The Climate Change and Health Initiative in the Population Research Institute Seed Grants

The Climate Change and Health Initiative in the Population Research Institute Seed Grants

Deadline to Apply: March 25, 2024

The Population Research Institute (PRI) at The Pennsylvania State University is sponsoring a grant competition aimed at building interdisciplinary teams for research on climate change and health (CCH). We aim to support interdisciplinary, internal (PSU-based) research teams that are focused on developing a program of research in CCH and with the potential for funding by the Population Dynamics Branch (PDB) of NICHD. Funds are available to support successful research teams for awards up to $30,000 each (including fringe and may be adjusted at discretion of the PRI directors). 

The primary goal of this internal grant competition is to foster the development of new teams of researchers that can develop an innovative research program in CCH and that will be sustained by the receipt of external funding in the years ahead. These must include at least one submission to the PDB of NICHD. They should also include additional PDB-relevant CCH submissions to either PDB or other branches and Institutes within NIH or other funding agencies and foundations. Potential topics include but are not limited to those outlined in the ongoing Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Climate Change and Health (NOT-ES-22-006) from NIH.

All PRI faculty associates are eligible to serve as principal investigators for this internal competition. Successful teams will propose a specific CCH research agenda that includes plans for multiple external awards. Priority will be given to teams that include both PRI-based population scientists and climate or environmental scientists from other units across Penn State. Funds may be used to support course releases (of $8,000 per course negotiated flat rate with PRI-affiliated departments); summer salary (up to $8,000 per investigator, if not requesting a course release); pilot data collection; consultant travel; bioassay work; supplemental research assistance; graduate student summer support; or programmer time. Note: Funds may not be used for hardware purchases and may be used for either a course release or faculty summer salary. Funds are expected to be spent within two years of the initial award.

Proposals will be judged on their innovation, significance, and relevance to the intersection of CCH and PDB priorities (see below). Proposals will also be judged on the feasibility of the plan for competing for external research support. Please note that program officers at PDB are very strongly encouraging grantees to speak with them. Projects that have already been discussed with program officers will receive strong preference during IAB review (see point 7 below). 

Awardees are expected to provide an annual report to PRI of all seed grant-related activities. Awardees are also expected to participate in the PRI Grant Writing Group during the two years of their funding period. They are encouraged to continue to participate in the group or to act as ad-hoc reviewers once they have submitted a proposal for external funding. All awardees must complete the requisite IRB and PRI documentation.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to speak with CCH Research Area Lead Brian Thiede ( prior to application submission. Please complete all sections of the application and prepare your proposed budget with Nicole Stem ( prior to submitting your application to PRI. Email your application to Brian Thiede, cc’ing Nicole Stem. Proposals should not exceed 7 pages (excluding budget and investigator information requested in Parts 6 and 7).  The due date is Monday, March 25, 2024