The Health Policy Research Scholars Program aims to create greater diversity in future generations of researchers and policymakers.
The Milken Institute School of Public Health recently announced receiving a $4.1 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The funding supports the Health Policy Research Scholars Program, which assists doctoral students from communities that are traditionally underrepresented in doctoral programs and policy development due to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and other factors.
“We need far greater diversity in future generations of researchers and policymakers. With more voices in the conversation, policies and solutions can be more inclusive and relevant to a broader range of communities,” said Thomas LaVeist, chair of the SPH Department of Health Policy and Management.
Dr. LaVeist established the Health Policy Research Scholars Program in 2016 with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation while he was at Johns Hopkins University. The program supports doctoral students with a diverse array of backgrounds at institutions throughout the United States who are working in a broad range of disciplines that have the potential to impact health and well-being.
Biochemists, economists, engineers, geographers, neuroscientists and scholars of religion and social welfare are included in the current group of scholars supported by the program. Students from disciplines that are more conventionally linked to public health and health policy, such as epidemiology, nutrition and nursing, are also supported by the program.
“The scholars who participate in the program gain access to the tools, knowledge, and diversity of peers, faculty, mentors, and policy experts needed to accelerate and distinguish their research and translate their research into health policy,” said Harolyn M.E. Belcher, a professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public and co-director of the Health Policy Research Scholars Program.