This site is an archive of a closed Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program, provided for educational and historical purposes. Please note that this content is not routinely updated and that contact information and social links may not work.



From 2008 to 2017, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars program is working to develop the next generation of national leaders in academic nursing through career development awards for outstanding junior nursing faculty. The program aims to strengthen the academic productivity and overall excellence of nursing schools by providing mentorship, leadership training and salary and research support to young faculty.

Eligibility Criteria

Applications must be submitted by the academic institution nominating the proposed scholar. Preference will be given to those applicants who may be either public entities or nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

To be eligible, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a registered nurse with a research doctorate in nursing or a related discipline.
  • Be a junior faculty member in an accredited school of nursing in an academic position that could lead to tenure. (Junior faculty are defined as those who are at the instructor or assistant professor level and have been in a faculty position after completing their doctorate for at least two and no more than five years at the start of the program.)
  • Identify at least one senior leader in the school of nursing as an institutional mentor for academic career planning and to provide access to organizations, programs and colleagues helpful to the candidate’s work as a Nurse Faculty Scholar.
  • Identify at least one senior researcher in the university with similar or complementary research interests. Scholars are encouraged to select the research mentor from a discipline outside of nursing.

Candidates must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its territories

at the time of application and must not receive support from other research fellowships/traineeships at the time they begin the program.

We embrace racial, ethnic and gender diversity and encourage applications from candidates with diverse backgrounds.

Selection Criteria

The following factors are considered in the selection process:

  • Evidence of the potential for and strong commitment to a full career as an academic nurse leader, with the capacity to achieve rank of full professor.
  • Evidence that the nominating institution and its senior leadership are committed to supporting the candidate’s academic career and activities during the program.
  • Evidence of the availability and commitment of qualified mentors and academic resources, including space as appropriate, at the candidate’s institution.
  • Evidence of the potential to become a national leader in the candidate’s scholarly focus area.
  • Evidence of the candidate’s commitment to teaching excellence.
  • Evidence of the candidate’s commitment to racial, ethnic, gender and cultural diversity in nursing.
  • General merit of the candidate’s research proposal.
  • Potential of the proposed research and scholarship area to serve as a foundation for the candidate’s academic career and contribution to: nursing science; interdisciplinary knowledge in a focus area; and improvement of health and health care in the United States.

The NAC will review all applications and supporting letters of recommendation and will select semifinalists for interviews. The NAC will then make final recommendations to RWJF. Neither the NAC nor RWJF provides individual critiques of the applications submitted.


Total Awards

  • Up to 12 awards of up to $350,000 each over three years will be available in this round.

Use of Grant Funds

Grant funds cover salary support (60% FTE), plus fringe benefits corresponding to the

level of salary support. The remaining grant funds may be used to support research-related expenses, training workshops and travel to professional meetings. Owing to the nature of this support, RWJF requests that institutions waive indirect costs. Semifinalists will be required to submit a budget and budget narrative.

Grants are made to sponsoring institutions and must follow RWJF funding guidelines. The sponsoring institutions must meet RWJF requirements for the submission of annual financial

and narrative reports, as well as a final written report upon the program’s completion.

How to Apply

Applications and supporting materials for this program must be submitted only through the RWJF Application & Review at

We will require all candidates to submit additional documentation. Accompanying letters of endorsement, including specific information on institutional support, should be provided by the school of nursing dean and the provost or chief executive officer of the university. Letters are also required from the proposed institutional mentors. In addition, one letter of reference is required from a senior leader who is well acquainted with the candidate’s accomplishments, commitment, research, teaching skills and potential for academic leadership. See the program’s Frequently Asked Questions (at for more information.