eligble.

Please note: Studies that focus primarily on the health care system, health care delivery, or preventing childhood obesity will not be candidates for funding under this round.

Please review the language and examples in the CFP for more details.

Can a researcher be involved in the development of more than one proposal?

Each proposal is weighed on its own merits, based on the selection criteria outlined in the call for proposals. PHLR allows researchers to be involved in more than one proposal, but it may be difficult to put forth their best effort on multiple projects. As noted above, it is unlikely that multiple proposals from one institution would be funded.

If we have one existing RWJF grant, can we apply for a different RWJF grant?

Yes, you may apply for a grant under the Public Health Law Research program if you and/or your organization has other funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Applicants are expected to make a strong case that they have the time and support to accomplish the goals of both projects.

May we submit a proposal that is also being considered for funding by other organizations (government funding agency, foundation, other)?

Yes, you may submit a proposal that is under consideration for funding from another source. If awarded funding, you must disclose all funding sources to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. You may receive funding from multiple sources for a single project. However, you may not use an RWJF award to fund costs covered by another funding source. You may also submit a proposal to do additional data collection or analysis to address an important health law issue as a "supplement" to a non-health-law study currently funded by another agency.

What kind of credentials are successful applicants expected to have? Do researchers need to be affiliated with an academic institution?

No, that's not in our criteria and indeed, one of our goals is to encourage research proposals from public health agencies and other non-traditional research oriented entities. Successful applicants should be able to apply appropriate research methodologies and legal analysis.

Will these projects require having both a lawyer and public health person on each team?

There is no required makeup of a research team. However, our selection criteria will favor studies that are made up of interdisciplinary teams, focus on public health practice, that address the needs of practitioners, that inform future policy decisions and that will be salient to practitioners and policy-makers in terms of statutes, regulations, court decisions and other legal mechanisms. Proposals should demonstrate these qualities.

Are workplace or school health policies eligible for funding?

Yes, if they add to our understanding of public health law.

Is the Foundation interested in funding health disparities studies?

Yes, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has a general interest in health disparities. Therefore, PHLR accepts proposals that investigate legal interventions that reduce or intend to reduce public health disparities.

Do you fund research involving international comparisons? For example, comparing US and European countries where laws impacting a particular health outcome may vary.

Yes, provided that the applicant can demonstrate that the results will be of high interest and utility in the United States.