Environmental Health Research Pilot Award

Project Award Amount $50,000 


The UCSF P30 Center for Environmental Research and Translation for Health (EaRTH) invites applications for pilot projects in basic science, clinical science or epidemiology focused on environmental health. Projects should be exploratory in nature and broadly aligned with the theme of the Center, which is to understand how exposure to environmental pollutants and/or environmental chemicals during development influence disease and to intervene and prevent exposures to improve health throughout the lifespan, especially among vulnerable and underserved populations. Exposures may include relevant environmental chemicals and food additives as well as factors that may affect biological responses to exposures such as psychosocial stress. Areas of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Adverse health outcomes related to exposures during pregnancy and early development
  • Mechanistic studies that identify pathways disrupted by environmental exposures
  • Interactions between genetics and exposures in disease, such as cancer
  • New technologies for monitoring exposures or their effects
  • Interventions for mitigating the effects of exposures
  • The intersection between health and climate and environmental change

Each pilot project will have a maximum budget of $50,000. Pilot projects are for one year and are not renewable or transferable. A progress report is required at the end of the funding period, identifying resulting publications and subsequent funding obtained to support the expanded/extended projects. Any resulting publications or public presentations must directly acknowledge funding from the UCSF P30 EaRTH Center.


Eligibility requirements need to be met as of date of submission, no waivers will be accepted.

Who's Eligible:

UCSF Faculty in any series (Ladder Rank, In Residence, Clinical X, Health Science Clinical, Adjunct) in all ranks (Instructors, Assistant, Associate, Full Professors) and Appointees to the Professional Research Series and to the Librarian Series may apply.

Who's Not Eligible:

Residents, Fellows and Postdocs, Specialists.

Submission Rules

Criteria for Review/Evaluation of Applications

This grant will not be reviewed by RAP review committees; It will be independently reviewed by the sponsoring agency.

We invite the submission of innovative and collaborative pilot projects that relate to environmental health. Proposals will be evaluated based on the quality of the proposed scientific investigation, innovation in ideas or approach, the quality and promise of the applicant and the research team, and the potential of the proposed research to impact understanding and prevention of harmful environmental exposures as well as to lead to future successful NIH grant applications. Applications must adhere to the following:

  • 1-3 PIs are allowed, with cross-disciplinary approaches encouraged. A lead PI must be designated.
  • No prior experience in environmental health research is required.
  • Current membership in the P30 EaRTH Center is not required, although awardees will be expected to participate in Center functions during the duration of their project and present the results to the Center and the Scientific Advisory Board.
  • Proposals must involve at least one P30 EaRTH Core service with budgeted costs of at least $10,000. Please consult https://earth.ucsf.edu and discuss with EaRTH Core directors.
  • Applications should be written for a broad scientific audience with inclusion of only necessary details.
  • Pilot projects that involve human subjects, human stem cells, or animal subjects must comply with NIH rules before funds are released. Funded projects will be expected to submit initial IRB/GESCR applications and/or IACUC revisions immediately following the notice of award. All funded projects, along with IRB approval, must be reviewed and approved by NIEHS prior to the funding start date.
  • Early stage investigators, (ESIs) as defined by the NIH, are encouraged to apply.

Selection of Awardees

Finalists will be asked to present a brief overview of their proposal to the P30 EaRTH Center Executive Committee. Funding decisions are based on several factors – scientific review score, alignment of proposal to the P30 EaRTH Center’s strategic goals, proposal research area of focus, conformity to stated guidelines, and potential for to lead to future successful NIEHS grant applications. Information on the EaRTH Center goals will be available at https://earth.ucsf.edu.


STEP 1) Complete the electronic application form
STEP 2) Upload your proposal as a SINGLE PDF that includes all the things listed in numeric order in the instructions below. Note that these instructions supercede general RAP instructions.


Please write your proposal following the instructions listed below (not those on the RAP website) and create one single PDF file. Do not include form fields in your PDF document.

1. Format Requirements: Arial font; 11 pt; minimum 0.5 inch for all margins; no appendices; include page numbers.

2. Project Lay Summary.  Please include a separate page with an abstract of 200 words or less which conveys the goals of the project, significance for environmental health and potential impact for stakeholders. This summary should be written for a lay audience and avoid scientific jargon.

3. Approach: Maximum 2 pages, plus one additional page of figures and/or tables; literature cited should be listed separately and is not included in the page limit.

4. Detailed Budget. $50,000 maximum per proposal; round up to the nearest thousand (i.e. instead of $49,869 list $50,000). 

Use the following form: PHS 398 Form Page 4, "Detailed Budget for the Initial Period":

    Budget Preparation Resources:
    OSR: Develop a Budget 
    Standard Budget Components, including information on personnel costs (salary and benefits)
    NIH: Develop Your Budget



Not Allowable

PI and/or Co-PI Salary *



Salary for trainee (postdoc or student)


Network Recharge Rates X  

EaRTH Core Services †



Administrative Support












Personal Computers












Research Staff Support

 (e.g. SRA; Technician, Clinical coordinator)



Patient Care/Patient remuneration



International Subcontracts



Indirect costs on subcontracts



†All applicants, including current EaRTH Center members must budget at least $10,000 toward any combination of core facility services offered through the P30 Center. Please discuss details with Alana D’Aleo ([email protected]) or specific core directors listed at https://earth.ucsf.edu.

General Guidelines:

*The NIH base salary cap applies.  PIs are required to list their effort whether it is paid or in kind.

PI partial salary support should be well-justified with respect to project activities. Due to their small size, RAP grants are designed for project support and are not intended to provide PI salary support unrelated to the project.  PI salary amounts greater than ~10% of the requested award amount (e.g., $5,000 of a $50K award proposal, not 10% FTE) must be well justified and it should reflect work done by the PI to conduct specific scientific tasks on the project (e.g. data collection, computation) and not merely general supervision of project goals and personnel.

Multiple PIs can decide how to distribute the 10% salary support among themselves (e.g., 5%/5% or 6%/4%).

  • The 10% limit on salary support is a guideline and includes SALARY & FRINGE BENEFITS.
  • Update: General Automobile and Employee Liability (GAEL) are NOT allowable costs.
  • The award amount is DIRECT COST ONLY

5. Budget Justification: Clearly and fully justify all costs, including use of EaRTH Core(s) (1 page).
For all personnel, clearly identify any discrepancies between the actual effort (i.e. real percent time) the individual will contribute to the project, versus the amount of salary effort they are requesting.  This is particularly important for personnel/PI's who expect to contribute project effort with little or no salary, such as those whose salary is above the NIH base salary cap.

Recall: PI salary amounts greater than ~10% of the requested award amount must be well justified.

6. NIH Biosketch of Principal Investigator(s) and Co-Investigator(s) (5 page maximum per biosketch):

Form Versions F or G are both acceptable this Fall 2022 cycle. In Spring 2023 we will move to version G.

  • If you use Biosketch Version F. Include biosketches for all PIs of a multi-PI application, and any other key personnel such as Co-Investigator(s) or UCSF Faculty Mentor(s).  In section "D. Additional Information", list the relevant recent past, planned, active, and pending proposals, including percent effort and total direct costs (annual), where possible. Include a brief discussion of any potential overlap with the current proposal. 
  • If you use Biosketch Version G at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms/biosketch-blank-format-rev-10-2021.docx  Include biosketches for all PIs of a multi-PI application, and any other key personnel such as Co-Investigator(s) or UCSF Faculty Mentor(s).
    Other support pages of Principal Investigator(s) and Co-Investigator(s) and UCSF Faculty Mentor(s) 

Contact: UCSF EaRTH Pilot Core Director, Dr. Diana Laird [email protected]