The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF; the Foundation), located in Princeton, N.J., is the largest philanthropy in America dedicated solely to health. Since 1972, we have focused on developing and promoting innovations in health and healthcare to improve the lives of millions. In partnership with others, we are working toward a nation that is rooted in equity, compassion, and respect; a nation that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity to thrive, no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they have. This requires addressing many harmful obstacles to wellbeing, including poverty, powerlessness, and discrimination.
We take seriously our responsibilities, and we pledge to work in ways that reflect our Guiding Principles. These are rooted in equity and influence everything we do at RWJF. Equity, diversity, inclusion (EDI) and collaboration allow our staff’s wide range of experiences, passions, and perspectives to enrich our work and strengthen our ability to address our nation’s most pressing health issues. Our efforts to build a Culture of Health and achieve health equity requires us to dismantle structural racism and other barriers to health. Part of this work includes actively shaping a multicultural, inclusive, antiracist organization where all staff thrive as we build and use our capabilities, voice, and power to advance health equity. The Foundation offers a collaborative, collegial, and creative work environment. With a career at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, you will make a difference.
About This Opportunity
Reporting to the director, Research, the program officer (PO) in the Research-Evaluation-Learning (REL) unit will be part of an interdisciplinary staff of applied researchers and evaluators who are responsible for creating, developing, implementing, and managing the research and evaluation aspects of the Foundation’s strategic initiatives to build a Culture of Health and advance health equity.
The Foundation’s goals and activities are aligned with building a Culture of Health in the United States. The REL unit is responsible for several important components of the Foundation’s strategy including:
- Developing and overseeing a measurement system to track the country’s progress toward a Culture of Health;
- Creating a research agenda to continue to generate an evidence base about the most effective ways to create the change we’re seeking;
- Building on the Foundation’s long tradition of strategic evaluations to better understand the impact of our strategies and funding; and
- Supporting and sharing our learning across the Foundation and with external audiences.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Program Development and Monitoring:
- Initiate and contribute to the design, implementation, and oversight of research and evaluation initiatives in a way that advances health equity. May lead committees and workgroups to design and manage program areas to achieve key team objectives. Serve as a partner in identifying strategic objectives and direction.
- Work with others, including colleagues and external partners to plan, develop, and respond to requests for funding. Screen and assess prospective research and evaluation project proposals and work with applicants to refine plans and project budgets.
- Draft preliminary summaries of the project and develop recommendations for teams, program staff, Foundation management, and Board approval. Assure the quality of documents for projects being recommended for approval.
- Participate in meetings, conduct site visits, and review grantee submissions as part of the overall responsibility for developing and managing existing grants and programs.
- Provide high-quality written and verbal summaries and recommendations about potential projects to fellow Foundation colleagues, senior management, and, in some cases, the Board of Trustees.
- Monitor programmatic aspects of funded projects and programs. Work with Program Finance in assessing the financial status of funded programs over time.
- Engage diverse perspectives across the Foundation and apply them to leading the development of the research and evaluation as part of the team’s strategic plan.
- Lead the development and monitoring of the performance indicators.
Learning and Dissemination:
- Work with colleagues and consultants to assess, evaluate, and disseminate results of programs and projects. Work with staff to develop measures of impact for major programs and activities.
- Work with staff and consultants to harvest lessons from previous and current grantmaking, and to actively disseminate results and lessons to other staff, grantees, and the field.
- Collaborate with team/theme members, particularly Communications staff, to develop plans for and disseminate team-based products, including content featured on rwjf.org.
- Develop plans and content for the RWJF website in collaboration with team members and other REL staff related to outputs from research, evaluation, and policy grants supported by the teams.
- Use social networking tools to monitor important fields and to communicate lessons from RWJF’s work.
Teams and Program Development Functioning:
- Participate in team activities to improve team functioning, including compliance with team norms and providing support and backup for team members.
- Collaborate with the director and team to provide insight and guidance on programmatic strategies, grantmaking, and grant management.
- Work collaboratively with members of other teams, themes, and units at the Foundation, especially with other colleagues working in thematic areas across the Program unit.
Foundation and Field Contributions:
- Represent the Foundation publicly regarding advancing equity, program direction, program funding, and grantmaking results. Respond to public inquiries about the application process.
- Participate in conferences, seminars, and other professional development activities to maintain and enhance expertise and professional status. May conduct individual research related to the Foundation’s priorities. Keep up with the latest developments in their fields.
- Collaborate with administrative management to support the administrative staff with whom the officer works.
- Participate in Foundation-wide projects related to focus and program areas, and as assigned by senior staff.
- Initiate, develop, and participate in the Foundation’s efforts to evaluate itself.
- Support the vice president, REL, in accomplishing annual unit-wide goals and priorities.
- Perform other projects and responsibilities, as assigned.
- Commitment to racial and health equity and the Foundation’s vision, values, and Guiding Principles. Demonstrated track record of embedding EDI into work.
- Ability to build trusting and collaborative relationships with multicultural staff.
- Self-aware about personal identity.
- Interrupts observed implicit bias and advocates for or leverages EDI in workstreams and on teams.
- Experience working effectively in and fostering an inclusive environment as part of a multidisciplinary team with people from diverse cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds.
- Experience in research and evaluation methods; research skills, including use of the internet and databases; strong analytic skills.
- Self-awareness and sound judgment; able to make decisions, justify recommendations; and be responsive and clear.
- Ability to handle multiple priorities effectively; must be adept at organizing time efficiently; able to understand and work effectively with others in a matrixed reporting structure.
- Project and interpersonal skills, as well as a proven ability to work with flexibility, efficiency, enthusiasm, and diplomacy—both individually and as part of a team effort with a diverse group of colleagues, grantees, consultants, external funders, and others who contribute to RWJF work.
- Personal and professional integrity; an independent and confident thinker; has a sense of humor; and able to work effectively with ambiguity at times.
- Able to think creatively about opportunities to create and respond to novel and innovative approaches and to inspire others to work toward achieving Foundation goals.
- Able to synthesize material, focus quickly, identify opportunities while continuing to see the big picture.
- Understanding of strategic communications tactics; strong written and verbal skills; demonstrated persuasive and respectful presentation skills for communications with internal leadership, external high-level stakeholders, and people from the communities in which we are working to reach—on a range of complex issues. This also includes a sense of how and when to employ communications tactics strategically.
- Comfort with using social networking tools to further RWJF’s work.
- Ability to travel, including grantee or applicant site visits and representing the Foundation at outside meetings.
- Education and experience are equivalent to PhD degree in a related field and three or more years of relevant experience.
Physical Requirements/Working Conditions
The program officer will perform job duties in a typical business office environment. Specific physical abilities required by this job include operating basic office equipment. Will be required to attend meetings, potentially both in person and off-site via phone or videoconference.
The starting salary range for the program officer is $125,000 to $130,000. Why work at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation? Learn more about the benefits of working at RWJF.
Application Deadline: April 16, 2023
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ and other underrepresented applicants.
Our Committment to Diversity and Inclusion
We are committed to building a Culture of Health that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity for health and wellbeing.
Staff and Trustees
The work of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is fueled by our staff, leadership team, and Trustees’ unwavering commitment to health equity.