Assessing and Addressing Community Exposures to Environmental Contaminants

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), more specifically the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), encourages community-engagement projects designed to investigate the potential health risks of environmental exposures of concern to the community and to implement an environmental public health action plan based on research findings. Projects supported under this program are expected to employ community-engaged research methods to seamlessly translate research findings into public health action. This announcement reflects NIEHS goals in bi-directional communications and in supporting research to address environmental health disparities and environmental justice concerns. This announcement also reflects NINR ongoing investment in clinical, biological, and translational research programs that encourage and enable individuals to become guardians of their own well-being.

Specific examples of research topics that are of interest, but are not limited to:

  • The cumulative health impact of exposure to multiple environmental stressors on health risks
  • The burden on human health from hazardous pollutants or health conditions associated with a known toxic waste site, nuclear facility, chemical plant, or resource extraction site where, for example, a new school, housing development, or community center is to be built.
  • Exposure to mixtures of toxic substances and associated health impacts among populations that may experience higher exposure or particular sensitivity to exposure.
  • The impact of climate change on particularly vulnerable communities or populations.
  • Applications that consider interactions between environmental contaminant exposures and the social or physical environment or infectious diseases are encouraged.

Applications that focus on the social/physical environment or infectious disease alone will not be considered responsive to this initiative. Capacity building activities to develop training and educational programs, or to establish a new community-researcher partnership, would not be considered appropriate, as would exploring exposures to infectious diseases, poorly built or maintained housing, or other aspects of the built environment related solely to social conditions.

Proposals are accepted several times a year. R01 (new applications) are due February 5, June 5 and October 5 annually.

For different types of proposals (e.g. renewals, resubmissions), see the schedule of deadlines.

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If we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed.
— Chinese Proverb