Current Request For Proposals

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Current Seed Grant Information

Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination
Request for Research Proposals
FY 2018

Submission Deadline: January 16, 2018

​UPDATE: As a result of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday the deadline for submission has been extended to 5:00 pm CT on Tuesday, January 16, 2018.


The Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination (CHEEC) at The University of Iowa supports and conducts environmental health research relating to environmental toxins. CHEEC’s mission is ‘to determine the levels of environmental contamination which can be specifically associated with human health effects’.


CHEEC seed grants are intended for pilot studies that stimulate the growth and development of innovative lines of environmental health research. The program seeks to fulfill the education and research missions of Iowa colleges and universities by promoting the involvement of students in research activities.

Grants are awarded to innovative and original research for exposure and risk assessment studies;  environmental treatment and remediation techniques that reduce exposures; monitoring and sampling methods; laboratory methods development; statistical analysis relating environmental exposures to health outcomes; database design and development; health survey design; and studies based on innovative biochemical, molecular, genetic, and cellular approaches that aid understanding of mechanisms of toxicity relating human exposure to environmental contaminants.

While all research topics will be considered, CHEEC is especially interested in proposals for the current funding cycle that address the following issues of emerging relevance to the public health of Iowans:

  • Harmful algal blooms and microcystins
  • Emerging and unregulated disinfection byproducts
  • Agriculturally derived pathogens in surface water and groundwater resources
  • Lead and copper in public water systems
  • Impacts of air quality surrounding concentrated animal feeding operations 


CHEEC is a state of Iowa funded research center. Faculty, staff and students at colleges or universities in Iowa, and researchers and educators affiliated with Iowa environmental or health agencies are encouraged to apply.


The maximum award is $40,000 (direct costs only). Awards cover one year. CHEEC anticipates making up to six awards this funding cycle.


Grant proposals are reviewed on a competitive basis. Reviews will be conducted by the CHEEC Executive Committee and extramural experts. Proposals will be assigned priority based on the following criteria: 

  • Originality and innovation of the proposed research
  • Ability of the proposed research to adequately test and answer stated hypotheses
  • Likelihood of successfully achieving stated research objectives
  • Relevance and clear link to human health effects
  • Response to CHEEC’s mission and relevance to the state of Iowa
  • Potential for future grant support
  • Justification of budget items
  • Adequacy of quality assurance/quality control plan                                                                                                                                                                                          

This grant program seeks to fund innovative and original research that represents a new direction for the Investigator. Pilot scale proposals that make a strong case for innovation and originality receive the most favorable reviews. ‘Add-on’ funding or studies that are a derivative of a larger, already funded study are not accepted. 

APPLICATION MECHANISM   Please follow this format:

  1. Cover page
    Proposal title, investigator(s), affiliation, mailing address, and an executive summary (150 words).
  2. Proposal (6 Pages single spaced, 12-point font)
    Introduction and short literature review.
    Clearly stated research hypothesis (if applicable).
    A statement discussing how the proposed research is innovative.
    Project description and research methods, including how the hypothesis will be tested.
    Quality assurance/quality control plan.
    Discussion of the link to human health effects.
    Relevance to CHEEC's mission and to the state of Iowa.
    Brief timeline of research activities.
    Detailed budget - a narrative justification should be appended.
    Discussion of potential for further grant support.
  3. Appendices
    Budget narrative
    2-page CV of principal investigator(s) and key personnel. Please list currently funded research AND previous funded research relevant to the seed submission.
    Further supporting documentation (letters of support, past history of funding from CHEEC, etc).

Projects involving human subjects should include a statement indicating the project will undergo the appropriate Human Subjects Review process. Funds may be used to support students and support personnel, and to purchase supplies and equipment. No faculty salary support is allowed. Travel necessary to conduct the study is allowed. Travel to conferences/professional meetings is not allowed with grant funds.

Researchers who have received CHEEC funding within the past 5 years should include (in the Appendix) the year and title of the funded research project, and a brief summary of the significant research outcomes and major products (e.g., manuscripts, meeting presentations, externally funded grants, etc.) resulting from the prior work. If the current submission is for a similar line of research, describe how it differs from past funded projects. 


A final report (not to exceed 5 pages) is required of all funded projects. This report should include a brief discussion of the aims, approach and results of the project, implications of these results for the public health of Iowans, and plans for future research and pursuing related external funding opportunities.


Proposals must arrive at CHEEC by 5:00 p.m., January 16, 2018 in order to be considered.  
Awards will be announced by March 31, 2018.
Proposals should be sent as email attachments to     

For more information on the CHEEC Seed Grant Program:
Email, or see the CHEEC website at