Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Invites Proposals for Research on Medicaid Policy Changes During COVID-19

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has issued a call for proposals for its Research in Transforming Health and Health Care Systems initiative.

According to RWJF, Medicaid is facing tremendous challenges, and opportunities, at a time when its role is critical. States and the federal government have implemented numerous temporary changes to the program in response to the pandemic, including making it easier to access, qualify, and enroll in state coverage and affordable healthcare services. With states having the option to make some policies permanent once federal declarations end, it is essential to understand how Medicaid policies being implemented or considered in response to the pandemic may advance racial equity — or, alternatively, reinforce or exacerbate structural racism. Evidence relate to these issues is needed to inform Medicaid policy in the months and years after the pandemic ends, and to help state and federal Medicaid policy makers identify and eliminate policies that contribute to racial inequities in access, care, and outcomes.

To that end, the purpose of the foundation’s call for proposals is to fund research studies that evaluate or predict how enrollees are affected by Medicaid policy changes enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on communities of color, the RWJF is requesting studies that examine the impact of Medicaid policies on communities of color and/or that explore how current or proposed policies may alleviate or exacerbate racial inequity and structural racism in the context of the program. The goal of the funding opportunity is to generate rigorous evidence on the effects of recent Medicaid policy changes on enrollees, states, and others, and to inform and advance equitable policies and racial equity in the program.

Projects may be generated from a range of disciplines, including health services research, economics, sociology, program evaluation, political science, public policy, public health and administration, law, business administration, and other related fields.

Funding will range from $150,000 to $350,000 per project to accommodate studies of twelve to thirty-six months. Up to $1.75 million will be available through this call.

To be eligible, applicants must be based in the United States or its territories. Preference will be given to applicants that are public entities or nonprofit organizations which are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and not a private foundations or Type III supporting organization. 

Applicants with project directors or team members from backgrounds historically underrepresented in research disciplines as a result of their race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability, or other factors are particularly encouraged.

RWJF will host an optional applicant webinar on May 3. Brief proposals are due June 28. Upon review, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal by November 1.

See the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation website for complete program guidelines, application instructions, and to register for the webinar.

View another RFP related to covid19

Deadline: June 19, 2021