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Grants to USA and Puerto Rico Public Health Schools and Programs
for Studies Addressing Inequities in Health Research

Transforming Academia for Equity

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

12/06/21 3:00 PM ET


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Grants to USA and Puerto Rico public health schools and programs for studies addressing inequities in health research. Funding is intended to generate change in the cultures of educational institutions, provide opportunities for peer learning, identify previous equity, diversity, and inclusivity (EDI) efforts, and find opportunities for capacity building.

This initiative is designed to unpack, understand, and shape the contextual and intervening conditions necessary for underrepresented scholars to thrive professionally and personally—and in turn, be better able to contribute to and expand health equity-related research and evidence that can help build a Culture of Health.

Applicants will form interprofessional and diverse guiding teams (GTs) that are representative of the voices that influence and are impacted by the desired change. The teams will comprise institutional leaders, department leaders, new and experienced faculty, past and current researchers, students, community members, and other interested parties.

A Coordinating Center (from here on, the Center) led by Change Matrix, in partnership with other key stakeholders in the system (e.g., the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health [ASPPH]) will support these teams in an 18-month process where they will:

  • Identify the origins of their current system, traditions, and policies;
  • Understand the current impact of the origins and how they have evolved and impacted disparities in their college or program and identify strategies to dismantle barriers and burdens to historically excluded researchers in public health;
  • Address the many ways that rigor and the development of knowledge are considered and recognized by the institution and the field;
  • Develop and/or enhance a robust process for valuing and making visible the many innovative contributions faculty make and develop guidance on how they influence reappointment, promotion, and tenure.

Through this process, GTs will connect with their institution and work with the larger university community to generate ongoing engagement and support. They will also participate in a peer learning community with other grantees throughout the process. It is expected the funds for this project will be used to support dedicated personnel to engage all levels of the institution in transformative change. A structured process and adaptive change assistance will be offered throughout the process, and grantees will be expected to participate in an external evaluation of the initiative.

Support provided by the Center to the GTs includes but is not limited to:

  1. Formation of GTs to identify institutional EDI efforts (past and present) and capacity-building opportunities for EDI;
  2. Strategic planning guidance for institutional cultural change processes to advance innovative health equity research approaches; and
  3. Facilitate opportunities for peer learning (including one in-person event for 2–3 members of the GT), connection, and sharing of progress in advancing systems-level change.

For eligible use of funds, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 199410

Number of Grants:

There will be seven awards.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $300,000 per award over 18 months.

Term of Contract:

18 months

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

An RWJF Transforming Academia for Equity applicant must:
- Be a member in good standing of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health with accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health;
- Be a school of public health or public health program that has been established for a minimum of five years and is currently admitting students;
- Have a minimum of 25 public health degrees conferred per year; and
- Have a faculty-student ratio of 18 students per faculty member (or fewer) with a minimum of 20 percent of teaching faculty in tenure track positions.

Pre-proposal Conference:

November 8, 2021 (3:00 - 4:30 p.m. ET)
Optional applicant webinar to review the requirements, the process, and field questions.

Registration is required through this link:

Pre-Application Information:

Application Deadline: December 06, 2021, 3:00 p.m. ET

Key Dates:
- November 8, 2021 (3:00 - 4:30 p.m. ET): Optional applicant webinar to review the requirements, the process, and field questions.
- December 6, 2021: Full proposals due.
- Mid-December 2021: Review of proposals and interviews take place.
- January 12, 2022: Selection of grantees.
- March 15, 2022: Grants begin.


Applicant webinar recording:

Contact Information:

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


Key Contacts:
Sheldon Oliver Watts, MPH, PhD, program officer
Phone: (609) 627-5846

Direction and technical assistance for this program are provided by Change Matrix, which serves as the Coordinating Center, located at:
Transforming Academia for Equity Coordinating Center
Change Matrix
2251 N. Rampart Blvd., #365
Las Vegas, NV 89128

Responsible staff members at Coordinating Center are:
Elizabeth Waetzig, JD, co-director
Phone: (626) 390-5400

Rachele Espiritu, PhD, co-director
Phone: (720) 369-3671

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

USA Territories: Puerto Rico (USA)

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