Pilot Award for Environmental Health Research

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 intersections between health, climate change and environmental justice
  • Establishing in vitro and computational approaches to advance hazard identification and chemical risk assessment

Each pilot project will have a maximum budget of $50,000. Pilot projects are for one year and are not renewable or transferrable. 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 must directly acknowledge funding from the UCSF P30 EaRTH Center P30-ES030284.


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

We invite the submission of innovative and collaborative pilot projects that relate to environmental health. Proposals will be evaluated and scored by reviewers 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 (and will be administratively rejected if instructions are not followed):

  • 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 their results to the Center and the Scientific Advisory Board.
  • Grants are non-transferrable to other institutions.
  • 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 is 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 supersede 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.

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

1. 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 and the community. This summary should be written for a lay audience and avoid scientific jargon.

2. 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.

3. Detailed Budget. $50,000 maximum per proposal and please round up to the nearest thousand (i.e. instead of $49,869 list $50,000).  PIs are required to list their effort whether is paid or in kind.
Use the following form: PHS 398 Form Page 4, "Detailed Budget for the Initial Period": http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html

Add the network recharge rates to your budget.



Not Allowable

PI and/or Co-PI Salary *



Salary for trainee (postdoc or student)



EaRTH Core Services †



Administrative Support












Personal Computers






Publications and associated fees









Research Staff Support

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



Patient Care/Patient remuneration



International Subcontracts



Indirect costs on subcontracts



Publication fees; max $5K X  

*NIH base salary cap. Fully justify all requests.

†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 in advance of application submission with specific core directors listed at https://earth.ucsf.edu or with Center administrator, Alana D’Aleo ([email protected]).

General guideline: PI partial salary support should not exceed 10% of the requested award budget - NOT 10% of PI salary.  An amount over 10% of the award budget must be well justified. Multiple PIs can decide how to distribute the 10% salary support among themselves (e.g., 5%/5% or 6%/4%).

  • General Automobile and Employee Liability (GAEL) can be included in the requested budget
  • 10% includes SALARY & BENEFITS
  • The award amount is DIRECT COST ONLY

5. Budget Justification: Clearly and fully justify all costs, including use of EaRTH Core(s) (1 page).

NOTE: If your Other Support references projects that may appear to have scientific or budgetary overlap with this proposal, please clearly identify and explain why this proposal is unique and non-overlapping.

6. NIH BioSketch of Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator(s) and UCSF Faculty Mentor(s) (if applicable), (5 page format):

·         Use Form Version H at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms/biosketch-blank-format-rev-10-2021.docx
·         Include bio sketches for both PIs of a multi-PI application
·         Only NIH Bio sketch version H will be accepted with RAP applications this Spring 2024 Cycle.

Other support pages of Principal Investigator(s) and Co-Investigator(s) and UCSF Faculty Mentor(s)  Use form at https://grants.nih.gov/sites/default/files/other-support-format-page-rev-10-2021.docx

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