Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Pioneering Ideas: Exploring the Future to Build a Culture of Health – Average Grant Funding: $315K – Rolling Submission Dates

Fri, Dec 31, 2021 (All day)
Life Sciences
Natural Sciences
Social Sciences
Various Research Areas


The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) new call, Pioneering Ideas: Exploring the Future to Build a Culture of Health, seeks proposals that are primed to influence health equity in the future. The Foundation is interested in ideas that address any of these four areas of focus:

  • Future of Evidence
  • Future of Social Interaction
  • Future of Food
  • Future of Work

Additionally, the Foundation welcomes ideas that might fall outside of these four focus areas, but which offer unique approaches to advancing health equity and our progress toward a Culture of Health.

Fields of Research:

The changes sought by the Foundation require diverse perspectives and cannot be accomplished by any one person, organization or sector. As a consequence, they want to hear from scientists, anthropologists, artists, urban planners, community leaders—anyone, anywhere who has a new or unconventional idea that could alter the trajectory of health, and improve health equity and well-being for generations to come. 

Note: While this call for proposals is focused on broader and longer-term societal trends and shifts that were evolving prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the RWJF recognizes the unique circumstances and learning created by the COVID-19 pandemic may inform your response. It is at your discretion whether you propose a project related to the pandemic directly or indirectly.


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.

Applications will be evaluated based on, but not limited to, the following criteria:

  • Strength of health equity focus: How will this project increase opportunities for everyone to live the healthiest life possible, no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they make?
  • Strength of insight: How will this project help us anticipate, adapt to, and influence the future in 5 to 15 years?
  • Strength of idea: Is this project pioneering in one or more of these ways?
    • Offers a new take or perspective on a long-running, perplexing problem;
    • Challenges assumptions or cultural practices;
    • Takes an existing idea and gives it a new spin—or a novel application;
    • Applies ideas from other fields;
    • Explores how an emerging trend will shape the future;  and/or
    • Describe in which other way you see your project as pioneering

Assistance with Application: The Corporate Engagement and Foundation Relations team is available to assist faculty with proposal development and submission.  We welcome the opportunity to work with you - please call me at x89944 if you would like assistance.


  • The average Pioneer grant in 2019 was $315,031. However, there is not an explicit range for budget requests.
  • Grant periods are flexible, though generally range from 1 to 3 years.


NOTE: Process/budget questions which arise should be directed to ORPA and the proposal should be routed following the standard Princeton  proposal process (Coeus, etc.)

Due Dates:

Proposals will be accepted throughout the year on a rolling admission.  

Categories: Open Call RFPs, COVID-19