• What does it mean for research to be centered on achieving racial equity?

    We recognize that health equity cannot be achieved without first addressing the underlying causes of health disparities - namely, the manifestation of structural racism in policies, programs, and practices that allow racial inequities to persist. E4A has reaffirmed our commitment to health and racial equity research by requiring that all applicants clearly state the ways in which their research advances racial equity. This means applicants should be explicit about how the research topic itself and the ways in which the research will be designed, conducted, and disseminated will contribute to dismantling racism and advancing racial equity.

  • What types of research designs are a good fit for E4A?

    A variety of research designs that attempt to assess causal relationships between interventions and health outcomes can help improve the evidence base to advance health and racial equity. Researchers might focus on: independent evaluations of program or policy implementation, randomized trials, quasi- or natural experiments, secondary analyses of existing data, qualitative or mixed methods, network or systems analyses, or other study designs and methods. In most cases an appropriate comparison group should be included in the study design. While randomization may be ideal, we recognize that randomized controlled trials are not always feasible. Other methods of comparison such as a wait list control or various matching techniques may also be acceptable. 

    Regardless of the specific design, RWJF views evaluation as a tool to advance racial equity by applying principles of the Equitable Evaluation Framework, which stresses the importance of attention to historical and structural contexts; differential effects on subgroups; and effects on the underlying drivers of inequity. Moreover, evaluative work should be designed and implemented to reflect multi-cultural validity and participant ownership. Research that is a good fit for E4A will integrate these principles into the research approach and activities.

  • What types of projects are NOT a good fit for E4A?

    As a research funding program, E4A does not fund activities associated with implementing or carrying out interventions or general organizational operations. We have also identified some examples of research that are not a good fit with the program objectives: descriptive or exploratory science (i.e., research into an issue that has not yet been extensively studied with the intention of identifying priorities, developing operational definitions, and improving future research around the issue); literature reviews; needs assessments; development and validation of screening tools; basic biomedical inquiry; drug therapy or device research; animal or plant science. Finally, research that does not acknowledge or address underlying causes of health and racial inequities in society, such as structural racism or other forms of discrimination, is not a good fit.

  • What selection criteria will be used to evaluate proposals?
    • Rigor – presence of a clear, data-driven research question; designed in such a manner that either positive or null findings will provide useful information; inclusion of an appropriate comparison group;
    • Actionability – findings can be translated to practice through programs, initiatives, or policies that influence individual or institutional decision-making and behavior;
    • Relevance – clarity and importance of the research aims, hypothesis, and study population to the Culture of Health framework and goals; 
    • Contribution to the evidence base - potential to address key knowledge gaps and contribute to scientific advancement;
    • Inclusion of health outcome measure(s) – studies must include measures of health outcomes, which may represent diverse dimensions of physical and mental health, or behaviors known to influence health; “health care access” alone is not considered a sufficient health outcome measure. For projects focused on Making Health a Shared Value (Action Area 1 of the Culture of Health Action Framework) consideration will be given to projects that measure changes in the “drivers” of shared values as primary outcomes with health measures as secondary outcomes;
    • Feasibility – access to study populations or needed data, qualifications of the team to carry out the proposed research, and appropriateness of budget and project timeline.
  • Who may serve as a Principal Investigator?

    Anyone may be designated as the Principal Investigator (PI). The PI does not need to hold an advanced degree nor need to be one of the researchers for the project, provided the research team as a whole has the capacity to complete the proposed research. Two PIs may be listed in the application, but the team is not limited to these two individuals. For ease of administration, it is preferable, but not required, for the PI to be based at the lead organization.

  • What types of organizations are eligible to apply for funding?

    Preference will be given to applicant organizations that are either institutes of higher education, public entities, or nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, but other types of nonprofit and for-profit organizations are eligible to apply. Applicant organizations must be based in the United States or its territories; submissions from teams that include both U.S. and international members are eligible, but the lead applicant must be based in the United States.

  • What types of projects are eligible for funding under the Call for Proposals?

    Evidence for Action funding is dedicated for research projects evaluating the health outcomes of interventions. Specifically, we fund rigorous research designed to assess the causal impact(s) of programs, policies, or practices on health outcomes or of behaviors or other factors that are well-established determinants of health. When evaluating programs, comparative effectiveness trials should be considered when possible. Findings from the evaluation of individual programs should be scalable or generalizable to similar initiatives. 

    Data, evidence, or metrics developed should be action-oriented and scalable or broadly applicable to improving population health, well-being, or health equity.

  • May I receive more than one grant from E4A?

    There are no rigid restrictions against multiple awards to the same researcher or applicant organization. However, RWJF values supporting a diverse grantee pool with a wide range of innovative ideas. E4A will prioritize new research over subsequent funding to extend a study after an initial award has ended. In some cases, a compelling rationale might be made for the importance of additional information that could be gained by extending research on a previously funded project, which could warrant successive funding. 

  • May I apply for this funding opportunity even if I am already funded by RWJF?

    Yes, applicants who have other active RWJF grants may apply. 

  • If I am not chosen for this funding opportunity, will I still be eligible for other RWJF grant opportunities?

    Yes, interested applicants may apply to E4A again or to other RWJF solicitations.

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