In 2005, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) created the New Connections program to provide research grants, networking, and skill building opportunities to early and midcareer scholars who are members of ethnic or racial minority or low-income communities and/or the first in their family to receive a college degree. While supporting under-represented scholars in their career trajectories, New Connections also aims to diversify the perspectives that inform RWJF program strategy by introducing the Foundation to researchers and consultants from underrepresented groups in health and healthcare research.
Since its inception, New Connections has supported and advanced the research of a diverse group of 137 early and mid-career researchers in fields such as public health, social work, psychology, education, medicine, and urban planning. The program also has contributed to the professional development of more than 800 diverse scholars, who have taken advantage of New Connections’ workshops, trainings, and networking opportunities – such as the annual Symposium, Research & Coaching Clinic, and leadership, writing, and methodological training through webinars, workshops, and regional forums and meetings. These scholars too represent a range of research disciplines and institutions.
Equal Measure has served as the National Program Office (NPO) for New Connections since 2008. As the NPO, Equal Measure works closely with RWJF to manage and monitor grantmaking, and to carry out all the other program activities.