Skip to main content

Peter G. Peterson Foundation Pandemic Response Policy Research Fund

2021 Second-Round Recipients Announced


The Peter G. Peterson Foundation Pandemic Response Policy Research Fund was established with a $1 million grant from the Foundation. The purpose of the funding is to advance understanding of effective policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and improve future preparedness through support for Northwestern University’s pioneering and interdisciplinary research on the U.S. economy and healthcare system.

Round 2 Funded Projects
Round 1 Funded Projects

Research Projects

Projects are limited to the following topics:

  • Assessing and tracking differences in performance and effectiveness of state-level responses to the COVID-19 pandemic including tracking impacts and outcomes
  • Modelling the short- and medium-term economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the policies used to address it
  • Developing actionable policies to prepare for and mitigate the impact of future pandemics on the future health and social and economic wellbeing of communities
  • Adapting lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic to improve effectiveness, value and resilience in healthcare delivery systems
  • Understanding changes to the healthcare delivery system that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic that improve healthcare performance and value, and could be continued going forward (e.g. telemedicine)
  • Other similar, relevant topics, as recommended by the University and approved by the Foundation


The PI must hold a faculty position at Northwestern University.
All faculty tracks are eligible.

Application Due Dates, Award Budget and Award Period

Application due date:

Round 1: April 30, 2021
Round 2: October 15, 2021

Award budget:

Small - up to $50,000
Large - up to $150,000

Award period:

Round 1: 18 or 24 months
Round 2: 12 or 18 months


Research Project Selection Process

  • Rapid Grant application process: One or two funding rounds in response to call(s) for proposals promoted through Northwestern's internal communications and through online convenings, as appropriate
  • Selection committee: Six faculty leaders, including representatives from the Office for Research, the Institute for Policy Research, the Kellogg School of Management, and the Feinberg School of Medicine, will evaluate the proposals through a rigorous selection process and make recommendations to the Vice President for Research. The Committee will represent a diversity of disciplines, experience and backgrounds.

Research Project Primary Selection Criteria

  • Potential to increase knowledge, understanding, and development of actionable solutions to prepare for and address medium - and longer-term impacts of COVID and future pandemics and crises in the United States
  • Topics having broad near-term policy relevance for the US economic and fiscal outlook
  • Quality of research plan — including a brief communicating and disseminating findings to target audiences, with appropriate metrics to evaluate progress
  • Ability to complete work on given timeline
  • Fit with the Peterson Foundation’s mission of addressing America's long-term fiscal and economic challenges and improving the quality and lowering the cost of healthcare 
  • Quality and diversity of research team, including interdisciplinary collaboration within and across departments and diversity and inclusiveness of both the project staffs and the affected communities researched
  • Appropriateness of the budget  

Review Committee

  • Ronald Ackermann, MD, MPH, Senior Associate Dean for Public Health; Director, Institute for Public Health and Medicine (IPHAM) Interim Director, Institute for Public Health and Medicine (IPHAM) - Center for Health Services and Outcomes Research; Director, Center for Diabetes and Metabolism; Professor of Medicine (General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics), Medical Social Sciences and Medicine (Endocrinology)
  • Rex Chisholm, PhD, Dean for Research, Feinberg School of Medicine; Adam and Richard T. Lind Professor of Medical Genetics; Center for Genetic Medicine
  • Janice Eberly, PhD, Senior Associate Dean for Strategy and Academics, Kellogg School of Management; James R. and Helen D. Russell Professor of Finance; Faculty Director, Kellogg Public-Private Initiative (KPPI)
  • Andrew Papachristos, PhD, Professor of Sociology, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences; Director of the Northwestern Neighborhood & Network Initiative at the Institute of Policy Research (IPR)
  • Diane Schanzenbach, Director, Institute for Policy Research; Margaret Walker Alexander Professor of Human Development and Social Policy, School of Education and Social Policy, 
  • Amanda Starc, PhD, Associate Professor, Strategy, Kellogg School of Management
  • Fruma Yehiely, PhD, Committee Chair, Associate Vice President for Research, Research Associate Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine (Ex-officio)
  • Sarah Fodor, PhD, Executive Director of Foundation Relations and Corporate Relations (Ex-officio


Fruma Yehiely, Associate Vice President for Research,