A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program

Equity. Contribution. Community: New Connections at 10

Anniversaries present an opportunity for reflection, celebration, and looking ahead to the future. As we reflect on a decade of service and the 10-year anniversary of New Connections, we commemorate our longstanding partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) toward building a network of diverse scholars and change leaders. We are delighted to introduce the 2016 anniversary year program theme: Equity. Contribution. Community: New Connections at 10

Equity. New Connections has been instrumental in promoting and advancing equity in academia by supporting the professional growth of health and healthcare researchers and evaluators from underrepresented backgrounds. Many of these scholars are the first in their families to attend and graduate college. Since 2005, more than 800 scholars participated in career development opportunities – through leadership development workshops, mentorship, and networking – and we have awarded 138 grants to junior and mid-career researchers.

Contribution. New Connections’ contribution to the field and the academy are significant. The program’s scholars broaden perspectives in educational practices, in the health field, and at the Foundation to help build a Culture of Health for all Americans. Collectively, we add to the discourse on the value of diversity, noting how scholars of color enrich student learning, stimulate asset-based research and evaluation approaches, and improve health outcomes.

Community. New Connections adopted a highly successful and unique network approach to develop a community of scholars by investing in their professional growth – and increasing interdisciplinary cross-sector collaboration. Through convenings, scholars and researchers come together at an annual Symposium and Research and Coaching Clinic. These convenings facilitate opportunities for scholars to connect with senior researchers, who offer guidance and mentorship for the tenure and promotion process. In addition, our network members have established “new connections” with scholars conducting similar research. These relationships have evolved into collaborative partnerships for grant writing, publication, and moral support. 

Throughout this year, you will have the opportunity to meet select members of the New Connections network through featured scholar stories on our website; publications and reports on the impact of New Connections; a dedicated blog series, focusing on our scholars’ research contributions to their fields; and more. You can follow program highlights on the New Connections social media platforms, and on our website.

We look forward to celebrating 10 years of New Connections with you!