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URMC / EHSC / Pilot Project Program


Pilot Project Program

The University of Rochester Environmental Health Sciences Center (EHSC) supports a limited number of meritorious pilot projects to advance new translational environmental health sciences research. These funds are intended to provide a means for investigators to obtain preliminary data for extramural grant applications, develop new innovative research initiatives, access novel technologies, and address community concerns or needs. The Pilot Project Program works in conjunction with EHSC Integrated Health Sciences Facility, Biostatistics, and Community Engagement Cores and Career Development Program.


The mission of the Pilot Project Program is to foster the development of novel translational environmental health science research by supporting new research directions and new efforts that in a broad range of disciplines, including basic, translational, and clinical research, using computational approaches, model systems or human populations to better inform public health protection efforts.


Faculty at the UR are eligible to apply. Investigators who are interested in pursuing a new direction in environmental health research and in developing new partnerships with Center members are encouraged.

Available Pilot Projects

1. Research Catalyst Funds are intended to provide seed funding to obtain preliminary data for extramural grant submissions and/or to help develop new research directions.

Research Catalyst Funds are solicited twice a year (Fall and Spring) and up to $50,000 can be requested. Application required a one-page preliminary application. Please see detailed description below:

Research Catalyst Funds Application

Research Catalyst Funds Request For Application

2. Mini Pilot Projects are intended for two purposes: (1) Rapid response and (2) Pipeline-to-Pilot projects. Rapid response refers to a time-sensitive, short-term need for funds to obtain or analyze data (e.g., to address reviewer comments for grant application, to respond to an unexpected or unique environmental event). Pipeline-to-Pilot refers to funding for a new line of investigation that has a very solid rationale but no or very limited preliminary data.

Applications for Mini Pilot Projects are accepted on a rolling basis to meet time-sensitive, small-scale needs. Up to $8,000 can be requested. Please see detailed description below:

Mini Pilot Project Application to aid in preparing the application.


Dr. Martha Susiarjo (Director, Pilot Project Program)

Dr. Steve N. Georas (Co-Director of IHSFC and Mini Pilot Projects Liaison)

Rebecca Ruston (Administrator and Coordinator)