Systems for Action (S4A)

Purpose: Systems for Action (S4A) is a research program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) that helps to build
the evidence base for a Culture of Health by 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. Research studies supported through S4A must: (1) focus on solutions to high-priority
system alignment problems that involve medical, social, and public health services; (2) test the effectiveness of these
solutions using rigorous scientific methods; and (3) engage stakeholders from medical, social, and public health
systems in the design and conduct of the research so that findings can be readily used in practice. Studies funded
through the S4A program must test a specific system alignment mechanism that engages all three of the sectors
referenced in this call—medical care, public health, and social services.
This call for proposals (CFP) will provide supplemental research funding to teams that are already engaged in the
study of a promising system alignment mechanism, with the objective of learning how this mechanism performs in
addressing health and social needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible teams must have an active or recently
completed research study (within 12 months of application submission) that can be extended through the use of
supplemental research funding. This CFP is appropriate for studying an existing system alignment mechanism
implemented prior to the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, and about which some pre-COVID evidence has already
been created by the applicant. Studies funded under this CFP will make use of existing data and established
research procedures and relationships to produce new evidence about the system alignment mechanism on an
accelerated time frame of 12 to 24 months. Studies may examine adaptations made to an existing system alignment
mechanism to respond to new needs, opportunities, and constraints created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This CFP is not appropriate for applicants seeking to test a new system alignment mechanism that has not been
previously implemented and studied. The S4A program anticipates releasing a second CFP later in 2020 that will be
appropriate for studying newly developed system alignment mechanisms that require larger awards and longer time
frames for research and that do not necessarily focus on COVID-19.
Receipt Date: Expires: August 5, 2020
Total Awards: This CFP will support studies that can be completed in either a 12-month or a 24-month project period with up to
$100,000 per year in total funding from RWJF. Up to five awards will be selected for funding under this solicitation.
  • Applicants must be 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 nonfunctionally integrated Type III supporting
    organizations. The Foundation may require additional documentation from applicant organizations.
  • Applicant organizations must be based in the United States or its territories.
  • Awards will be made to organizations, not to individuals. Multi-organizational consortia are encouraged to apply if
    a single eligible organization is designated as the primary applicant responsible for maintaining consortium
    agreements with other participating organizations. The primary applicant organization must have a demonstrated
    history of successfully managing funds awarded by foundation or government sources.