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Application Description

The Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center (SWEHSC) announces the following funding opportunity through its Pilot Project Program funded by the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). The goal of the SWEHSC is to facilitate and implement innovative research aimed at understanding the mechanisms underlying the modulation of human disease risks due to environmental exposures among populations living in arid environments. Pilot Project funds are awarded to provide short-term support for innovative projects aimed at exploring new areas of environmental health research and acquiring preliminary data necessary to pursue long-term extramural funding and to support the Career Development of new investigators and highly successful senior investigators who wish to redirect their research to include environmental health. 

Application procedures

Faculty at all universities in the State of Arizona are eligible and encouraged to apply. Junior and clinical faculty who have not previously performed research in environmental health sciences but who are interested in broadening their research to include environmentally related research are especially invited to apply and to pursue membership in the Center. Translational projects, defined as research that advances a scientific finding toward practical application in the areas of public health, medical treatment/management, or public policy are encouraged to apply. Assistance in the design and conduct of translational studies, including studies involving human subjects, is available from the SWEHSC Integrated Health Sciences Facility Core (IHSFC). 

​Completed applications should be sent to Dr. Clark Lantz or to Susanna Herndon. Applicants are asked to present their Pilot Projects at a Research Focus Group (RFG) meeting to receive feedback and comments. Additional information, such as critiques from previous grant review, may be requested and appended for the review process. The application is to be evaluated by the Internal Advisory Board (IAB). Applications will then undergo review by an EAB member and an external scientific expert selected based on his/her technical expertise and established professional ties to NIEHS and other NIEHS-sponsored centers. These recommendations will then be considered by the IAB who will make a final judgment based on the SWEHSC strategic mission. 

Budget and project duration

These awards are expressly for the intent of facilitating grant submissions that address the strategic goals and themes of NIEHS. Funding levels will vary depending on the scope of the Project up to a maximum of $40,000. A separate line item for SWEHSC facility core or Research, Discovery, and Innovation Facility use should be included. RDI funding can be utilized in the following cores:

  • Analytical and Biological Mass Spectrometry
  • Cryogenics & Compressed Gas Facility
  • Flow Cytometry Shared Resource
  • Functional Genomics Core
  • Imaging Core Kuiper
  • Imaging Core Life Sciences North
  • Imaging Core Marley
  • Machine and Welding Center
  • Micro/Nano Fabrication Center
  • Translational Bioimaging Resource – 3T, 7T, or VEVO Only
  • University Animal Care (Before using funds at this core, customer must email and )
  • University of Arizona Genetics Core

No indirect costs are included with pilot projects. 

Pilot Project funding rarely exceeds the one-year budget requested by investigators. However, there is the possibility of extending the funding to a second year for projects that involve recruitment for population studies or that demonstrate particular merit. 

Post award

Pilot Project recipients are granted membership in the SWEHSC and are expected to be active members of an appropriate RFG and to present their data at regional/national scientific meetings. In addition, an expected outcome will be the use of the data generated by the Pilot Project in an extramural grant application. Progress reports are required from the Pilot Project PIs at least once a year to track accomplishments. Progress reports are also included in the SWEHSC Annual Progress Report to NIEHS.