2022 (1) Pilot Project Application

Mount Sinai Transdisciplinary Center on Early Environmental Exposures (TCEEE)

Pilot Research Project Grant Application – July 2022 Instructions

TCEEE is excited to announce its thirteenth call for pilot grant proposals. The Center’s mission is to increase the Environmental Health (EH) research portfolio at Mount Sinai and to bring non-EH researchers into the field through new transdisciplinary collaborations. TCEEE plans to award a total of $170,000 in pilot funding for this round. Applications can be made to either the $70,000, $50,000, $25,000 grant program. Awards will be granted based on the availability of funds. Please note that our Center is in the process of being renamed Health and Environment Across the LifeSpan (HEALS) to reflect our explained research program.

Research projects should deal with an issue relevant to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) (e.g. metals, pesticides, plastics, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, air pollution, pesticides, etc.). Studies on gene-environment interactions, or interactions between social environment and chemicals/air pollution are encouraged. See NIEHS’ 2018-2023 strategic plan for a description of their current research priorities. Both basic research and population science applications are encouraged. Grantees will be expected to briefly report on research progress annually, including subsequent extramural funding. These grants are intended to fund pilot projects that will lead to further investigation, such as an NIEHS grant to fund further years of research.


Among the $25,000 grants, applications from Assistant Professors, Associate Professors, and Community-engaged research proposals will receive additional funding priority after reviewer scoring. No special priorities are set aside for the $70,000 or $50,000 grant.


Although postdoctoral fellows are not Center members and cannot apply for a pilot grant as the contact PI, we allow fellows to submit pilot project applications as a multiple PI (with a Center Member faculty as the contact PI) with the condition that the pilot must support the fellow’s K award as a future goal. Please see the eligibility section below for a full list of center members.


Applications focused solely on toxicology/environmental health topics that are the purview of other NIH Institutes are not responsive. These include drugs of abuse (covered by NIDA), and ethanol (covered by NIAAA). However, an application dealing with any of these issues and an environmental toxicant is responsive. (For example, a proposal on the role of neurotoxic metal exposure in drug-seeking behaviors; or trichloroethylene as an inhibitor of alcohol dehydrogenase). Likewise, studies on gene-chemical interactions, mixed social environment-chemical interactions, or nutrition-chemical interactions are encouraged.


  • PIs must be Mount Sinai Core Center members at the time of submission. For the full list of center, members click here.
  • To ensure that Pilot Project funds are distributed equitably, an Associate or Full Professor PI, once funded, is not eligible to submit a new application for 1 year after receiving funding. Assistant Professors are exempt from this rule.
  • Non-center members, including researchers and community-based organizations outside Mount Sinai, can apply as co-investigators. If you are a community member and have an idea for a research proposal, please contact Luz Guel for more information about partnering with a P30 center member to apply: Luz.guel@mssm.edu.
  • Outside collaborators who are members of other NIEHS P30 centers are encouraged and such collaborations are considered in the review process. A list of centers can be found here.

P30 Core Usage: Mount Sinai’s P30 Core Center has a number of core resources available to center members. Some of the resources available are the laboratory support for environmental exposures, epigenetic biomarkers, phenotyping, and statistical analysis. Non-usage of P30 cores will be factored into funding decisions. For more information about our Core Facilities click here. The added weight is given to the usage of P30 core facilities, in the final funding decision. Usage of services outside of Mount Sinai, when such services are available intramurally in the Mount Sinai System, will not be allowed without prior approval.

Criteria Used to Assess Awards

Proposals will be sent to qualified experts within and outside Mount Sinai. Reviewers will follow NIH guidelines (i.e. Overall Impact, Significance, Investigators, Innovation, Approach, and Environment). Scoring is scaled 1-9 with 1 being the highest impact score. An overall impact score is the primary criteria for funding decisions.

Additional Review Criteria include the potential for future funding in a larger extramural grant (scored on a 1-9 scale) and transdisciplinary research approach (reviewer comments are solicited but not scored).

 Application Instructions

To apply, the following material must be received in a single PDF file by the application deadline of Tuesday, July 19th, 2022 (11:59 pm). Please submit all applications using this link:   https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/92d2460229eb4d15867e78ffc3c5cbb0 

  • Cover Page: (Please use this form)
    • List Title, PI, and all co-investigators and affiliations. Place “*” beside the names of Center Members
  • Proposal: (Please use this form) Single-spacing, three pages maximum. The Abstract Page (300-word max), budget page, budget justification, biosketches, and references are NOT included in the 3-page limit. Headings include:
    • Specific Aims
    • Significance/Background
    • Innovation
    • Approach
    • Future plans and how this grant will be leveraged into future funding
  • Budget Form: (Please use the NIH PHS Form 398)
  • Budget Justification Form: click here
    • No Faculty Salary support is allowed Salary for research assistants or trainees is allowed.
  • Biographical Sketch: (Please use this form). Include one for each PI and co-Investigator. A mix of Center members and non-members is accepted. Following NIH format, including past training and academic appointments followed by a short paragraph on research expertise and role in the project. List up to 15 relevant publications. Biosketches may not exceed 5 pages for any investigator. Click here to view an example.
  • References: Literature cited, no limit.

Format Instructions:

Page: 8.5 X 11 inches, Margins 0.5”, Font Size: Arial 11 or Times New Roman 12

Applications not meeting guidelines (in particular length, budget, or not on correct form) will be administratively triaged. 


Award Period: October 1, 2022 – September 30, 2023

Awardees will be selected on September 26, 2022.

Junior Faculty Assistance Program (Optional)

To facilitate career development in EH, we are available to assist Junior Faculty applying for this RFA in two ways:

  • Assistance finding potential collaborators: For those who request help in finding environmental health faculty collaborators within or outside  Mount Sinai, please contact Dr. Robert Wright: robert.wright@mssm.edu
  • Pilot grant pre-review process: Available for Postdoctoral Fellows, Instructors, and Assistant Professors. As an additional incentive to apply, Junior Faculty center members are eligible to submit their application 2 weeks prior to the standard due date. Please submit the cover page and proposal has a 3-page limit, and budget and bio-sketches are not required for the initial submission. Please use this form 

Please submit all applications, using this link: https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/92d2460229eb4d15867e78ffc3c5cbb0 

Following the pre-review process, the PI will receive a single-page document with potential criticisms the application may generate, and it is scored using the same criteria as the actual review.

Pre-review Program only: 

Pre-review due date: Friday, July 1, 2022 (11:59 pm)

The review will be returned: Friday, July 15, 2022 (11:59 pm)

Final Submission Due Date: Monday, July 29, 2022 (11:59 pm)

For questions regarding the RFA’s requirements and scientist collaborators:

E-mail Robert Wright: robert.wright@mssm.edu

For Administrative Questions:

Contact Rozalyn Paupaw: rozalyn.paupaw@mssm.edu

Phone: (212) 824-7370

Interested in a Center Membership?

If interested in joining the Mount Sinai P30 Core Center, please use this link to complete your application.