Superfund Research Program

The NIEHS Superfund Research Program supports administrative supplements to enhance the diversity of the research workforce by recruiting and supporting eligible graduate students and postdoctorates from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups that have been shown to be underrepresented in health-related research. Administrative supplements must support work within the scope of the original project/core and may be submitted for research in any of the four SRP Mandate Areas: advanced techniques for the detection, assessment, and evaluation of the effects on human health of hazardous substances; methods to assess the risks to human health presented by hazardous substances; methods and technologies to detect hazardous substances in the environment; and basic biological, chemical, and physical methods to reduce the amount and toxicity of hazardous substances.

Note: Grant recipients are strongly encouraged to speak with their SRP Program Officer in advance of submission about the scope of the proposed project and to ensure that the grant is eligible for a diversity supplement. In addition, these supplements are subject to the availability of funds, hence it is necessary to speak with your Program Officer before February of the intended fiscal year. start date.

  • Please visit the NIEHS Diversity Supplement webpage for the current Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), related notices, receipt dates and estimated earliest start dates. Note, for SRP grant recipients, any applications received after the February receipt date may not be considered for funding in the current fiscal year.

For applicants funded by the Superfund Research Program (SRP), the following career levels are eligible to apply: Baccalaureate and Master's Degree Holders, Graduate (Predoctoral) and Health Professional Students, and Individuals in Postdoctoral Training. SRP will provide up to two years of support. Duration of support and allowability of costs depends on the candidate’s career level, as well as the amount of time remaining on the parent award (excluding a no cost extension) and may be adjusted by the review committee. Requests may be up to $50,000 Direct Costs per year. Other tips for applicants: Please read the full NOFO on the NIEHS Diversity Supplement webpage. Below, we offer tips for select sections of the application.

  • Project Summary. For the project summary, include a plain language abstract describing the proposed supplement activity. Please include a brief description of the P42 grant’s theme and project/core for which the candidate will be associated. The summary should also include a description of the candidate’s research activities during the time of the proposed supplement award.
  • Supplement applications need to be in the scope of the original project/core (i.e. the proposal should not request to do something that is significantly different than the original proposal).
  • The biosketch for the PI and diversity candidate must be included. The personal statement of the candidate’s biographical sketch should address their research experience, research objectives, career goals, and how the proposed aims of the activity align with the candidate’s career goals.
  • Research Strategy: Follow instructions in the NOFO. The Research Strategy should include a Research Plan, Mentoring Plan, and Timeline. Descriptions should be written so that they can be easily understood by individuals outside of your specific area of expertise. Abbreviations should be spelled out and highly technical language/terms that may not be known to the broader scientific community should be avoided unless clearly defined. should be spelled out and highly technical language/terms that may not be known to the broader scientific community should be avoided unless clearly defined. The Research Strategy section should be between 3 to 6 pages.
    • Research Plan
      • The Research Plan should address specific aims, the research proposal, preliminary data, specific skills, responsibilities, and activities that demonstrate the candidate’s increasing independence as an environmental health scientist.
      • It is encouraged that the applicant provides evidence that research proposed during the funding period will enhance the candidate’s overall research skills appropriate to their career stage.
      • A very brief summary of the parent grant (typically the abstract or a summary paragraph) that identifies the relevant specific aim(s).
      • Scope of the research planned for the candidate: this should include the specific activities (e.g., experimental design, approaches, and methodologies) that will be conducted by the candidate. To enhance the research experience, SRP is particularly interested in providing support to candidates who propose an independent research activity.
      • The research plan must address how the supplement's research is related to the parent grant goals or how it is a logical extension of that research. Include a brief statement of assurance that the research delineated in the supplement is not an expansion (change in scope) requiring peer review (see the NIH Grants Policy Statement).
    • Mentorship Plan: An appropriate career mentorship plan for the candidate should be included in the application. The expectation is that the PI will work with the candidate to develop plans and strategies for helping the candidate make the transition to the next stage of their research career. Components of the mentorship plan should include:
      • Details of mentor-candidate interactions: the plan should go beyond simple laboratory assignments and supervision plans or stating that the candidate will attend seminars or lab meetings. The career development plan should be structured, specific and stage-appropriate for the candidate and include parameters such as the frequency of meetings, topics to be discussed, and how progress will be monitored.
      • The plan should take into account the typical barriers and impediments encountered by all trainees, as well as the unique challenges that individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, or individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds may encounter in gaining entry and progressing in the biomedical workforce.
      • Mentoring Experience: the PI should provide evidence of mentoring experience and success (e.g., a list of past trainees and their current positions). If the PI is a junior faculty member, it may be appropriate to include an experienced co-mentor in the application. The PI may also want to describe experiences in mentoring other trainees from diverse backgrounds and/or competencies in cross-cultural mentoring. The role of other investigators who will contribute to the research mentoring should be included with the application.
    • Timeline: A timeline for the research and career development activities is required.
    • Budget
      • It is highly encouraged that the supplement application budget includes funds for the candidate to travel to and present their research activities at the SRP Annual Meeting.
      • If cost sharing is provided by the institution, applicants may make note of this in the budget justification.
      • The supplement application should clearly state that the candidate is not currently supported by the SRP grant at the time of application.
      • Please see the NOFO for cost limitations specific to your candidate’s level.
    • R&R Other Project Information form: follow instructions in the NOFO for other project information including:
      • Candidate Eligibility Statement: A signed statement from an institutional official establishing the eligibility of the candidate for support under this program.
      • Letters of Support:
        • While these are not required, letters of support often greatly strengthen the application. Letters from the Center Director/Principal Investigator and mentors are highly encouraged. These letters may include information about how the trainee will be incorporated into the overall SRP Center, how each mentor became introduced to the applicant, and the details of the mentorship that will be provided to the applicant. Also, applicants may wish to include a letter from the institution if cost sharing is provided.
    • Note, per the NOFO, “Only under extraordinary circumstances, which must be well justified in the application, would it be acceptable for a postdoctoral candidate to work with his/her former predoctoral mentor.”
    • Review Criteria: Please see Section V in NOFO for review criteria.