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Research in Transforming Health and Health Care Systems (RTHS)

Grants to USA Researchers to Examine How Managed Care
Payment Plans Address the Needs of Medicaid Participants

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

08/12/19 3:00 PM ET


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Grants to USA and territories researchers based at public and private organizations for research examining the relationship between the social needs of Medicaid participants and managed care contracting and payment strategies. Applicants must submit an LOI before applying.

The 2019 RTHS call for proposals (CFP) seeks to fund research studies that examine how state Medicaid programs are using managed care payment and contracting strategies to address enrollees’ social needs; the ways MCOs are responding; and the effect of these activities on enrollees, plans, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders. RWJF strongly encourages applicants to consider how these activities affect health equity, meaning that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible.

The goal of this funding opportunity is to generate timely evidence on the experiences of states, MCOs, Medicaid enrollees, and community-based organizations in order to inform future decision-making by state and federal policymakers and other key stakeholders.

Proposals within the scope of this CFP will examine: a) issues related to the implementation of managed care payment and contracting strategies by states and related activities by Medicaid MCOs to address enrollees’ social needs; b) the impact of these strategies and activities on health equity, costs, utilization, health, and other outcomes of interest to state and federal policymakers, MCOs, community-based organizations, or other stakeholders; or c) both.

RWJF will prioritize proposals that address health equity and stand to contribute significant, new information to the evidence base and to current and future policy decisions. RWJF is particularly interested in understanding enrollees’ perspectives on the strategies and activities discussed above, as well as understanding unintended consequences associated with these strategies. Applicants are strongly encouraged to include Medicaid enrollees, patients, and the public in the research process, from the earliest research stages through to dissemination of the findings. Proposals that focus on one or more states and that employ quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods approaches as appropriate are welcome.

Grant funds may be used for project staff salaries, consultant fees, data collection and analysis, meetings, supplies, project-related travel, and other direct project expenses, including a limited amount of equipment essential to the project.

For a detailed description of major topics and questions of interest, see the Call for Proposals:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 186097

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Six to eight studies will be funded.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Project funding will range from $150,000 to $250,000 per project.

Term of Contract:

Funding is intended to accommodate studies of 12 to 24 months ( up to $150,000 for projects of up to 12 months, and up to $250,000 for projects lasting between 12–24 months). Grants begin February 1, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- Researchers, as well as practitioners in the public and private sector working with researchers, are eligible to submit proposals through their organizations.
- Projects may be generated from disciplines including health services research; economics; sociology; program evaluation; political science; public policy; public health; public administration; law; business administration; or other related fields.
- The Foundation may give preference to applicants that are either public entities or nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are not private foundations or Type III supporting organizations. The Foundation may require additional documentation.
- Applicant organizations must be based in the United States or its territories.

The vast majority of funding is to nonprofit organizations and public agencies. Historically, less than one percent of funding has been to for-profit organizations, and always in instances where the institution's project is an excellent fit with RWJF's strategies and they were best suited to do the work.

In keeping with RWJF policy, grant funds may not be used to subsidize individuals for the costs of their health care, to support clinical trials of unapproved drugs or devices, to construct or renovate facilities, for lobbying, for political activities, or as a substitute for funds currently being used to support similar activities.

Pre-Application Information:

Key dates and deadlines:

- May 28, 2019: Call for proposals released.
- July 2, 2019 (3 p.m. ET): Deadline for receipt of letters of intent.
- July 8, 2019: Applicants receive email invitation to submit full proposals.
- August 12, 2019 (3 p.m. ET): Deadline for receipt of full proposals.
- December 2, 2019: Notification of finalists.
- February 1, 2020: Grants begin.

There are two phases in the competitive proposal process:

- Phase 1: Letters of Intent: Applicants must submit a letter of intent by the deadline provided in order to advance to the full proposal phase.
- Phase 2: Full Proposals: In the week following the letter of intent deadline, applicants who have submitted a letter of intent describing a project within the scope of the call for proposals will receive an email notification from RWJF inviting them to submit a full proposal.

All applicants should log in to the system and familiarize themselves with online submission requirements well befor the submission deadline. Staff may not be able to assist all applicants in the final 24 hours before the submission deadline. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals in advance of the deadline so that any unforeseen difficulties, e.g., technical problems, may be addressed well before the deadline.

Funding process and FAQs:

Contact Information:

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

Online application portal:

Please direct inquiries to

Responsible staff members at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation are:

- Mona Shah, PhD, senior program officer
- Alexis Levy, senior communications officer
- Stephen Theisen, senior program financial analyst

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: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

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