Effects of State Preemption Policies on Racial Justice and Health Equity 

*Applications close on August 10, 2023 at 3 pm ET.* 

Preemption is a legal doctrine that allows a higher level of government to limit or even eliminate the power of a lower level of government to regulate a specific issue. The doctrine  itself is neither bad nor good; it is simply a legal concept that historically has been used as a tool to resolve problems that arise when different levels of government adopt conflicting laws on the same subject. In recent years, however, states have increasingly used preemption to protect the power and financial interests of established political or commercial entities and thwart local jurisdictions’ efforts to enact laws that advance health equity.

Policies for Action has issued a call for proposals  (CFP) to build the evidence base investigating how preemption policies at the state level may affect racial justice and health equity.

The research funded under this CFP should: 
1)    focus on how state-level preemption affects local authority; 
2)    be intentional about applying a racial equity lens to policy research processes and outcomes; and 
3)    include community groups and/or members, especially those from historically marginalized communities, as leaders or partners in all stages of the research.

Award Details and Eligibility

Up to $1.5 million will be awarded through this CFP for up to six grants. Though there is not an explicit range for allowable budget requests, we recommend applicants request the amount of funding they will need to complete the proposed project and translate and disseminate results. The duration of awards is typically 24 months, and grants cannot exceed 36 months. Eligible applicant organizations include but are not limited to academic institutions; public entities; nonprofit organizations; tribal, state, and local government agencies; and for-profit organizations. Applicants may also represent partnerships between service providers, practitioners, and researchers. Projects must be based in the United States.

We strongly encourage applications that include researchers from groups underrepresented in policy research and/or who are affiliated with institutions that serve underrepresented groups, as well as applications from community-led research teams.

If you are interested in our assistance facilitating partnerships between organizations implementing community-level initiatives (e.g., non-profits, community-based organizations, social service, or government agencies, etc.) and researchers to design and conduct rigorous research, please email the P4A inbox at policies4action@urban.org.

Informational Webinar

An informational webinar was held on July 5, 2023, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET for interested researchers to learn more about this special funding opportunity and ask questions. A recording of the webinar can be accessed here (available in audio, video, and Zoom closed captioning). 

How to Apply

Proposals for this solicitation must be submitted through the RWJF online system. Visit here and click “apply online.” If you have not already done so, you will be required to register before you begin the proposal process.

Application Timeline

1.    Letters of intent are due by August 10, 2023, at 3 p.m. ET.
2.    Candidates who are selected to submit a full proposal will be notified in late October 2023.
3.    Full proposals from selected candidates will be accepted through December 22, 2023, 3 p.m. EST.
4.    Finalists will be notified in mid-February 2024.
5.    Grants will begin April 1, 2024.


Additional resources on preemption:

Additional resources on community engaged methods:

Policies for Action, a signature research program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, funds investigator-initiated research through its annual CFP. The solicitations are intended to foster high-impact policy research from a wide range of disciplines and focus areas. Click here to see our current and past funded projects.  

Our 2023 CFP on research investigating how preemption policies at the state level may affect racial justice and health equity is now open. Sign up for our newsletter for the latest updates! Sign up for our newsletter for the latest updates!