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Partnerships for Environmental Public Health Announces New Funding Opportunity

February 2009

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After fifteen months of work dedicated to the establishing the new Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH) program, the Division of Extramural Research and Training (DERT) at NIEHS announced the first Request for Applications (RFA) titled "Research to Action: Assessing and Addressing Community Exposures to Environmental Contaminants."

DERT staff developed the RFA after considering the comments and recommendations received from the extramural community through a Request for Information (RFI) and an informational workshop ( sponsored by the DERT in 2008. In particular, this RFA places a strong emphasis on research leading to action and the inclusion of community partners at all stages of the project, from co-development of research questions through implementation of the public health action plan.

NIEHS, in partnership with the National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH), designed this "Research to Action"d RFA to support grant applications that will accomplish three central activities - collect data, translate findings into public health action, and evaluate processes and outcomes. Applicants are encouraged to focus on emerging threats to communities and workers, environmental exposures that disproportionately burden low-income or minority communities, and exposure-related diseases that are of the greatest concern to the public.

The research efforts in these areas will be used to fill vital information gaps needed for environmental public health action, such as education, outreach, prevention or intervention programs. Additionally, the application must include an evaluation of the project's processes, including interactions between research and community partners, development and dissemination of educational materials, and outcomes, such as usefulness of materials produced and reductions in exposure to hazardous agents.

Applicants responding to this RFA may request up to $225,000 in direct costs per year for up to four years. The NIEHS intends to commit $2 million in FY2009 to fund five to seven new grants, and NIOSH intends to commit $500,000 in FY2009 to fund one or two new grants. All applications are due by April 1, 2009. Awards will be made in September 2009. A complete copy of the RFA ( Exit NIEHS is available on the NIH Guide website.

All potential applicants to this RFA are encouraged to attend a pre-application technical assistance "virtual" meeting on February 3, 2009 from 1-3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The purpose of the informational meeting is to provide technical assistance on and answer questions related to the preparation of applications. Please note that pre-registration is required.

The "Research to Action" RFA is just the beginning of many new funding opportunities and activities planned under the PEPH program, which promises to be a vital component of the NIEHS' commitment to reducing the burden of human disease and disability attributable to environmental exposures and improving human health. The extramural community is encouraged to keep an eye out for several other exciting PEPH developments in 2009. In February 2009, the PEPH program will launch a new website that will provide the public with quick access to information on PEPH, as well as NIEHS-sponsored and NIH-wide programs that fall within the mission of PEPH. The website will also provide a consolidated list of quick links to potential PEPH-related funding and training opportunities.

Contact: Caroline H. Dilworth, Ph.D.

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