Our Fall 2019 RFA has been released !

 Identifying Solutions to Address Health Disparities (PDF)


The Institute for Environmental Health Solutions (IEHS) is a research institute with a Public Health Mission to reduce the burden of environmentally-influenced disease in North Carolina, the U.S., and abroad and identify solutions that support environmental health resilience. The purpose of the IEHSSeed Program is to support the generation of preliminary data that will enable researchers to compete for external funding. To this end, IEHS will provide seed funding for projects that include data driven approaches to identify underlying factors contributing to adverse health outcomes in vulnerable populations, as well as state-of-the-art science to identify solutions to those problems.

Priority will be given to transdisciplinary projects of either local or global public health concern and must encompass one of our research foci, currently including: cancer survivors health, metabolic health, perinatal health, and respiratory health. IEHSSeed investigative teams may span UNC schools, as well as include scientists outside UNC; however, the program does not support research that is conducted outside the United States.

Who is Eligible to Apply as PI?

  • Researchers whose appointments allow them to serve as PI on externally sponsored research projects are eligible to apply as PI. Members of community organizations and outreach-based research networks are also eligible to apply.
  • All applicants must include a current IEHS member as part of the investigative team.
  • IEHSSeed encourages applications from junior investigators.
  • Each year we will award 1 internal and 2 external awards.

A consultation with the Program Manager is available for any applicant who would like to discuss their project and application.

Funding and Budget

If the grant is funded, metrics such as number of resultant publications and future grants/ funding obtained using the seed funds will be tracked and monitored, and supply IEHS with interim and final progress reports. IEHSSeed budgets are to cover expenditures for a 12-month period. Funds will be released after any required IRB/NIH Human Subjects Research/IACUC approval documentation has been provided to IEHS. IEHSSeed funds may not be budgeted for (1) salary support, (2) office supplies or communication costs, including printing, (3) meals or travel, including to conferences, except as required to collect data, (4) professional education or training, (5) computers/tablets or audiovisual equipment, (6) manuscript preparation and submission, or (7) indirect costs.

Review criteria

A review committee will comprise a team of scientists that will examine each application for:

  • Significance of the work
  • Novelty/innovation of the research idea
  • Soundness of the methods
  • Relevance of the proposed work to address environmental health solutions
  • A genuine multidisciplinary team and/or new collaboration being formed
  • Potential for the project to lead to future external funding or a commercialization opportunity
  • Feasibility of the project goals being accomplished within the one-year project period

Applicants are limited to two submissions (an original submission and one resubmission) per application. Resubmissions should include a “Resubmission Summary” section, detailing amendments and improvements to the original application.

Detailed application instructions can be found here (PDF). The completed application must be received by 31 October 2019 at 5 pm; no late applications will be accepted. Please submit to: Lisa Smeester, Ph.D. IEHS Program Manager smesta@unc.edu

Director: Rebecca Fry, PhD
Program Manager: Lauren Eaves, PhD

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