4w Programs: Taking Research to Practice and Practice to Scale

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Through grants and awards, 4W Initiative supports the development of scholarship and leadership in gender and wellbeing at all career stages.

4W Awards More

This 4W project aims to create change and change agents from within communities to improve health outcomes and the general wellbeing of women and girls.

Health By All Means More

Engaging with 4W prepares UW-Madison students to lead efforts related to gender and wellbeing

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UW-Madison students travel to Rabat, Morocco with STREETS Co-Director Araceli Alonso for a course on human trafficking, 2017.


Change HERstory: Menstrual Hygiene Management in Ghana

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4W Director, Lori DiPrete Brown, highlights the work of 4W at Madison Civics Club.

Call For Proposals:

Faculty Innovation Grants and Graduate Student Engagement Grants

The 4W Initiative awards grants to faculty and graduate students who wish to develop a project related to gender and wellbeing. Projects should have a research-to-action focus aimed at enhancing gender equity locally and/or globally. These grants are made possible by the generosity of the Women’s Philanthropy Council.

Submission deadline is 5pm on Monday, March 2nd.

We will hold two info-sessions from 4-5pm on Feb 13th and Feb 21st in room 4285F Nancy Nicholas Hall.

Send questions to 4w@sohe.wisc.edu.


2020 Conference

April 16-18, 2020

The Pyle Center, UW-Madison Campus

Co-convened by the 4W Initiative, UW-System Women’s and Gender Studies Consortium, and UW-Madison’s Gender and Women’s Studies Graduate Students


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4W Conveners: Engaging Our Campus


Lori DiPrete Brown, MSPH, M.T.S 

Director, 4W Initiative

“The opportunities for women in our world today are as great as the challenges. We who are involved with 4W—faculty, staff, students, supporters, and community partners—find hope, joy, and purpose in this shared work. We proceed with the awareness that we ourselves are a work in progress. We aim to grow in our ability to place the lived experiences of women and historically marginalized people at the center of our concerns. It is by directing the assets of UW-Madison toward these concerns that we make life better for women, make the world better for all, and provide an example of the ways in which higher education can engage in transformative societal change.”

Rebecca Blank, PhD

Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“The School of Human Ecology, the Global Health Institute and the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies have created 4W with a strong partnership that brings together top researchers from many fields to focus on one central question: How do we harness the power of scientific knowledge to improve the lives of women around the world?  This program can have a deep and lasting impact on women, their families and their communities. And by creating international leadership and service learning opportunities for our students, 4W will inspire a new generation of scholars dedicated to women’s health and well-being.”

Soyeon Shim, PhD

Dean, School of Human Ecology, UW-Madison

“When women suffer, everyone suffers – men, children, communities and families. The challenges facing women in Wisconsin and around the globe are multifaceted, thorny, and stubborn. Big problems need big thinkers. The 4W Initiative brings together alumni, students, innovators, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and communities to find answers where none exist, and to do so with empathy. That’s why I am proud to be part of this initiative, and excited about the future.”

Jonathan Patz, MD, MPH

Director, Global Health Institute, UW-Madison

“Women hold the key to health at home, in their communities, across their nations, and around the globe.”


Aili Tripp

Chair, Department of Gender & Women’s Studies, UW-Madison

“Gender and Women’s studies scholars are engaged in gender analysis to better understand how women the world over are striving to improve their livelihoods, health, education, role in politics, and other concerns. The 4W Initiative allows for collaborative synergies across campus and beyond around these issues.”