The EHS Center Pilot Projects Program is the driving force enabling the Center to promote research in environmental health science. The overall goal of the Pilot Projects Program is to integrate environmental health science perspective into emerging research programs that will benefit from the use of the Center’s core facilities. Projects are for one year with a maximum budget of $25,000 (progress reports required after six months).
Junior faculty and non-Center members that will use and/or expand the services of the Center’s facility cores are especially encouraged to apply. Center members are eligible if the pilot project expands the existing capabilities of the EHSC facility cores.
Review Criteria: (based upon new NIH guidelines)
The pilot projects will be reviewed by the Executive Committee of the EHSC Center with outside reviewers consulted as necessary. The projects will be evaluated according to the new NIH guidelines that address the following specific areas: Significance, Investigator(s), Innovation, Approach, and Environment. Relevance to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) goals is prerequisite.
Significance. Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?
Investigator(s). Are the PD/PIs, collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? If Early Stage Investigators or New Investigators, do they have appropriate experience and training? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?
Innovation. Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?
Approach. Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed? If the project involves clinical research, are the plans for 1) protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion of minorities and members of both sexes/genders, as well as the inclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?
Environment. Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?