2022 (2) Pilot Project Application

Mount Sinai Center on Health and Environment Across the LifeSpan (HEALS)
Pilot Research Project Grant Application – December 2022 Instructions


Mount Sinai Center on Health and Environment Across the LifeSpan (HEALS) announces its 14th call for pilot grant proposals. The Center’s mission is to increase the Environmental Health (EH) research portfolio at Mount Sinai and to bring non-EH researchers into the field through new transdisciplinary collaborations. Applications can be made to either the $70,000 or $25,000 grant program. Awards will be granted based on the availability of funds.

Research projects should deal with an issue relevant to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) (e.g. metals, pesticides, plastics, endocrine disrupting chemicals, air pollution, pesticides, etc.). Studies on gene-environment interactions, or interactions between social environment and chemicals/air pollution are encouraged. See NIEHS’ 2018-2023 strategic plan for a description of their current research priorities. Both basic research and population science applications are encouraged. Grantees will be expected to briefly report on research progress annually, including subsequent extramural funding. 

Among the $25,000 grants, applications from Instructors, Assistant Professors, and Community-engaged research proposals will receive additional funding priority after reviewer scoring. No special priorities are set aside for the $70,000 grant.

Although postdoctoral fellows are not Center members and cannot apply for a pilot grant as the contact PI, we allow fellows to submit pilot project applications as a multiple PI (with a Center Member faculty as the contact PI) with the condition that the pilot must support the fellow’s K award as a future goal. Please see eligibility section below for a full list of center members.

Applications focused solely on toxicology/environmental health topics that are the purview of other NIH Institutes are not responsive. These include drugs of abuse (covered by NIDA), and ethanol (covered by NIAAA). However, an application dealing with any of these issues and an environmental toxicant is responsive. (For example, a proposal on the role of neurotoxic metal exposure in drug-seeking behaviors; or trichloroethylene as an inhibitor of alcohol dehydrogenase). Likewise, studies on gene-chemical interactions, mixed social environment-chemical interactions or nutrition-chemical interactions are encouraged.

CRITERIA USED TO ASSESS AWARDS

Proposals will be sent to qualified experts within and outside Mount Sinai. Reviewers will follow NIH guidelines (i.e. Overall Impact, Significance, Investigators, Innovation, Approach, and Environment). Scoring is scaled 1-9 with 1 being the highest impact score. An overall impact score is the primary criteria for funding decisions.

Additional Review Criteria include the potential for future funding in a larger extramural grant (scored on a 1-9 scale) and transdisciplinary research approach (reviewer comments are solicited but not scored).

FUNDING GUIDELINES

Funding for successful applications can be initiated as soon as appropriate IACUC and IRB approvals are obtained.

Progress and final reports regarding grant applications, as well as annual updates thereafter are required from awardees as part of HEALS P30 reporting requirements and are due 60 days after the end of the funding period.

Funding may be used for any direct research expenses. PI and co-I faculty salary support, conference or meeting participation, will not be allowed.

Subcontracts are NOT allowed.

ELIGIBILITY

  • PIs must be Mount Sinai Core Center members at the time of submission. For the full list of center members click here.
  • P30 Core Usage: Mount Sinai’s P30 Core Center has a number of core resources available to center members. Some of the resources available are the laboratory support for environmental exposures, epigenetic biomarkers, phenotyping, and statistical analysis. Non-usage of P30 cores will be factored into funding decisions. For more information about our Core Facilities click here. Added weight is given for the usage of P30 core facilities, in the final funding decision. Usage of services outside of Mount Sinai, when such services are available intramurally in the Mount Sinai System, will not be allowed without prior approval.
  • To ensure that Pilot Project funds are distributed equitably, an Associate or full Professor PI, once funded, is not eligible to submit a new application for 1 year after receiving funding. Instructors and Assistant Professors are exempt from this rule.
  • Non-center members, including researchers and community-based organizations outside Mount Sinai, can apply as a co-investigators. If you are a community member and have an idea for a research proposal, please contact Luz Guel for more information about partnering with a P30 center member to apply: maida.galvez@mssm.edu & Luz.guel@mssm.edu.
  • Outside collaborators who are members of other NIEHS P30 centers are encouraged and such collaborations are considered in the review process. A list of centers can be found here.

APPLICATION FORMAT

  • Page Size: 8.5 X 11 inches
  • Margins: 0.5”
  • Font: Arial 11‐point
  • Maximum of 6 pages including cover page.

THE APPLICATION SHOULD INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS:

  • Cover page (Title, PI and list of co-Is, including institutional affiliations) (1 page)
  • Abstract (300 words maximum) (1 page)
  • Specific aims (1 page)
  • Significance, Innovation, Approach, Future funding plans/goals (3 pages)
  • Biographical Sketch: Include one for each PI and co-Investigator. A mix of Center members and non-members is accepted. Following NIH format, including past training and academic appointments followed by a short paragraph on research expertise and role in the project. List up to 15 relevant publications. Biosketches may not exceed 5 pages for any investigator.
  • References: Literature cited, no limit.

*Biosketches, budget items, and references do NOT count towards the 6 pages, and all items should be submitted as one single PDF.

To apply, the following material must be received in a single PDF file by the application deadline Friday, December 16, 2022 (11:59 pm).

EARLY- STAGE INVESTIGATORS PROGRAM

Applications from early-stage investigators Postdoctoral Fellows, Instructors, Assistant Professors are encouraged and prioritized. To facilitate career development in EH, we are available to assist Junior Faculty applying for this RFA in two ways:

  • Assistance finding potential collaborators: For those who request help in finding environmental health faculty collaborators within or outside  Mount Sinai, please contact Dr. Robert Wright: robert.wright@mssm.edu
  • Pilot grant pre-review processAs an additional incentive to apply, Junior Faculty center members are eligible to submit their application 2 weeks prior to the standard due date, the pre-review will be provided to help shape the application.

*Early – Stage Investigator Application (budget and bio-sketches are not required for initial submission).

Following the pre-review process, the PI will receive a single page document with potential criticisms the application may generate, and it is scored using the same criteria as the actual review.

EARLY- INVESTIGATOR APPLICATION TIMELINE:

Pre-review due date: December 2, 2022 (11:59 pm)
The review will be returned: December 16, 2022 (11:59 pm)
Final Submission Due Date: December 27, 2022 (11:59 pm)
Awardees will be selected: Week of February 13, 2023
Award Period: February 20, 2023 – February 19, 2024


INVESTIGATOR APPLICATION TIMELINE

(Excludes EARLY- STAGE INVESTIGATOR Applications):
Applications are due by: Friday, December 16, 2022 (11:59 pm)
Awardees will be selected: Week of February 13, 2023
Award Period: February 20, 2023 – February 19, 2024

READY TO APPLY?   Click here to access the application submission link.


Additional Resources

Early- Stage Investigator Application

Investigator Application

Biosketch Blank

Biosketch Example

Budget Form

Budget Justification

Submission Link

List of Center Members


For questions regarding the RFA’s requirements and scientist collaborators:

E-mail Robert Wright: robert.wright@mssm.edu

For Administrative Questions:

Contact Rozalyn Paupaw: rozalyn.paupaw@mssm.edu

Phone: (212) 824-7370

Interested in a Center Membership?

If interested in joining the Mount Sinai P30 Core Center, please use this link to complete your application.