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Pioneering Ideas Brief Proposal

Grants to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, and IHEs for
Innovative Approaches to Promoting Healthy Lifestyles

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)

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Grants to USA nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and universities for unconventional and innovative strategies to promote a culture of health. The Foundation invites proposals for creative and pioneering strategies that promote its mission to foster a culture of health in the nation.

The Foundation awards most grants through Calls for Proposals (CFPs) connected with its areas of focus. Throughout the year, the Foundation also welcome “unsolicited” Pioneering Ideas Brief Proposals for ideas that can help anticipate the future and ensure that new and unconventional perspectives and approaches to improve health and healthcare are considered.

Pioneering Ideas and a Culture of Health

The goal of the Pioneering Ideas Brief Proposal funding opportunity is to explore; to look into the future and put health first in designing for changes in how we live, learn, work and play; to wade into uncharted territory in order to better understand what new trends, opportunities and breakthrough ideas can enable everyone in America to live the healthiest life possible.

While improving the status quo is vital to the health and well-being of millions of Americans now, the Pioneering Ideas Brief Proposal opportunity reaches beyond incremental changes to explore the ideas and trends that will influence the trajectory and future of health. Ultimately, the RWJF support work that will help the Foundation learn what a Culture of Health can look like and how that may be achieved.

Themes and characteristics of previous Pioneering Ideas proposals:
-Challenge assumptions or long-held cultural practices.
-Take an existing idea and give it a new spin—or a novel application.
-Offer a new take or perspective on a long-running, perplexing problem.
-Apply cutting-edge ideas from other fields to health.
-Explore the potential for emerging trends to impact the Foundation’s ability to build a Culture of Health.

The Foundation supports program and policy initiatives in four areas which are each critical to health equity—enabling everyone in the nation to live a healthier life:

-Health Systems: Catalyzing fundamental changes in health and health care systems to achieve measurably better outcomes for all.

-Healthy Children, Healthy Weight: Enabling all children to attain their optimal physical, social and emotional well-being, including growing up at a healthy weight.

-Healthy Communities: Creating the conditions that allow communities and their residents to reach their greatest health potential.

-Health Leadership: Engaging a diverse array of leaders in all sectors with the vision, experience, and drive to help build a Culture of Health.

In relation to the focus areas, RWJF grants and grant programs generally have three major aims:

-Discover and Explore: Seeking creative solutions through targeted solicitations and an ongoing request for bold ideas with transformative potential.

-Spread Model Interventions: Identifying and expanding public policies, community-based programs, system changes and other interventions that are having a meaningful impact on health.

-Conduct Research and Evaluation: Expanding the evidence around key health issues, and evaluating, learning from, and sharing key lessons both from the Foundation’s own grantmaking and from other health-improvement initiatives tied to the areas of interest.

Connected with these objectives, the Foundation supports a wide range of activities, including but not limited to:

-Planning and demonstration projects
-Research and evaluations
-Policy and statistical analysis
-Learning networks and communities
-Public education and strategic communications
-Community engagement and coalition-building
-Training and fellowship programs
-Technical assistance

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 167051

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

In general, the activities the Foundation supports are carried out by public agencies, universities, and public charities that are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

While the main focus is a healthier U.S., the Foundation also funds grants that help it learn from, and adapt to, global innovations.

RWJF does not make grants to individuals and very infrequently support foreign organizations or organizations that are not tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

There are any number of reasons why RWJF may decide not to fund a specific brief proposal; however, some of the most commonly declined proposals are those that:

-Fall outside of the Foundation’s general grantmaking guidelines
-Are similar to projects the Foundation is already funding
-Are not a new idea
-Are more appropriate for consideration through our Calls for Proposals process
-Are focused on incremental change

Specific activities not funded include:

-Ongoing general operating expenses or existing deficits
-Endowment or capital costs
-Basic biomedical research
-Research on drug therapies or devices
-Lobbying of any kind

Pre-Application Information:

All grant proposals submitted to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation must be completed online.

Applications are accepted on any topic and submissions are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. Applications for 2018 are accepted until 10/15/2018.

Within six weeks of receipt of your brief proposal, the Foundation will do one of the following:

-Contact you to request additional information;
-Request that you submit a full proposal;
-Inform you via email that your project will not be supported at this time.

Requests must fall within the guidelines of what the Foundation funds:

More information about the Foundation's strategy to build a Culture of Health may be found here:

General FAQs:

Pioneering Ideas Brief Proposal FAQs:

Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

Office of Proposal Management:
(877) 843-RWJF (7953)

If you have a general question about submitting a Pioneering Ideas Brief Proposal not answered in the FAQs, email:

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
50 College Road East
Princeton, NJ 08540-6614

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