Funding Opportunities in Public Health Economics & Systems Research (Selected)


Systems for Action (S4A) is a signature research program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) that helps to build the evidence base for a Culture of Healthby rigorously testing new ways of connecting the nation’s fragmented medical, social, and public health systems. Studies conducted through the S4A program test innovative mechanisms for aligning delivery and financing systems for medical, social, and public health services, with a focus on the effects of these mechanisms on health and health equity. S4A uses a wide research lens that includes and extends beyond medical care and public health to incorporate social service systems—such as housing, transportation; education; employment; food and nutrition assistance; child and family support; criminal and juvenile justice; and economic and community development.  Released: August 15, 2019.  Closes: November 6, 2019.

Evidence for Action (E4A), a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), funds research that expands the evidence needed to build a Culture of Health. A Culture of Health is broadly defined as one in which good health and well-being flourish across geographic, demographic, and social sectors; public and private decision-making is guided by the goal of fostering equitable communities; and everyone has the opportunity to make choices that lead to healthy lifestyles. RWJF’s Culture of Health Action Framework, which was developed to catalyze a national movement toward improved health, well-being, and equity, guides E4A’s program strategy. Released: April 2, 2019.  Closes: Currently open.

Aligning Systems for Health.  The Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC) leads the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) national initiative, Aligning Systems for Health: Health Care + Public Health + Social Services. The initiative focuses on learning about effective ways to coordinate and align health care, public health, and social services, to better address people’s and communities’ goals and needs.  Released: September 15, 2019.  Closes:  Currently open.


Building a New Knowledge Base for Public Health Financing: With support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NACCHO offers a funding opportunity “for a consultant to assist in identifying local health departments’ unique role and value in a changing health care market place and identify strategic opportunities for financing public health. NACCHO will solicit proposals from health economists, actuaries, and other finance consultants to answer a series of research questions that will inform 1) local-level public health financing strategies and 2) the development of training materials for local health departments to actively engage in and contribute to the transformation and sustainability of new and emerging health systems. The contract period runs through June 26, 2015. Approximately $100,000 is available.” Released: December 19, 2014. Closes: Proposals must be submitted no later than Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 6:30 pm E.T | 3:30 pm P.T.

Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Pregnancy-related Care Research Network Program: HRSA announces a funding program that “will support a multi-site research network to conduct research on critical issues affecting pregnancy-related and maternal health across the lifespan, examine the practice patterns and educational needs of obstetricians and gynecologists nationwide to improve the quality of health care for mothers and children, and facilitate the translation of research to practice by leveraging the network infrastructure to educate providers and influence the standard of care.” Released: December 31, 2014. Closes: March 2, 2015.

Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Pediatric Research Network Program: HRSA announces a funding program that “will support a pediatric research network that aims to improve the health of children by conducting collaborative practice-based research to enhance primary care practice, developing evidence-based guidelines based on network research findings, and disseminating and accelerating the translation of research to practice.” Released: December 31, 2014. Closes: March 2, 2015.

The Role of Health Policy and Health Insurance in Improving Access to and Performance of Cancer Prevention, Early Detection, and Treatment Services: The American Cancer Society has announced the 2015 round of its “call for research that evaluates the impact of the many changes now occurring in the healthcare system with a particular focus on cancer prevention, control, and treatment. Efforts focusing on improving access to care may also impact inequities that contribute to health disparities. New health public policy initiatives such as the new federal and state marketplaces that have expanded insurance coverage, as well as Medicaid expansion in some states, create natural experiments ripe for evaluation. Research to be funded by this RFA should focus on the changes in national, state, and/or local policy and the response to these changes by healthcare systems, insurers, payers, communities, practices, and patients.” Funds are available for projects of up to 4 years in duration and up to $200,000 per year in direct costs. Released: December 18, 2014. Closes: Deadlines are April 1 and October 15 each year.

Demonstrating How Low-Cost Randomized Controlled Trials Can Drive Effective Social Spending: The Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy anounces the second round of funding through “a competition to select and fund low-cost randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that seek to build actionable evidence about “what works” in U.S. social spending. This is designed as a high-visibility, three-year initiative, whose purpose is to demonstrate the feasibility and value of low-cost RCTs to a wide policy and philanthropic audience. This initiative responds to the White House and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) call to action for evidence-based reforms across the federal government.” Funds are available for 3-4 low-cost RCTs of up to $100,000 each that meet the criteria for policy importance and other factors set out in the RFP. Released: December 18, 2014. Closes: Letters of inquiry are due by February 13, 2015.

Systems Science and Health in the Behavioral and Social Sciences (R01 and R21): NIH has re-released this funding opportunity “intended to increase the breadth and scope of topics that can be addressed with systems science methodologies. This FOA calls for research projects that are applied and/or basic in nature (including methodological and measurement development), have a human behavioral and/or social science focus, and employ methodologies suited to addressing the complexity inherent in behavioral and social phenomena, referred to as systems science methodologies. Additionally, this FOA seeks to promote interdisciplinary collaboration among health researchers and experts in computational approaches to further the development of modeling- and simulation-based systems science methodologies and their application to important public health challenges.” Released: November 21, 2014. Closes: Standard NIH deadlines, expires January 8, 2018.

System-Level Health Services and Policy Research on Health Disparities (R01) NIH has released this funding opportunity to “solicit innovative system-level health services and policy research that can directly and demonstrably contribute to the elimination of health disparities…Projects may include observational/descriptive, simulation, or interventional studies and may involve primary data collection and/or secondary analysis of existing datasets. Projects must include a focus on one or more health disparities populations, which include Blacks/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, and rural populations.” Released: October 8, 2014. Closes: Letter of intent due December 20, 2014. Applications due January 20, 2015.

Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (R01): NIH has re-released this funding opportunity to “encourage investigators to submit research grant applications that will identify, develop, evaluate and refine effective and efficient methods, systems, infrastructures, and strategies to disseminate and implement research-tested health behavior change interventions, evidence-based prevention, early detection, diagnostic, treatment and management, and quality of life improvement services, and data monitoring and surveillance reporting tools into public health and clinical practice settings that focus on patient outcomes.” Areas of high priority research include “attention to issues of resources expended, programs costs, cost-effectiveness or other economic outcomes.” Released: January 9, 2013. Closes: Standard NIH deadlines. Expires January 8, 2016.

Healthy Eating Research Special Solicitation on Healthy Food Retail and Early Child Education: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Healthy Eating Research program announces a funding opportunity for research studies of policy and environmental strategies to reduce childhood obesity through retail food channels or through child care and early childhood education arrangements. “Awards up to 12 months and up to $75,000 each will be funded through this special solicitation.” Released: December 3, 2014. Closes: Concept papers due January 7, 2015.

William T. Grant Foundation Research Grants on Inequality and Understanding the Use of Evidence: The William T. Grant Foundation is focused on youth ages 5 to 25 in the U.S., and funds “research that increases our understanding of: (1) programs, policies, and practices that reduce inequality in youth outcomes; and (2) the use of research evidence in policy and practice. We seek research that builds stronger theory and empirical evidence in these two areas. Research grants typically range from $100,000 to $600,000 and cover 2-3 years of support.” Released: June 9, 2014. Closes: Letters of inquiry are due August 5, 2014. Deadlines for 2015 letters of intent are January 6, 2015; May 5, 2015; and August 4, 2015.

Systems-Science Focused Childhood Obesity Pilot Studies: “The NIH-funded Johns Hopkins Global Obesity Prevention Center (JHGOPC) is seeking applications for research that focuses on time-sensitive changes in environments or policies that may reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity. Projects should take a systems perspective and have the potential to inform the development or confirmation of community- or population-based interventions. We invite applications from investigators at all career levels in the United States and globally.This solicitation is for research that requires short-cycle funding decisions (‘rapid response’ studies). Eligible studies must be associated with actual policies or processes that are pending in real world settings (e.g., natural experiments), requiring “time-sensitive” data collection that would not be possible if the funding decision were made on a regular 9-month NIH review cycle. The JHGOPC RFAs are re-issued every six months, in January and July. In Round 6, we will be able to fund one or two projects for a maximum of $30,000 total costs. A 1 page concept summary of the proposed research is due on August 4, 2014. After review of the research concepts, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal (5 page limit). For those applicants, full proposals will be due on September 12, 2014. The final awardee(s) will be notified by October 17, 2014.” Released: July 10, 2014. Closes: August 4, 2014.

NIMHD Social, Behavioral, Health Services, and Policy Research on Minority Health and Health Disparities (R01): This program solicits “innovative social, behavioral, health services, and policy research that can directly and demonstrably contribute to the elimination of health disparities. Projects may involve primary data collection or secondary analysis of existing datasets. Projects that examine understudied health conditions; examine the effectiveness of interventions, services, or policies for multiple health disparity populations; and/or directly measure the impact of project activities on levels of health disparities are particularly encouraged.” Released: May 8, 2014. Closes: Letter of intent due July 28, 2014. Application due August 28, 2014.

Sloan Foundation Research Fellowships: “The Sloan Research Fellowships were established in 1955 to provide support and recognition to scientists, often in their first appointments to university faculties, who are endeavoring to set up independent research projects with little or no outside support…Selection procedures for the Sloan Research Fellowships are designed to identify those who show the most outstanding promise of making fundamental contributions to new knowledge. Sloan Research Fellows, once chosen, are free to pursue whatever lines of inquiry are of the most compelling interest to them…The Foundation currently awards 126 Sloan Research Fellowships each year, bringing total grants in the program to $5.9 million annually…Under present operating procedures the total number of Fellowships is allocated as follows: 23 for physics, 23 for chemistry, 20 for mathematics, 16 for neuroscience, 16 for computer science, 8 for economics, and 12 for computational and evolutionary molecular biology and 8 for ocean sciences.” Released: July 15, 2014. Closes: September 15, 2014.

Public Health Services & Systems Research 2014 Solicitation from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Studies funded through the 2014 PHSSR solicitation will focus on multidisciplinary research that examines the organization, financing, delivery and quality of public health services and the subsequent impact on population health outcomes. Projects may seek to: 1) elucidate the health and economic value of public health activities; 2) understand how elements of the public health system influence the effective implementation of evidence-based public health strategies and/or strategies for collaboration between the public health and clinical health care delivery systems; and/or 3) test the impact of alternative strategies for delivering evidence-based public health services and/or collaborative approaches aimed at community health improvement between the public health and clinical health care delivery systems. Public health strategies include programs, policies, laws, services and administrative practices that are implemented by a variety of contributors within public health delivery systems for the primary purpose of promoting health and/or preventing disease and injury on a population-wide basis. Applicant webinar will be held on May 28 at noon EDT. Released: May 7, 2014 Closes: July 23, 2014.

USDA Center for Behavioral Economics and Healthy Food Choice: USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) and Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announce a competitive award to establish the USDA Center for Behavioral Economics and Healthy Food Choice Research. The center “will be expected to (1) establish an innovative research program on behavioral economics and healthy food choice that addresses questions of public policy interest and importance; (2) broaden the network of social scientists who participate in research that applies principles and theories of behavioral economics to the study of healthy food choice behaviors that will lead to improvement of nutrition, food security, and health outcomes; and (3) disseminate information obtained via its research program to a diverse stakeholder audience, including other researchers, policy and program officials, and the general public.” USDA anticipates up to $1.9 million will be available in fiscal year 2014 to support this activity over the next 3 years. Released: May 4, 2014. Closes: June 30, 2014.

The Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Scholars in Public Health Delivery (PPS-PHD) are funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support innovative dissertation research projects and postdoctoral research studies conducted by promising investigators who are completing research training programs. The National Coordinating Center for Public Health Services and Systems Research at the University of Kentucky is soliciting applications for a new round of PPRA scholars for 2014. Individual awards of up to $25,000 in total funding will be available to support research projects of up to 12 months in duration. Letters of interest should be submitted to by May 28, 2014. By June 4, the Coordinating Center will review letters of interest and invite selected applicants to submit full proposals. Full proposals will be submitted electronically to by July 15, 2014 and the start date for the 12-month awards is anticipated by mid-September. Information on past scholars is here. Released: May 1, 2014. Closes: Letter of interest due May 28, 2014. Full proposal due July 15, 2014. More information here.

The William T. Grant Foundation Scholars Program supports promising early-career researchers from diverse disciplines, who have demonstrated success in conducting high quality research and are seeking to further develop and broaden their expertise. For the 2014–2015 transition year, the Foundation will accept Scholars applications on three topics: (1) reducing inequality, (2) understanding the use of research evidence, and (3) understanding social settings. Scholars receive $350,000 distributed over a five-year period. Released: April 15, 2014. Closes: July 9, 2014.

The J-PAL North America U.S. Health Care Delivery Initiative (HCDI): This solicitation encourages randomized evaluations of strategies to make health care delivery in the United States more efficient and more effective. “HCDI provides targeted funding to invited researchers for randomized impact evaluations that can provide valuable insights for learning which policies and programs are effective in improving the efficiency of health care delivery and what the reasons are for the policies’ impacts. The initiative (a) issues Requests for Proposals (RFPs) 2-3 times per year inviting proposals from preselected researchers for evaluations of policies aimed at improving the efficiency and efficacy of health care delivery in the United States, (b) evaluate the proposals according to a set of criteria, and (c) select randomized impact evaluations to fund, both full evaluations and pilots. J-PAL also provides support in forming strong research teams and building the capacity of researchers, their staff, and collaborators at partner organizations to design and conduct high-quality randomized evaluations. HCDI will encourage research best practices, including the registration of impact evaluations and the publication of data from funded evaluations. HCDI will host matchmaking conferences to connect researchers with policymakers and practitioners to identify potential policy innovations and research opportunities.” The Initiative co-chairs will send an official RFP to J-PAL affiliates, J-PAL post-docs, and a select group of researchers. Inquiries should be sent to Funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Released: April 1, 2014. Closes: June 6, 2014.

Alvin R. Tarlov & John E. Ware Jr. Doctoral Dissertation and Post-Doctoral Awards in Patient Reported Outcomes: The Health Assessment Laboratory (HAL) is soliciting applications for the 2014-15 cycle of the Alvin R. Tarlov & John E. Ware Jr. Doctoral Dissertation and Post-Doctoral Awards in Patient Reported Outcomes. “The purpose of these awards is to encourage doctoral dissertations and post-doctoral research using patient reported outcomes. We envision up to three (3) awards being given for the 2014-2015 academic year, with each award being for $25,000 ($20,000 made in September 2014, and an additional $5,000 upon receipt of a satisfactory progress report at the end of the academic year). Eligibility for the 2014-15 academic year is limited to U.S. citizens enrolled in U.S. based doctoral programs or post-doctoral fellowships in U.S. research programs.” Released: March 1, 2014. Closes: June 1, 2014.

The Quick Strike Research Award Program is a limited solicitation open to participants in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Public Health Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRN) Program. The award supports projects that address time-sensitive research questions based on emerging information needs in practice and policy; that have a high probability of leading to subsequent, larger-scale studies; and that are feasible for completion with a limited budget of up to $25,000 in total costs and within 3-6 months. For more information contact the PBRN program at Released: January 2014. Closes: May 30, 2014

The Dissemination and Implementation Research to Improve Value (DIRECTIVE) Award is a limited solicitation open to participants in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Public Health Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRN) Program. The award will support research projects that apply measures of public health delivery and costs to study dissemination and implementation processes in public health settings and to identify mechanisms for improving the value of public health services. For more information contact the PBRN program at Released: March 1, 2014. Closes: April 23, 2014.

The Public Health Law Research Program opened its 6th round of funding for research projects that focus on the effects of laws and policies on the public’s health. Studies up to 18 months long will be funded at up to $150,000 each. While PHLR funds studies that mainly focus on the intersection between law and public health, researchers from other disciplines, such as medicine, economics, sociology, psychology, and public policy and administration are encouraged to be part of multi-disciplinary teams of applicants. Released: January 16, 2014. Closes: April 15, 2014.

Research on Federal Food Assistance Programs. The Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) at the University of Wisconsin, with funding from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, seeks to stimulate innovative research related to federal food assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) and the National School Breakfast/Lunch Program, and to support training of researchers interested in food assistance issues. Grants of up to $40,000 in total costs will support projects conducted between July 1, 2014 and December 31, 2015. Released: March 1, 2014. Closes: Letter of intent due April 18, 2014 and full proposals due May 2, 2014.

Family Planning Affordable Care Act (ACA) Impact Analysis Research. This federal Funding Opportunity Announcement from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, encourages grant applications to conduct data analysis and related research and evaluation on the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on Title X funded family planning centers. The purpose is to support quantitative and qualitative analysis that informs Title X providers and relevant stakeholders on the financing and delivery of family planning services under health reform implementation. Released: March 16, 2014. Closes: April 24, 2014.

One thought on “Funding Opportunities in Public Health Economics & Systems Research (Selected)

  1. Pingback: Publishing and Funding Research on Public Health Economics | Public Health Economics

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