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CEHS calls for pilot project proposals in basic and translational research

The MIT Center for Environmental Health Sciences (CEHS), an interdisciplinary research center funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), invites MIT faculty and research staff with principal investigator privileges to submit applications for funding of pilot projects related to environmental health, to support either basic or translational research. Submission deadline is April 1.

The center anticipates funding five basic research projects plus one translational project, at $25,000 (direct) for each project. Basic research is self-explanatory; translational pilot projects should be designed to move basic/fundamental research closer to its application to prevent or treat human diseases caused by environmental exposures. This definition spans a range of research activities, from applying a method or device to cell- or animal-based models of human disease, to initiating a study involving human tissue samples.

We encourage proposals involving collaborations with clinicians or other interdisciplinary collaborations, for example between engineers and animal model experts, that move environmental health science closer to human applications. In all cases, the trajectory to human application must be clear and feasible.

The pilot program seeks to:
  • Provide initial support for new investigators to establish research in the area of environmental health;
  • Allow established investigators to explore innovative new directions in environmental health research representing a significant departure from ongoing funded research;
  • Stimulate investigators from diverse fields of endeavor to apply their expertise to environmental health research;
  • Encourage and foster multi-disciplinary research collaborations;
  • Provide an opportunity for investigators to take move their basic research to the translational level.
Proposal guidelines

Applicants should submit a four-page proposal that outlines the specific aims and Research Strategy (Significant, Innovation, and Approach). Applications should include a detailed budget and budget justification, along with a biographical sketch using the NIH PHS398 forms.

Forms are available at

Completed applications should be submitted to: Amanda Tat, administrative officer of the CEHS via email,

Questions regarding the application process should be directed to: Professor John M. Essigmann, Director (  or Professor Peter Dedon, deputy director (

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