September 2016: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has decided to realign its work and resources. As part of implementing its new vision, the Foundation has made the difficult decision to “sunset” ten of its Human Capital programs, including the RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research Program. You many click here to view FAQs about our program on the National Program Office website, though we are no longer accepting applications.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy Research Program was established in 1992 with the purpose of fostering a new generation of thought leaders and creative problem solvers in health policy research. Between 1993 and 2014, the Program recruited 236 top young scholars (within five years post-Ph.D.) from three core social science disciplines (economics, political science, and sociology) and provided them with two-year fellowships at one of three eminent universities.
The Scholars in Health Policy Research Program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation was the most sought-after interdisciplinary post-doctoral fellowship program in the social sciences, fulfilling its purpose to foster a generation of creative thinkers in health policy research. Scholars need not have any prior experience in this field and they came from the disciplines of economics, political science, and sociology. They normally returned to these disciplines after their fellowships completed.
Each year, the program enabled up to 12 highly qualified individuals up to five years post-Ph.D. to undertake two-year fellowships without any of the usual obligations of teaching and university administration.
Three or four of the 12 scholars were selected to spend their two fellowship years at Harvard University, totaling six to eight fellows in residence at any one time, with the full range of the University's resources at their disposal.
The primary units participating in this Program at Harvard were the Departments of Government, Economics, and Sociology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences; the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School; the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; and The Institute for Quantitative Social Science, where the program's administration and scholars' offices are housed.
The Program Director was Katherine Swartz, an economist on the faculty of the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. During the academic year, three Associate Directors, one from each of the three disciplines of economics, sociology, and political science, were involved in running the program. They and five other faculty comprised an executive committee. The executive committee along with members of the core faculty helped select Scholars, as well as provided mentoring to Scholars in the program. A wider group of faculty were connected to the program and they, too, were available to serve as mentors to program Scholars.