2021 Climate & Health Pilot Research Program

NIH is developing a climate change research agenda.  From their recent Request for Information: Climate Change and Health https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-ES-21-009.html

“Climate change poses substantial threats to human health across the lifespan. These threats influence diverse health concerns including communicable and non-communicable diseases, injuries, hazardous exposures, mental health, and death. Observational and modeling studies have identified impacts on and threats to health and well-being that are immediate (e.g., extreme weather events such as hurricanes, heat waves, floods and droughts) as well as resulting from more gradual changes in climate (e.g., rising sea levels, shifts in rainfall and humidity). In the United States and globally, structural racism and discrimination place communities of color, under-resourced, health disparity populations, and other historically disadvantaged communities at higher risk from health impacts of climate change."

“Health consequences of climate change may be direct (e.g., heat stress, death) or indirect (e.g., infectious diseases or conditions associated with pollution) effects, and may occur due to actions taken to mitigate (e.g., changes in energy systems) and adapt (changes in the built environment) to climate change. Understanding the health implications – including potential health benefits -- of actions to prevent, mitigate, and adapt to climate change offers opportunities to improve the social and environmental determinants of health, especially for at-risk communities."

NIH has identified six priority areas:

I. Innovative Research that Addresses Climate Change and Human Health

II. Scientific Infrastructure to Address Human Health and Climate Change

III. Research and Community Partnerships to Address Environmental Injustice and Foster Resilience

IV. Rapid Research Response Capacity to Address Human Health and Climate Change

V. Diverse Workforce to Address Human Health and Climate Change

VI. Translation and Dissemination of Research Findings and Health Protective Strategies

This RFA is specifically looking for multidisciplinary research teams to develop innovative approaches to address these areas.  The ultimate goal of this pilot funding is to enable the development of preliminary data needed to support of NIH-level applications. 


Funding for this RFA is provided jointly by the Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment (TFISE) and the University of Kentucky Center for Appalachian Research in Environmental Sciences (UK-CARES). 

Award Description

Two types of awards are being solicited:  High-Impact and Mini-Grants. 


High Impact Award. High impact proposals may request up to $50,000.  A High Impact award will be funded by the Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment (TFISE).  Funds must be spent by June 30, 2022. 


Mini-Grants.   Mini-grant proposals may request up to $10,000.  Mini-Grants will be funded by UK-CARES.  Funds must be spent by March 31, 2022. 


Because of the short duration of these proposals, the required documentation such as IRB, IACUC, etc., needs to be in place at the time of submission.  This mechanism will not fund clinical trials (NIH definition).

Required Documents


  • Abstract/Project Summary (30 line limit)
  • Short research description up to 5 pages for High Impact projects and 2 pages for Mini-grant projects including Significance, Innovation, Approach as described below.
  • References
  • IRB/IACUC approval letter(s) must be in place for the Mini-Grant and is highly recommended for the High Impact Award. 
  • NIH biosketch for faculty listed as study personnel
  • Budget and budget justification

The use of the following form is REQUIRED: PHS 398 Form Page 4 "Detailed Budget for the Initial Period” found