The RWJF Health & Society Scholars program ended February 2017. The site will no longer be updated. More »

Know the Process

  • HSS Selection and Eligibility Criteria
    Seek clarification from the National Program Office if you are not sure about your eligibility or have questions about selection criteria.
  • Reference Requests
    Selecting individuals to submit references for you online is the first step in the application process. This should be done as early as possible to allow your references ample time to respond. The individuals you name at the beginning of your application will be emailed a link immediately upon your submitting their information. The link takes them to a secure site where they will be asked a series of questions and then prompted to insert the text of any formal letter they may have prepared for you. It is the responsibility of the applicant to confirm their references have received the email request and that they will be able to complete it by the same deadline as the application. The program does not accept any references via hardcopy, email or fax. Applications must have all three (3) references submitted online by the application deadline to be considered.
  • Note the Application Deadline
    Note important dates for the application process (see application deadline) and start the application process early. Give yourself ample time to review and revise the final version of your application and appendices.
  • Application Review and Interview Selection Process
    A thorough review of applicants by the National Program Office, Program Sites and National Advisory Committee takes place throughout the months of October and November.  Finalists will be selected in early December. Each finalist selected will be assigned to interview at one or more sites. The interview assignments are based upon the location preferences of the applicant and interest by the program site in interviewing a particular applicant.
  • Feedback on Applications
    The HSS program is unable to provide feedback on individual applications.
  • Finalist Notification
    Applicants will be notified by mid-December as to whether or not they have been selected to interview for the HSS program. Finalists should read the emailed notification (and linked attachments) carefully and print a copy for their records. Applicants should anticipate this notification and, if selected as a finalist:
    • Confirm their acceptance with the National Program Office
    • Begin making arrangements with the program site(s) for their interview(s)
    • Secure travel arrangements through the program’s travel provider prior to the December holidays to avoid last-minute January fare increases.
  • Finalist Interviews
    Interviews take place throughout the month of January on dates pre-selected by the program sites. The HSS program will direct-bill costs associated with airfare and lodging.  Expense reimbursement requests for ground transportation and meal expenses incurred during the interview process (one per interview) must be submitted by the finalists to the National Program Office within 15 days from the time of the interview.
  • Ranking and Matching Scholars to Sites
    The final selection of scholars is based on comparing rankings of sites submitted by each finalist and rankings of finalists submitted by each site. All program sites agree not to convey to applicants how they have been ranked. Each finalist will receive an email in mid to late January with a link to rank the sites at which they interviewed. Finalists should understand that their preference takes precedence over the site preference during the match process. As such, every effort is made to match the finalist to their top ranked site before offering them their second ranked (and in some cases third or fourth ranked) site.
  • Selected Scholar Notification
    Those who have been selected to be scholars will be notified in mid-to-late February. Due to the complex nature of the match process, selected scholars will not all be notified at the same time, but rather over the course of about a week-and-a-half to two weeks. To allow for the possibility of alternates being selected, finalists not selected as scholars will be notified once all 12 scholars have been secured.
  • Scholar Orientation
    Orientation for incoming scholars takes place the first Tuesday through Friday of May during the HSS program’s annual meeting.

See Applicant Selection Timeline for additional details.