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

General Application Guidance


The HSS program is designed to advance interdisciplinary population health science by expanding the intellectual scope, collaborative competence, shared language, scientific creativity, and leadership potential of scientists with diverse disciplinary backgrounds. Therefore, your application should make a compelling case that your disciplinary background, personal and scientific skills, and research interests will contribute to population health science and to understanding causes and developing solutions to population health problems. It should provide evidence of your potential to contribute to the field of population health through research, leadership and policy, as shown by your past experiences as well as your long term objectives and future expected career path. It should also make the case that the fellowship will potentially change the nature of your work: that is, enable you to develop innovative lines of research based on interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration.

  • Learn About Population Health
    If you have not already done so, develop a thorough understanding of population health as an interdisciplinary field. A description of the field and a list of exemplary readings are available at the above link.
  • Instruct Your Mentors
    Provide information about the program and its selection criteria to proposed mentors and others submitting references online for you early and, again, be sure they can meet the application deadline.
  • Use Time To Your Advantage
    Start the application process early. Give yourself ample time to review and revise the final version of your application and appendices.
  • Plan How You Will Represent Your Qualifications
    Before applying, read the selection criteria for the program and think carefully about how your activities and accomplishments fit these criteria. Review the entire application form and consider how best to represent these in the application.
  • Prepare an Effective Application
    • Follow directions on application templates; be organized.
    • Do not repeat prose from the program brochure. Use your own words to describe your accomplishments and plans and their significance for population health.
    • Be as specific as possible in describing your activities, accomplishments, and plans for the program that reflect strengths relevant to the program selection criteria.
    • Be honest and truthful in the application. Do not pad accomplishments or be falsely modest.
  • Submit Your Application

Leave time to ensure your application meets technical requirements and all elements are included; double check after submitting. Allocate additional time for unexpected delays in the online, digital uploading of your application.