June 16, 2016




Academies Gulf Research Program and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Create a

$10 Million Grants Program to Build Healthy, Resilient Coastal Communities


WASHINGTON – The Gulf Research Program (GRP) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has joined with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to establish a $10 million grants program to fund projects that enhance the science and practice of coastal community resilience in the Gulf of Mexico region. These projects will explore the interrelated health, social, environmental, and economic impacts of disasters and other environmental stressors and inform strategies to address these challenges in Gulf communities.


Rather than focus on infrastructure needs or the built environment, as many existing resilience-focused programs do, the new grants program will support the study of the human dynamics -- such as physical and mental health, social cohesiveness, and social and economic well-being -- that influence a community’s ability to respond to adverse events. The program will also encourage the development of research-informed strategies and practices for strengthening community health and resilience.


“This program seeks to find effective, evidence-based approaches for strengthening community resilience in the Gulf region by bringing scientists and practitioners from diverse fields together with leaders in the community, public, and private sectors” said LeighAnne Olsen of the Gulf Research Program.  “We’re excited to work with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support this multidisciplinary, collaborative approach.”


“This program is intended to inspire high-quality research exploring resilience, human health, environmental conditions, and community throughout the Gulf Coast,” said Brian C. Quinn, assistant vice president, Research-Evaluation-Learning, RWJF.  “We need more research that illuminates connections between community resilience and health, which is absolutely essential to building the evidence base for a 'Culture of Health.'”


The GRP and RWJF will jointly develop the program and each will contribute $5 million. GRP will administer the grant competition and awards. For more information about this new program, visit www.nas.edu/gulf/grants and register to receive e-mail updates.     


For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. The RWJF is working with others to build a national Culture of Health enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.


The Gulf Research Program, a program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, was established in 2013 as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and seeks to improve understanding of the interconnecting human, environmental, and energy systems of the Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. outer continental shelf areas. The GRP funds studies, projects, and other activities using three broad approaches: research and development, education and training, and environmental monitoring. For more information, visit www.nas.edu/gulf.


The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. The Academies operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln. For more information, visit www.national-academies.org.



Molly Galvin, Senior Media Officer

Emily Raschke, Media Assistant

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