Pilot Project Program


Director: Kenneth Reuhl, Ph.D., D.A.B.T.

The Pilot Project Program: the Heart of the NIEHS Center

The mission of the Pilot Project program is to allow investigators to generate data in support of new hypotheses, collaborations, and areas of research, with the goal of converting these preliminary data into peer reviewed funding. CEED encourages interdisciplinary approaches to environmental health sciences, and actively solicits Rutgers researchers from toxicology, biology, environmental medicine, nutrition, and many other science and medical fields, to collaborate on pilot project proposals.

Pilot funding advances the Center by supporting high-risk high-return research, seeding new research collaborations, encouraging investigators not affiliated with the Center to incorporate environmental health into their research efforts, and supporting junior faculty with an interest in environmental health research. Investigators new to the field of environmental health are encouraged to collaborate with or use Center members as consultants when submitting Pilot grants. In this way, Pilot studies lead to new collaborations within CEED. In addition, since these grants are often one of the first sources of research funding for junior faculty and new clinical researchers, they are powerful incentives attracting these investigators to environmental health research.


Applications Deadline EXTENDED: April 15, 2020                                                        

 DATE: January 23, 2020
TO: Faculty: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
FROM: Kenneth Reuhl, Ph.D., Pilot Program Director
SUBJECT: Request for Proposals for 2020-21 CEED Pilot Grant Funding

The NIEHS Center for Environmental Exposures and Disease (CEED), in collaboration with the

Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI), is soliciting applications for its 2020-21 Pilot Project Program.  Pilot funding supports new environmental health research with the potential to improve human health.  CEED is funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS, P30-ES005022).

The mission of CEED is to understand how environmental exposures are integrated with host and environmental factors to influence human diseases. Further, this will be used to improve human health through education, outreach, and mechanistically based intervention, prevention, and treatment modalities.

This year’s RFP encourages interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to problems in the environmental health sciences, CEED is interested in all aspects of environmental health research, including climate change. The deadline for submission of applications is extended to April 15, 2020.

Requirements of Pilot Program Project:

  1. NIH Biosketch (see next page)
  2. Preference will be given to projects that will be competitive for NIEHS grants
  3. Pilot Project recipients must apply for NIH, and preferable NIEHS, grant funding within 18 months following the end of the pilot project.

A maximum of $25,000 will be available for each grant; however, budgetary justification and potential for NIEHS funding will be significant factors in reviewing these grants. The maximum budget may be exceeded only in exceptional cases. The Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator must be a Rutgers faculty member, with special consideration given to new faculty members.  Membership in the NIEHS Center or in EOHSI is not required. However, collaborative projects with CEED/EOHSI members are strongly encouraged.


Each proposal must include the following components:

PROJECT NARRATIVE: up to four pages (single-spaced, 11 pt. font, 1” margins):

  • Title of Project
  • Investigators (include names, titles, addresses, e-mail and phone numbers)
  • Hypothesis
  • Background and significance
  • Specific Aims, with timeline
  • Methods and data analysis
    1. Human subjects: list and attach active IRB protocol that is appropriate or can be easily amended to include projected studies
    2. Animal subjects: list relevant IACUC protocol and attach approval letter
  • Expected Results, Outcomes: **
    • Enhance scientific discovery relevant to environmental health; publications;
    • Grant applications to NIH, especially NIEHS
  • Relevance to CEED mission (see p. 1)
  • Planned Use of CEED Facility Cores

 PROPOSAL APPENDICES (do not count toward page limits):

  • References
  • Biosketch in NIH format; https://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms/biosketch.htm
  • Other Support Page in NIH format: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms/othersupport.htm
  • Budget and Budget Justification

Budget Considerations:

  • Direct Costs only – Indirect costs are not permissible
  • Undergraduate stipends up to $6,000/year ($3,000/semester) are allowable.
  • No equipment, travel, graduate student stipends, or faculty salary can be supported.
  • Awards will not be granted to the same investigators more than 2 consecutive years.

Review Process

Applications should be submitted by April 15, 2020.  Review of the Pilot Grant proposals will take place in May, 2020. The Director of the Pilot Project Program will first review all applications to confirm that the application meets the basic criteria, and will triage any non-adherent applications immediately. The CEED Director may offer to assist in fine-tuning applications, at his discretion.  All eligible applications will be sent out for review by internal and external reviewers.

 Awards and Reporting

Successful applicants will be sent award letters, including instructions regarding expenditure of funds, by May 15, 2020.  All funds must be spent by March 31, 2021.  By one-year post-funding, funded applicants will be required to give an oral presentation of the project outcome at an NIEHS Center members’ meeting, and provide evidence of grant submission.

Inquiries and Submission of Proposals:

Please e-mail your application by April 15, 2020 to:

Kristin Borbely, NIEHS Center Administrator

PHONE: (848) 445-0170 FAX: (732) 445-4161

E-mail:  borbely@eohsi.rutgers.edu

Website: Pilot Programs 2020-2021

Click on the headings below to see summaries of current and past pilot projects: