Research News

Limited Submission Opportunity: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation–Data Visualization of Structural Racism and Place

Applications due May 11

These instructions are for VU investigators. VUMC investigators should visit the OOR funding opportunity site.


Vanderbilt University may submit one application to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Data Visualization of Structural Racism and Place call for proposals. This CFP is intended to enhance and support new and novel efforts by data creators and/or data users to effectively communicate, using data, how conditions of place are shaped by structural racism in ways that negatively impact community health.

The purpose of this CFP is to provide grants to up to eight interdisciplinary teams that each consist of researchers/data producers, data scientists, communications experts, designers, and national social change networks/alliances or national-level social change organizations. The teams will create data visualizations or data visualization tools that have national coverage and can be disaggregated down to smaller geographies as a tool to create easy-to-understand visualizations of structural racism’s impact on place, health and well-being.

Conditions of place, or “community conditions,” refers to the social, economic, physical, environmental and political determinants of health and well-being and how they create the context for a place (e.g., neighborhood, city, region). Conditions of place can consist of tangible concepts such as the built environment, including water infrastructure and housing, and more abstract concepts such as safety or belonging.

Collaboration is needed across organizations that address different sectors such as academia, design, media, policy, public health or social services. Organizations in individual sectors may struggle on their own with communicating an effective and nuanced understanding of the impact of structural racism to diverse audiences, such as policymakers, advocates, funders and investors, or the media. While the primary deliverables of this project will be data visualization tools and other methods of communicating using data, we anticipate that the deliverables will inform and support advocacy campaigns and should center the experience and needs of communities most affected by structural racism.

A collaboration of multiple organizations or parties is required.

The collaboration must include at least one individual or organization in each of the following sectors: (1) researcher/data producer; (2) communications expert (e.g., generalist, creative lead or graphic designer); and (3) national-level social change organization, network or alliance committed to advancing racial and health equity, who have relationships and/or reach to engage aligned community organizations or affiliates.

Award information

Individual grants will typically range from $100,000 to $250,000; however, higher requests will be considered. The foundation recommends that proposals request the amount necessary to complete the proposed project. The size of the budget will be weighed in relation to the proposed activities and the likely contribution of the proposed project.

All awards will have a duration of one year with no further commitments planned at this time.

Award funds should cover actual costs of the project including personnel and other direct costs. Indirect costs are not allowed.

In keeping with RWJF policy, funds may not be used to support clinical trials of unapproved drugs or devices, to construct or renovate facilities, and for lobbying or political activities.

See the full CFP for more details.

Internal application instructions

Interested faculty should visit to submit an application for the internal LSO competition and to find additional information about the opportunity. The deadline for the internal competition is May 11, 2023.

Any questions about this opportunity or the LSO process may be directed to