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Rosenblith New Investigator Award

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Early Career Scientists
for Research on the Health Effects of Air Pollution

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Health Effects Institute (HEI)

LOI Date:


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Grants to USA, Canada, and International early career scientists at the assistant professor or equivalent level at an academic or research institution for research on the health effects of air pollution. Applicants must submit a preliminary application by February 7, and all applicants must contact the funding source to verify eligibility before applying.

These grants are intended to bring new, creative junior investigators with outstanding promise into active research on the health effects of air pollution.

Content of Application:

The full application consists of two equally important parts: (1) a formal proposal for a research project of up to three years and associated materials; and (2) evidence of the candidate’s qualifications and outstanding research potential as well as a mentoring plan (see below).

The project should not exceed $150,000 total costs (i.e., including indirect costs) per year with a maximum of $450,000 for a 3-year project. Thus, a two-year project should not exceed $300,000 in total costs. The budget can be used to support the candidate’s salary, to hire additional junior personnel (e.g., postdocs, graduate or undergraduate students, or technicians), and to purchase equipment and supplies. It is expected that the investigator will devote at least 25% of his or her time on the proposed research.


Having a mentor or mentors is considered part of the supportive research environment that is required for this Award. Mentors should be active senior investigators in the area of the proposed research and be committed both to the career development of the candidate and to the direct supervision of the candidate’s research. The candidate must work with the mentor(s) in preparing the application.

HEI requires candidates to submit a mentoring plan that identifies one or more senior investigators who will act as a mentor and be available for consultation during the project; it is expected that at least one of the mentors will be at the same institution as the applicant. The mentoring plan should describe in detail how and how often the mentor(s) will advise the candidate throughout the study. In addition, mentors are asked to provide a letter indicating their commitment to helping the candidate and their availability for regular consultation, as well as their research qualifications in the area of the proposed research and their experience in fostering the development of independent investigators. During the period of the Award, the mentor(s) will also be requested to provide periodic evidence — for example, in the form of a letter describing meeting dates, reviews of research plans, comments on manuscripts, etc. — that the mentoring plan is being followed.

Mentors are asked to sign off on each progress report indicating they have read the report and communicated with the awardee about potential issues that arose during the study.

Because the Rosenblith Award is meant specifically to support the candidate’s career, senior faculty and consultants can be included for percentage time but not for cost (e.g., 5% effort at $0 cost). Please contact HEI with questions about how to include mentors or senior personnel on the budget pages.

Institutional commitment:

HEI requires evidence of medium to long-term institutional commitment toward the applicant’s career. Commitments can take many forms, such as providing laboratory space, access to core facilities, financial support for a laboratory, or paying part of the awardee’s salary. In addition, it should be evident that the candidate is guaranteed at least 50% time away from teaching and/or clinical duties to pursue research and that the department includes faculty capable of productive collaboration and interaction with the candidate. If a start-up package was awarded at the time of hiring it should be described.

In addition to the materials required in the application, the following should also be submitted as evidence of the applicant’s outstanding research potential:

1. A cover letter from the applicant describing his or her interest in the award and how this project fits with his or her career goals, including information concerning his/her long term career plans and how the HEI Award would contribute to these plans.

2. Two letters of reference from well-established scientists familiar with the candidate’s professional capabilities but who are not directly involved in the proposed project. The letters should not focus on the scientific proposal per se, but rather address the candidate’s past contributions to scientific achievements, the candidate’s potential to pursue and develop an independent research program, and how the HEI Award could contribute to this potential. Whenever possible, one of these letters should be from a postdoctoral research mentor or someone else who has worked closely with the candidate. The second letter should come from an expert in the candidate’s field, who is not a collaborator but can adequately judge the candidate’s potential. Please note that these letters are of paramount importance.

3. One letter from the department chair, dean or other administrative official from the candidate’s present institution, indicating tangible institutional commitment to the candidate and his/her research, as described above.

4. A description of the mentoring plan and letters from the candidate’s mentor(s) indicating the commitment of the mentor(s) to providing consultation to the candidate on a regular basis, as described above.

5. Three recent publications and a list of all publications by the candidate.

Evaluation Criteria:

The evaluation process considers the qualifications and background of the applicant, the quality and relevance of the research proposal, and the research environment of the applicant.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182924

Number of Grants:

HEI expects to provide one or more awards from this RFA each year, depending on available funding and the number and quality of applications.

Estimated Size of Grant:

The project should not exceed $150,000 total costs (i.e., including indirect costs) per year with a maximum of $450,000 for a 3-year project. Thus, a two-year project should not exceed $300,000 in total costs.

Term of Contract:

This program provides up to 3 years of funding for a project relevant to HEI's research interests.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Scientists of any nationality holding a PhD, ScD, MD, DVM, or DrPH degree or equivalent are eligible to apply.

At the time of application the candidate should have two to seven years of research experience after obtaining the highest degree and must be at the Assistant Professor level or equivalent at an academic or research institution.

Evidence that the candidate's institution is prepared to make a tangible commitment to helping the awardee become established as an independent investigator is required as part of the application.

Candidates should possess outstanding research potential. Evidence of this potential, in the form of written letters of support and the candidate’s publication record, is an essential part of the application materials and will be valued equally with the scientific proposal.

Please note that an applicant who does not meet all eligibility requirements will not be considered for this award. HEI will not review applications from individuals with more than six years research experience after obtaining the highest degree. Time spent on non-research activities, such as medical residencies without a research component, may be excluded, however. Applicants should contact HEI to discuss their eligibility.

Pre-Application Information:

All prospective applicants should contact Dr. Annemoon van Erp to verify their eligibility before applying (see Contact Information section below for contact details). Candidates can apply to this award twice in their career

This is a two-stage application process.

Applicants should first submit a Preliminary Application by February 7, 2018. HEI will acknowledge receipt of the application. Applicants will be informed whether or not to submit a full application by mid March, 2018. Applicants should submit a Full Application by May 15, 2018.

Additional Information:

How to Apply:

Click on the link in the Supporting Documents section below to download the RFP, or click here for the online version:


Instructions and Forms for Completing the Application:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Preliminary Applications should be submitted by email in PDF format to (subject line: [PI last name] RFA 17-3 Preliminary Application), with a copy to the Science Administration Assistant (

Full applications for RFA 17-3 (by invitation only) should be submitted to (subject
line: [PI last name] RFA 17-3 Full Application) in PDF format with a maximum file size of 20 MB.

Staff Contact:

Dr. Annemoon M. van Erp
Phone: +1-617-488-2346


75 Federal Street, Suite 1400
Boston, MA 02110, USA

General Phone: +1 (617) 488 2300

Funding or Pin Number:

RFA 17-3

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick   Newfoundland and Labrador   Northwest Territories   Nova Scotia   Nunavut   Ontario   Prince Edward Island   Quebec   Saskatchewan   Yukon


International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.