In 2005, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) created the New Connections program to provide research grants, networking, and skill building to scholars from a range of fields who are from backgrounds that are historically disadvantaged or underrepresented in research disciplines. 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 over 170 early-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 900 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.