This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites grant applications for Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers (EHS CC). As intellectual hubs for environmental health science research, the EHS CC is expected to be the thought leaders for the field and advance the goals of the NIEHS Strategic Plan (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/about/strategicplan/). The Core Centers provide critical research infrastructure, shared facilities, services and/or resources, to groups of investigators conducting environmental health sciences research. An EHS CC enables researchers to conduct their independently-funded individual and/or collaborative research projects more efficiently and/or more effectively. The overall goal of an EHS CC is to identify and capitalize on emerging issues that advance improving the understanding of the relationships among environmental exposures, human biology, and disease. The EHS CC supports community engagement and translational research as key approaches to improving public health. NIEHS intends to fund an estimate of 5-7 awards, corresponding to a total of $7.5M, for fiscal year 2021. Future year amounts will depend on annual appropriations.
The overall goals for the EHS CC Program are to enhance the capabilities of existing programs in environmental health sciences, assist with building programmatic and scientific capacity, lead in the development of novel research directions, recruit and groom future leaders in the field, and pioneer efforts in community engagement. The EHS CC grant provides facilities and resources to accelerate research along the spectrum from basic mechanistic and toxicological science to population and public health and dissemination. Moreover, with the release of the translational research (TR) framework for the environmental health sciences (https://www.niehs.nih.gov/translation), it is expected that an EHS CC facilitate translational research that encompasses all aspects of an EHS CC. The TR framework is an innovative tool that incorporates the dynamic nature of environmental health research to inform and facilitate the use of scientific/public health advances across the translational spectrum to accelerate improving the health of individuals and the public.
Ultimately the EHS CC should create a structure and flexibility that allow center members with different expertise to come together to answer complex and/or emerging questions and capitalize on the latest scientific trends leading to improved strategies towards preventing environmentally-induced disorders by considering and encompassing multiple translational pathways, not just to other scientific disciplines but to the bedside, to the community, to individual behaviors and choices, and to wider public policy changes and public health practice. While the EHS CC grant provides support for core resources and facilities, it does not provide direct funding for research projects, although limited funds are provided for pilot projects.
NIEHS considers community engagement and multi-directional communication as essential activities to advance the goals and relevance of an EHS CC. Therefore, the structure of the Center should facilitate multi-directional interaction with communities and EHS CC members through the required Community Engagement Core (CEC). In addition, EHS Cores are expected to attract established and promising investigators into environmental health research and provide opportunities for career enhancement.
To qualify for an EHS CC, the applicant institution must have a base of ongoing, independently supported, peer-reviewed research projects clearly dedicated to the study of environmental health sciences or environmental medicine, a substantial portion of which should be supported by NIEHS. The research base must exist prior to the submission of an application and will be considered by program staff to determine eligibility. See Section III.1 Eligible Applicants for more detailed description of EHS base support calculation.
Filed Under: Funding Opportunities