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Your Environment. Your Health.

PEPH E-News September 2015

Volume 6, Issue 9: September 2015

PEPH E-News Header

NIEHS Grantees Lead Efforts to Integrate Social Science with Environmental Health Practice

In recent years, there has been a growing appreciation of how social science research can improve environmental health scientists' understanding of environmental health and justice issues in contaminated communities. Much of this interest has been generated as a result of greater attention to social determinants of health in biomedical research, as well as the emergence and acceptance of community-engaged research approaches in environmental health sciences. A transdisciplinary team, led by NIEHS grantee Phil Brown, Ph.D., has been spearheading the effort to integrate these two fields — most recently drawing attention to their intersection in a recent commentary published in Environmental Health Perspectives and establishing a new NIEHS-funded environmental health and social science training program.

The commentary, Social Science Collaboration with Environmental Health, provides an in-depth look at the emergence of social and environmental health team science, how this collaborative approach fosters better research, and how to build upon and sustain capacity at the intersection of the two fields. In addition to Brown, Elizabeth Hoover, Ph.D., Mia Renauld, and Michael R. Edelstein, Ph.D., were authors on the paper. The authors recount several case studies of contaminated communities to establish how social scientists shed light on the full consequences of environmental contamination. They also cite NIEHS's support of community-based participatory research, the Partnerships for Environmental Public Health program, and other landmark programs that have community outreach and engagement components as an important catalyst driving the integration of social science and environmental health practice. To conclude, the authors draw attention to the need for interdisciplinary training opportunities that emphasize environmental health and social science collaborations.

"Social and environmental health scientists don't necessarily work in the same circles or have connections with each other, and while there have been a growing number of such transdisciplinary collaborations, there has been no systematic way for students, postdocs, and faculty members to learn the skills of such partnerships. Nor have there been many locations where each side gets to spend time with the other, learning science from each arena," said Brown, who is director of the Research Translation Core and co-director of the Community Engagement Core within the PROTECT Superfund Research Center at Northeastern University (NEU).

To this end, Brown established a training program, funded by NIEHS in June 2015, which will prepare future leaders in social science - environmental health science collaborations. Co-directed by NEU's Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute and the Silent Spring Institute, the grant will support the training of six doctoral students and three postdoctoral fellows in a new research trajectory that combines the study of environmental health, exposure science, and social science. The trainees will learn about community-based participatory research, environmental justice, informal science education, and public participation in science. Additionally, a capacity-building component will give students hands-on training at Silent Spring Institute to learn how a community-based organization deals with research and advocacy.

"Many of my former students and postdocs are now working on social science - environmental health collaborations and I believe they will shepherd their students and postdocs in the same direction. They and others will need to have more opportunities to make that happen, and settings like our training program provide infrastructure for sustaining this capacity," said Brown.

Submit Nominations for the NIEHS 50th Anniversary Celebration

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) will celebrate its 50th Anniversary on November 1, 2016. To commemorate this important event, NIEHS is documenting the Institute's history, research highlights, and public health achievements. Therefore, NIEHS invites you to nominate milestones for possible inclusion in the 50th anniversary commemoration. A milestone could be a person, event, scientific achievement, public health impact, or significant historical moment. Visit the NIEHS 50th Anniversary Milestones Project page to submit your nomination. Nominations are due by Monday, September 15

Collaborative Publication Highlights Community Engaged Research on PCBs in Schools

The Boston University (BU) Superfund Research Program (SRP) Community Engagement Core and the University of Iowa SRP Research Translation Core published a paper in the journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research that highlights the importance of interaction between scientists and activists, using the example of the 8th International PCB Workshop and its focus on the problem of PCBs in schools. The paper, PCBs in schools-where communities and science come together, reflects an ongoing collaboration with communities facing this contamination problem. For more on the topic, check out the recorded BU SRP partnership call with the Collaborative on Health and the Environment: PCBs in Schools - Still a Problem?, featuring David Sherr (BU SRP Center Director), Robert Herrick (Harvard School of Public Health), and Keri Hornbuckle (Iowa SRP Center).

EPA Launches School Indoor Air Quality Mobile App

In August, the EPA launched a new mobile app to assist schools and school districts with performing comprehensive indoor air quality (IAQ) facility assessments to protect the health of children and staff. The new School IAQ Assessment mobile app is a one-stop shop for accessing guidance from EPA's IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit. The mobile app provides schools and school districts with an efficient, innovative technology integrated with proven strategies for addressing critical building-related environmental health issues, such as ventilation, cleaning and maintenance, environmental asthma triggers, radon, and integrated pest management. Schools that want to develop, sustain, or reinvigorate their IAQ management programs can use this tool to identify and prioritize IAQ improvements. Visit the EPA Web page to download and start using the new mobile app!

CDC Seeks Nominations for Breast and Cervical Cancer Advisory Committee

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is soliciting nominations for membership on The Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection and Control Advisory Committee. The committee provides advice and guidance to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director of the CDC regarding the early detection and control of breast and cervical cancer. The committee makes recommendations regarding national program goals and objectives; implementation strategies; and program priorities, including surveillance, epidemiologic investigations, education and training, information dissemination, professional interactions and collaborations, and policy. The next cycle of candidate selection will conclude this fall (for selection of potential nominees to replace members whose terms will end on March 31, 2016). See the Federal Register notice for more information.

Call for Comments: Federal Interagency Strategic Plan for Environmental Justice

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as convener of the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (EJ IWG), is asking for public comment on the draft FY 2016-2018 Action Agenda Framework. The Framework is the EJ IWG's three-year strategic plan to advance environmental justice. Visit the EPA Web page to review the Framework and submit comments. Comments are due by September 25, 2015.

Job Opportunity: Postdoctoral Position - University of California, San Francisco

The UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment is seeking a Postdoctoral Scientist in environmental epidemiology and biostatistics. This training opportunity is designed to give the postdoctoral scientist experience in all aspects of the research process from design and implementation to publication. The successful candidate must have a Ph.D. in epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, risk assessment, or other environmental health related field. The candidate also must have statistical experience, as well as experience with R, Stata, or SAS. For more information, see the job announcement.

PEPH Grantee Highlight: Karen Miller and Laura Weinberg

For more than 20 years, breast cancer advocates Karen Miller and Laura Weinberg have worked with communities on Long Island, New York and surrounding areas to facilitate breast cancer education and prevention efforts among diverse groups of women. Miller founded the Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition, Inc. in 1992, and Weinberg is president of the Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition. Together, they collaborate as community partners with NIEHS-funded researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Their experience with community groups and disseminating information on breast cancer prevention to women has been essential in translating Mount Sinai research into meaningful information for communities. Read the Karen Miller and Laura Weinberg Grantee Highlight to learn more about their efforts to bring breast cancer education to underserved groups!

PEPH Environmental Health Chat Podcast Series

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As kids across the country head back to school, we wanted to draw your attention to a past PEPH podcast, Protecting Children from Contaminants at School. Listen to the podcast to hear how researchers and community members teamed up to investigate contamination at Rhode Island schools.

You can find more podcasts on the Environmental Health Chat Web page or subscribe to the series on iTunes. We want your feedback! Send comments and ideas for future podcasts to

PEPH in the Environmental Factor

The latest issue of the NIEHS Environmental Factor features several stories highlighting topics and activities of interest to the PEPH community. Take a moment to catch up with some of the latest projects, events, and activities happening in the PEPH network:

Virtual forum on near-roadway air pollution highlights health effects. In a July 10 virtual forum, NIEHS helped broaden public understanding of the impacts of air pollution from roadways.

Evaluating worker training from the mid-management perspective. A new study gives worker health and safety training high marks and takes a rare look at how midlevel managers value NIEHS-funded programs.

A scientist gives back - Rahman on women's environmental health. Qamar Rahman, Ph.D., discussed the challenges Indian women face in the workplace and her motivations to help improve women's health.

Big data presents big challenges, big opportunities in environmental health. The NIEHS Superfund Research Program co-hosted a webinar that explored the use of complex datasets to solve environmental health problems.

Call for PEPH at APHA Sessions

Each year, before the American Public Health Association (APHA) conference, we compile a "PEPH at APHA" booklet. This document is meant to help you navigate the large meeting so you can quickly and easily find the sessions in which our PEPH colleagues are participating. If you are an NIEHS grantee or community partner presenting at APHA this year, let us know! We will send out a request in September through the PEPH Network listserv to collect your session information.

Upcoming PEPH-Related Meetings

September 10 - 11, 2015: Reimagining Health in Cities: New Directions in Urban Health Research in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This symposium, hosted by the Drexel University School of Public Health, will bring together researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to reflect critically on the links between urban environments and health, identify new opportunities for research (including novel data and methodological approaches), and consider implications for community action and policy. Register.

September 24 - 25, 2015: EPA Region 6 Symposium: Children's Environmental Health on the Border in El Paso, Texas. Sessions are being planned for healthcare providers, academics, community health workers, policymakers, social workers, and community leaders.

September 28 - 30, 2015: NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP) 2015 Fall Awardee Meeting and Workshop in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The workshop will focus on a variety of topics and will offer opportunities to identify and leverage program collaborations, strengths, and data. The WTP Awardee Meeting will be held on September 28, and the WTP Workshop will be held September 29 - 30.

September 30 - October 1, 2015: Interindividual Variability: New Ways to Study and Implications for Decision-Making in Washington, D.C. This workshop will focus on recent scientific advances that could help elucidate the sources of interindividual variation. Join researchers, professionals, and policy experts to explore new tools and how they may be used to advance the science behind risk-based decisions. On-site and webcast registration is required. If you plan on attending in person or watching the webcast, use the twitter hashtag #NASvariability to join the conversation!

October 2, 2015: Community Engagement Institute (CEI) at the University of Alabama. This premier educational and training event is designed to benefit both community and academic partners in the greater Birmingham area. This year's Institute will explore concepts related to health equity and social justice in communities and why and how community engagement and collaboration are effective public health research and community-building practices. Register early to ensure your seat for this free event.

October 6, 2015: Institute of Medicine Meeting on Obesity in the Early Childhood Years: State of the Science and Implementation of Promising Solutions in Washington, D.C. Register to attend in person or via webcast.

October 12 - 14, 2015: Pathways into Health Conference - Achieving Excellence, Harmony, and Balance in Seattle, Washington. The purpose of this conference is to bring together a diverse group of individuals and organizations to contribute to the cultivation of a robust American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) healthcare workforce. This year's theme, "Uniting and Sustaining Pathways into Health Professions," explores opportunities to unite, enhance, and sustain new and existing pathways into health professions for AI/AN individuals and communities.

October 14 - 16, 2015: NIH Regional Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration in San Diego, California. These seminars are intended to help demystify the application and review process, clarify federal regulations and policies, and highlight current areas of special interest of concern. The seminars are appropriate for grants administrators, researchers new to NIH, and graduate students. Register.

October 18 - 22, 2015: International Society for Exposure Science (ISES) in Henderson, Nevada. The theme of the 25th Annual ISES Meeting is "Exposures in an Evolving Environment." Register.

October 19, 2015: NIH Digital Summit: Optimizing Digital to Reach Patients, Scientists, Clinicians, and the Public in Bethesda, Maryland. This digital summit will explore how patients, health professionals, and researchers are getting and sharing health and science information. The summit is designed to encourage discussion, so use the hashtag #NIHDigital to join the conversation online! Registration is required for in-person attendance.

October 29 - 30, 2015: 2015 NIEHS/EPA Children's Centers Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. This meeting will feature the researchers and senior scientists from the Children's Centers, the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSUs) North American network, scientists from federal agencies, and others through interdisciplinary presentations and discussions that explore connections between research findings, clinical and community practice, and child protective policies. Speakers also will discuss approaches for communicating with the scientific community and for sharing research findings and technical information with parents and the public. Register by October 9, 2015.

October 31 - November 4, 2015: American Public Health Association Annual Meeting & Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. This year's theme is "Health in All Policies." Register.

November 2 - 3, 2015: 7th Annual Health Literacy Research Conference (HARC) in Bethesda, Maryland. The HARC is an interdisciplinary meeting for investigators dedicated to health literacy research.

November 9 - 10, 2015: 2015 Community Indicators Consortium Impact Summit in Austin, Texas. The Impact Summit is the premier gathering for those involved in the field of community measurement. The conference will highlight successes, tools, and how to use data to build equitable communities. Pre-conference workshops are also being offered on November 8 for an additional fee. Register.

November 17 - 20, 2015: Superfund Research Program Annual Meeting 2015 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The theme for this year's meeting is "SRP Collaboration for Innovation." Registration will open later this summer.

December 3 - 4, 2015: Tribal Ecological Knowledge Workshop in Bethesda, Maryland. This workshop will explore the contributions that Native American (NA) and Alaskan Native (AN) tribal communities bring to the research enterprise. The workshop is intended for those with an interest in research with NA/AN communities, academic investigators, federal staff, and members of tribal communities to give them the opportunity to contribute to the desired dialogue. The workshop is open to the public; registration is required.

December 14 - 15, 2015: 8th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Washington, D.C. This meeting is ideal for researchers, evaluators, and implementers who are interested in identifying opportunities, challenges, and strategies for disseminating the findings and implementation of research to key stakeholders. This year's theme is "Optimizing Personal and Population Health." Registration is now open.

May 11 - 14, 2016: 14th International Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. Save the date for the CCPH conference, which will bring together community partners, faculty members, students, funders, and policymakers to share and highlight partnerships and research collaborations addressing health equity through social justice. Session and poster proposals are due October 15, 2015. See the CCPH proposal submission Web page for more information.

Funding Opportunities

Visit the PEPH Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) page for more PEPH-related funding opportunities.

Request for Information (RFI): Strategies for Simplifying NIH's Grant Application Instructions. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) seeks input on the restructuring of the NIH grant application instructions. This RFI seeks to obtain public comments focused specifically on developing new strategies in presenting NIH application instructions to applicants in a more concise, helpful way. NIH invites comments from any interested parties. Responses must be submitted electronically on the submission website by September 25, 2015.

Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health Related Research (Admin Supp). The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hereby notify Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) holding specific types of research grants that funds are available for administrative supplements to improve the diversity of the research workforce by recruiting and supporting students, postdocs, and eligible investigators from groups that have been shown to be underrepresented in health-related research. This supplement opportunity is also available to PD(s)/PI(s) of research grants who are or become disabled and need additional support to accommodate their disability in order to continue to work on the research project. Administrative supplements must support work within the scope of the original project. Deadline: Due dates vary by awarding IC; see table of IC-specific information, requirements, and staff contacts for more details.

Gulf of Mexico Program Cooperative Agreements 2015. EPA is soliciting proposals that address water quality improvement; coastal habitat and ecosystems enhancement, restoration, and/or protection; environmental education and outreach; and strengthening community resilience in the Gulf of Mexico region and its watersheds. See the EPA Web page and Request for Proposals for more information. Deadline: September 15, 2015.

National Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship Program. This program targets Hispanic students enrolled full-time in dental, medical, nursing, public health, and policy schools. Deadline: September 18, 2015.

Spatial Uncertainty: Data, Modeling, and Communication (R01). The purpose of this FOA is to support innovative research that identifies sources of spatial uncertainty in public health data, incorporates the inaccuracy or instability into statistical methods, and develops novel tools to visualize the nature and consequences of spatial uncertainty. Deadline: October 5, 2015.

Understanding and Promoting Health Literacy (R01, R03, R21). The goal of this program announcement is to encourage methodological, intervention, and dissemination research for understanding and promoting health literacy. Deadlines: October 5, 2015 (R01); October 16, 2015 (R03, R21).

Advancing Implementation Science in Community/Academic Partnered Research. The Association of American Medical Colleges and the Donaghue Foundation have partnered to offer an opportunity for academic medical centers to collaboratively engage in research that has the potential for a near-term impact to improve population health outcomes. The research should facilitate collaborations among researchers, community organizations, and health system leaders. For more information, download the RFP. Deadline: October 16, 2015.

NIMHD Transdisciplinary Collaborative Centers for Health Disparities Research on Chronic Disease Prevention (U54). The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) invites applications to establish specialized Transdisciplinary Collaborative Centers for health disparities research focused on chronic disease prevention, with an emphasis on developing, implementing and disseminating community-based multilevel interventions. Deadlines: November 16, 2015 (letter of intent); December 16, 2015 (application).

Addressing Health Disparities in Maternal and Child Health through Community-Based Participatory Research (Limited Competition R03). This FOA supports community-based participatory research projects planned and developed by recipients of the Phase I Academic-Community Partnerships Conference Series awards under PAR-09-092 and PAR-12-102. Deadlines: November 20, 2015 (application); a letter of intent is due 30 days before the application due date.

Emerging Global Leader Award (K43). The purpose of the Fogarty Emerging Global Leader Award is to provide research support and protected time to a research scientist from a low- or middle-income country (LMIC) with a junior faculty position at an LMIC academic or research institution. This intensive, mentored research career development experience is expected to lead to an independently funded research career. This FOA invites applications from LMIC scientists from any health-related discipline who propose career-development activities and a research project that is relevant to the health priorities of their country. See the related notice and Fogarty Emerging Global Leader Award Web page for more information. Deadline: December 16, 2015.

International Research Scientist Development Award (K01). The purpose of the International Research Scientist Development Award (IRSDA) is to provide support and protected time (three to five years) to advanced postdoctoral U.S. research scientists and recently appointed U.S. junior faculty (at least two years beyond conferral of doctoral degree) for an intensive, mentored research career-development experience in a low- or middle-income country (LMIC) leading to an independently funded research career focused on global health. See the IRSDA Web page for more information. Deadline: March 2, 2016.


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