Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Grants for Higher Education

OVERVIEW:  The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is one of the largest in the country. Grants prioritize health care, with support for nursing programs, research studies, and fellowships.

IP TAKE: Research-backed higher education projects aligned with the foundation's goals are strong candidates for funding. Grantseekers should emphasize how their idea is innovative and has the potential to be "meaningful" and "transformative."  

PROFILE: Established in 1936 by Robert Wood Johnson, the name behind the Johnson & Johnson global provider of healthcare products, RWJF works to “improve health and health care in America, especially for those most in need” and build a “Culture of Health that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being.” This encompasses everything pediatric care to nursing and nutrition.Although RWJF’s grantmaking prioritizes health, it awards around $200 million in grants to higher education institutions and higher education projects related to health.

The foundation's higher education funding has emphasizes healthcare and supports quality nursing programs, research studies, fellowships, and increasing the level of degrees and training nurses have. RWJF also funds health-related data collection, policy analysis, evaluations, and health services research — all activities of interest to universities and scholars. It primarily conducts grantmaking benefitting higher education through its Health Leadership program, which “supports and connects change leaders nationwide who are working to build a Culture of Health.” Its programs also include Clinical Scholars, Culture of Health Leaders, Health Policy Research Scholars, and Interdisciplinary Research Leaders.

Grants typically range from $100,000 to $300,000, but are sometimes in the millions.

RWJF accepts applications to any of its Open Programs, each of which may have a unique deadline. It also accepts unsolicited proposals for Pioneering Ideas that may not fit into any of its program areas.

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