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CEHS calls for pilot project proposals in basic and translational research

The MIT Center for Environmental Health Sciences (CEHS) is now inviting MIT junior 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 Oct. 14.

The center anticipates funding of $25,000 (direct) for each application. Basic research is self-explanatory; translational pilot projects should be designed to move basic and 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. 

The CEHS — an interdisciplinary research center, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences — encourages proposals involving collaborations with clinicians or other interdisciplinary collaborations. For example, engineers and animal model experts could collaborate to move environmental health science closer to human applications. In all cases, the trajectory to human application must be clear and feasible.

The pilot project program seeks to:
  • Provide initial support for new investigators to establish research in the area of environmental health;
  • Bridge collaborations between scientists and engineers;
  • Stimulate investigators from diverse fields to apply their expertise to environmental health research;
  • Encourage and foster multi-disciplinary research collaborations; and
  • Provide an opportunity for investigators to move their basic research to the translational level.
Proposal guidelines

Applicants should submit a four-page research plan that outlines the specific aims and research strategy (such as its significance, innovation and approach). Please distinguish whether your pilot project application is basic research or translational research in the title of the application. Applications should also include a detailed budget form, budget justification and a biographical sketch using the NIH PHS398 forms.

Forms are available at:

Applications with a cover page can be submitted to: Amanda Tat, administrative officer of the CEHS, at

Questions regarding the application process should be directed to: John M. Essigmann, director, at; or Bevin P. Engelward, deputy director, at

The anticipated start date is Dec. 1.

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