2023 Pilot Project Application

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

Mount Sinai Center on Health and Environment Across the LifeSpan (HEALS) is pleased to announce its 15th call for pilot grant proposals. The Center’s aim is to foster innovative research and multidisciplinary collaborations in the field of environmental health sciences. This funding opportunity invites researchers from diverse disciplines to submit proposals for pilot projects that address critical environmental health issues and contribute to the advancement of our understanding of environmental exposures and their impacts on human health.

The HEALS Center encourages the exploration of novel ideas, methodologies, and technologies that have the potential to significantly advance the field of environmental health sciences. The program seeks to fund pilot projects that align with the following objectives:

  1. Investigate emerging environmental health challenges: Proposals should focus on addressing emerging environmental health issues, including but not limited to the effects of environmental exposures on vulnerable populations, the identification and characterization of environmental contaminants, and the development of innovative strategies for exposure assessment and risk mitigation.
  2. Foster multidisciplinary collaborations: The program encourages collaborations across diverse scientific disciplines, such as toxicology, epidemiology, genetics, engineering, and social sciences. Projects that bring together researchers from different fields to tackle complex environmental health problems will be prioritized.
  3. Promote translation and dissemination of research findings: Successful applicants should demonstrate a commitment to translating their research findings into actionable knowledge and disseminating them to relevant stakeholders, including policymakers, public health professionals, and affected communities.
  4. Provide feedback programs for Early-Stage Investigators (ESIs): We strongly encourage Early-Stage Investigators (ESIs) to apply for pilot grant funding. As part of our commitment to fostering the careers of ESIs, we have set-asides and feedback programs in place to support their professional development.
  5. Prioritizing Community-Engaged research proposals: Proposed projects are highly encouraged to align with community needs and contribute to environmental justice. Community-engaged projects should demonstrate an impact and provide support for community engagement core initiatives.

New pre-review opportunity: Applications that involve community engagement can be submitted for pre-review by the Community Engagement Core. The submission deadline for this pre-review is November 13, 2023. Following the pre-review process, the PI will receive a single page document with feedback.

To identify if your project is a community-engaged or community-based research project, please refer to: Community-Engagement Core.

Applicants are advised to carefully review the specific instructions provided in this funding opportunity announcement and follow the submission guidelines provided.

We look forward to receiving your innovative pilot project proposals and advancing our collective understanding of environmental health sciences. Together, we can make significant strides in enhancing the field of environmental health.


  • Principal Investigators (PIs) must hold a doctoral degree (Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent) and be affiliated with a U.S.-based academic institution or non-profit research organization.
  • PIs must have a demonstrated record of conducting independent research in the field of environmental health sciences.
  • Collaborative proposals involving multiple institutions or interdisciplinary teams are strongly encouraged.
  • Principal Investigators (PIs) must hold Mount Sinai Core Center membership.
  • Funding is influenced by P30 Core facility usage, and external services need prior approval if not available within Mount Sinai.
  • Post-Doctoral Fellows must have a multi-PI arrangement.
  • Associate or full Professor PIs are ineligible to submit new applications for one year after receiving funding, while Instructors and Assistant Professors are exempt from this restriction. External researchers can participate as Co-investigators, with the option to explore Center membership.


  • The HEALS Center will fund applications that can be made to either the $70,000, 50,000, or $25,000 grant program. Awards will be granted based on the availability of funds. Direct costs for each awarded pilot project.
  • The project duration should not exceed two years. No cost extension is needed (1 year).
  • Annual updates/ reports are required.


  • Pilot projects that engage the community are strongly encouraged. Proposals should include:
  • Letter of support from the chosen community partner(s).
  • Brief description of how your project addresses a community concern. Why have you chosen to conduct your study in this particular community?
  • If this is a CBPR project: Describe how the community has identified this as a need or concern.
  • Brief description of how your project will benefit the community.
  • Compensation plan for community partners and participants for their time and expertise within your budget.
  • Reporting plan for study findings or other relevant information in lay terms to partners and study participants.
  •  An emphasis on actions that communities can take to reduce harmful exposures or improve health is encouraged.


Interested applicants must submit a proposal that includes the following components:

  • Cover Page, (1 page): This form provides essential information about the proposal, including the title, names of the Principal Investigator(s) and co-investigators, institutional affiliations, and core facility usage.
  • Abstract Page project summary, (300 words, 1 page): Overview of a proposed project, highlighting its key elements such as objectives and methods. Emphasize the research’s significance and innovation.
  • Research Plan (1-4 pages): Detail the project’s specific aims, significance, innovation, approach, and future funding/goals. Explain how the proposed work aligns with the objectives of the HEALS Center.
  • Budget and Justification: Clearly outline the budget request, justify the need for each budget item, and indicate how the funds will be utilized to support the project.
    • This form outlines the proposed budget for the pilot project, including detailed information on the requested funds and how they will be allocated. It may require an itemized breakdown of expenses, such as personnel salaries, equipment, supplies, travel, and other direct costs.
  • Biographical Sketches: Include biographical sketches of the Principal Investigator(s) and key personnel involved in the project. This form or document includes biographical sketches of the Principal Investigator(s) and key personnel involved in the project. Biographical sketches typically highlight the individual’s qualifications, experience, and contributions to the field.
  • References: Include a list of relevant references cited in the proposal.
  • Letter of support from the chosen community partner(s) (Community Engaged Research Proposals only)



The pilot project program checklist was designed to help applicants provide a structured and comprehensive set of tasks, considerations, and milestones that guide the planning, and execution, of a pilot project.  Ensuring that all necessary elements are addressed, increases the likelihood of a successful pilot and its eventual transition to full-scale implementation.

Additional forms may be required for projects with Human Subjects, Animal study participants, and Foreign Components. Compliance with all necessary requirements is crucial for smooth project execution:

  • Human Subjects or Animal Use Approval Forms (if applicable): If the research involves human subjects or animals, appropriate ethical approval forms and certifications may be required to ensure compliance with regulatory guidelines.
  • Foreign Components (if applicable): For any substantial scientific aspect or component of a project conducted outside of the U.S., whether by the grant recipient or a researcher affiliated with a foreign organization, regardless of whether grant funds are utilized, an approval form must be obtained.
  • Subcontractor/Consortium Agreement Forms (if applicable): If the project involves collaboration with external institutions or partners, subcontractor or consortium agreement forms may be necessary to outline the roles, responsibilities, and financial arrangements between the collaborators.



  • Proposals must be submitted electronically to the HEALS Center via the designated online submission portal.
  • Late or incomplete submissions will not be considered.
  • No Applications will be accepted via email.


Pre-review due date: Monday, November 13, 2023 (11:59 pm)
The review will be returned: Monday, November 27, 2023 (11:59 pm)
Final Submission Due Date: Monday, December 11, 2023 (11:59 pm)
Awardees will be selected: Week of February 12, 2024
Award Period: February 19, 2024 – February 18, 2025



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Pre-Review Due: Early-Investigator & Community-Engaged Applications


(Excludes EARLY- STAGE INVESTIGATOR Applications):
Applications are due by: Friday, December 1, 2023 (11:59 pm)
Awardees will be selected: Week of February 12, 2024
Award Period: February 19, 2024 – February 18, 2025



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Due: Investigator Applications


  • Proposals will undergo a rigorous peer-review process by experts in the field of environmental health sciences.
  • Review criteria will include scientific merit, innovation, potential impact, feasibility, and alignment with the program’s objectives.
  • Final funding decisions will be made by the Center’s Review Committee.
  • Applicants will be notified of the funding decisions within 2 months of the submission deadline.
  • Awardees will be selected: Week of February 12, 2024.


For additional information and inquiries, please contact:

 ContactContact Information
Help to find environmental health collaboratorsMaria Rosa,
Robert Wright
maria.rosa@mssm.edu  Robert.wright@mssm.edu
Integrated Health Sciences Facility Core (IHSFC)
Manish Arorachanel.arias@mssm.edu

Request An Appointment with IHSFC
Biostatistics & Data Science Facility Core (BDSFC)Chris Genningschanel.arias@mssm.edu

Request An Appointment with BDSFC
Phenotyping and Environmental Modifier Facility Core (PEMFC)Rosalind Wrightkathleen.chalumeau@mssm.edu

Request An Appointment with PEMFC
Community Engagement Core (CEC)Luz GuelLuz.Guel@mssm.edu
Administrative QuestionsRozalyn Paupaw, Briannie Orellanamssmp30@mssm.edu