In considering potential research topics, applicants should be aware of HEI’s current areas of interest, as described in the HEI Strategic Plan for the Health Effects of Air Pollution 2020-20252. The current Plan focuses on four key areas: (1) accountability, (2) complex questions for the air pollution mixture, (3) transport and urban health, and (4) global health.
HEI studies have used a wide range of designs: modeling, methods development, experiments with cell cultures, animal studies, controlled human exposure studies, and epidemiologic investigations. In all studies, accurate characterization of exposure and appropriate statistical analyses are important. HEI’s ultimate goal is to provide scientific evidence that can be used in regulatory decisions or provide better information for risk assessment; thus, human studies and studies to improve extrapolation from animals to humans are an important part of HEI’s program.
HEI encourages investigators to submit applications addressing these high priority research areas. However, HEI realizes that other areas of research may lead to results important to its mission. For this reason, they will also consider particularly innovative or high-quality applications in other areas that are relevant to the overall goals of HEI’s program.
HEI strongly encourages individuals who are underrepresented in environmental exposure and health research to apply and encourages all applicants to diversify their research teams by including underrepresented individuals, including those attuned to and knowledgeable about the communities in which the studies are taking place, to the extent appropriate given the study location(s). For this purpose, HEI has adopted the National Institutes of Health (NIH) definition of underrepresented populations in the U.S. Biomedical, Clinical, Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Enterprise. (NIH’s definition of underrepresented populations includes individuals from racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis, individuals with disabilities who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, recognizing that women from these three backgrounds face particular challenges at the graduate level and beyond in scientific fields.)
The funds can be used to provide salary support for the investigator and supporting junior personnel as well as operating costs, including supplies and equipment. It is expected that the investigator will devote at least 25% of his or her time on the proposed research. For additional information on eligible costs and expenses, see: https://www.healtheffects.org/research/funding/application-instructions