2022- Aging and the Environment Pilot Application

We are happy to announce a new partnership between the Transdisciplinary Center on Early Environmental Exposures (which is in the process of being renamed the Center on Health and Environment Across the LifeSpan HEALS) and the Claude D. Pepper Older American’s Independence Center to fund transdisciplinary pilot grants on “Aging and the Environment”. Applications will share in the merging of each Center’s missions to increase research in aging and in environmental Health at Mount Sinai and have helped to bring non-EH researchers into the field through new transdisciplinary collaborations.  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.  


  • Applications must have a Mount Sinai PI or Multi-PI
  • Subcontracts are not allowed
  • $75,000, $50,000, $25,000 awards. The number of awards granted will be based on the availability of funds.
  • The expected project period is 10/01/22 – 09/30/23
  • Funding may be used for all research expenses, with the exception of PI and co-I salary support
  • Funding for successful applications can be initiated as soon as IACUC and IRB approvals are obtained
  • Progress and final reports, as well as annual updates thereafter, are required from awardees as part of the Pepper and TCEEE P30 reporting requirements.
  • 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.

Resources and support available through the Transdisciplinary Center on Early Environmental Exposures:

  • Models of geospatial environment (climate, air pollution, built environment, etc). Contact allan.just@mssm.edu
  • Statistical analysis of chemical mixtures/metabolomics. Contact chris.gennings@mssm.edu  
  • Measures of Stress and Social Determinants of Health. Contact rosalind.wright@mssm.edu
  • Core facilities to measure the environment using geospatial technology (e.g. satellite remote sensing) for air pollution and weather as well as lab facilities to measure untargeted chemical assays and targeted assays for chemicals (trace elements, plastics (phthalates, phenols), Perfluoryl alkyls, obesogenic compounds, second-hand smoke, and oxidative stress biomarkers. For untargeted chemical assays, metabolomics, and targeted lab-based biomarkers(trace elements/organics/obesogens. Contact manish.arora@mssm.edu
  • Support for community-based participatory research methods. Contact maida.galvez@mssm.edu

Resources and support available through the Older Americans Pepper Center:

  • Population Resources and Methods in Aging research to provide sophisticated, cutting edge methodological, statistical, and programming support to OAIC investigators. Applying advanced research and statistical methodology (e.g., propensity scores, instrumental variable estimation, competing risk analysis) is used in other fields but not commonly applied to aging-related research. Contact melissa.aldridge@mssm.edu
  • Measures of symptoms, impairment caregiver burden, cognitive/behavioral function– Assist OAIC investigators (from this and other centers) in evaluating measures, and, where appropriate, in the selection, use, and construction of item response theory (IRT)-derived measures from existing sources (e.g., the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System [PROMIS] Roadmap Initiative). Apply psychometric techniques to items from existing palliative care and related data sets to test model assumptions, examine distributions, and prepare data for analyses. Contact Teresi Meas Teresimeas@aol.com
  • National Surveys, Administrative or Health System data– The core provides data management and operational support to OAIC investigators working with existing data sources, including the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS), the Medicare Current Beneficiary Study (MCBS), and publicly available geographic data. Contact any amy.kelley@mssm.edu 

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/ae9a12d0020e46dc9b8b93d3ab4f2733

  • 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, four pages maximum. The Abstract Page (300-word max), budget page, budget justification, biosketches, and references are NOT included in the page limit. Headings include:
    • Specific Aims
    • Significance/Background
    • Innovation
    • Approach
    • Future funding plans/goals
  • 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 Drs. Robert Wright: robert.wright@mssm.edu and Kenneth Boockvar:  kenneth.boockvar@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, abstract, and proposal.  Budget, References, 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@mssm.edukenneth.boockvar@mssm.edu  

For Administrative Questions:

Email rozalyn.paupaw@mssm.edu & Christian.espino@mssm.edu

Phone: (212) 824-7370