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CHARMED NIEHS P30 Pilot Project Program Request for Applications (RFA) 2024

Community-Engaged Environmental Health

Application Due Date:  

The next due dates will be posted soon.  If an application is received  after that date, it will not be reviewed.


Full-time Johns Hopkins University faculty and partnering institutions (University of Maryland). (Students/postdoctoral Fellows must be supported by a full-time faculty mentor as the Principal Investigator) 


Up to $40,000

Grant Period:

Twelve months, with a possible 12-month non-cost time extension upon review 

Submit Via Email:

Application and supporting documents via email:      Marlee Rendel 

Award Start Date:

Two months after submission

Please click next icon to download the whole file of Request for Applications 2024:

PROGRAM OVERVIEW: The mission of The Center for Community Health: Addressing Regional Maryland Environmental Determinants of Diseases (CHARMED) is to identify and address the environmental health concerns of communities across the greater Maryland region (from Washington, DC through Baltimore, MD and including some regions of Pennsylvania).

PURPOSE AND PILOT PROJECT INFORMATION: The CHARMED Center Pilot Grants will provide funding to faculty to enable and support community-engaged research partnerships, foster innovative interdisciplinary research in environmental health, translate knowledge into action to address community environmental challenges in the Maryland region, and nurture and support the next generation of environmental scientists. Community-focused research is encouraged in all pilot grant applications. These programs should strengthen the ability to secure subsequent research funding from external sources. The recipients are chosen through a competitive application process, with their project proposals reviewed by content experts.  

The Pilot Project Program solicits applications for three types of research proposals (Please indicate which type of proposal you are submitting):

  1. Community Partnership Awards up to $40,000. Proposals must meet the following criteria: 1) demonstrate a Community-engaged research (CEnR) partnership between one or more faculty and one or more community organizations; 2) specify how the outputs and outcomes of the pilot project will support development of responsive, science-based, environmental health solutions to community-identified needs; and/or 3) build the capacity of faculty, students and community partners to conduct and participate in multi-directional and responsive CEnR research. These pilot awards will be awarded to any JHU or university faculty in the Maryland region working together with community partners on projects designed and conducted with the active participation of said partners.

  2. New Directions Grants up to $40,000. To incentivize new perspectives and progress in environmental health, we seek to fund high impact, innovative projects in environmental health around the central scientific themes of the Center and to attract talented, investigators from other fields of study to explore environmental health.  We will fund Investigator-initiated innovative proposals that will result in the development of new technologies, the exploration of new scientific directions, or the creation of new collaborative teams, with the goal of submission of multi-investigator grant proposals.

  3. Career Development Awards (CD) up to $40,000. To promote and support the next generation of environmental scientists whose research is focused on community engaged research, we seek to fund Early Stage Investigators in community- engaged environmental health research. Early-stage investigators (junior faculty) who have not received federal funding for their research and are committed to a career focused on CEnR may apply. Recipients of this award will be eligible for career mentoring through the Center leadership.

We encourage cross-discipline collaborative research.  Any full-time faculty person from Johns Hopkins University (JHU), or our partnering institutions, may apply and act as PI. These CHARMED Program grants are possible through the NIEHS Center P30 funding and will be subject to NIH reporting policies.



  1. The CHARMED Community-Engaged Research (CeNR) awards will be available to all Johns Hopkins University faculty and our partner institution (University of Maryland), at all career stages who are interested in collaborating with community stakeholders to address specific environmental challenges identified by community partners in the Maryland region. Those in "visiting" or "adjunct" status or those pending appointment are not eligible.

  2. Inclusion of community partners (community, faith-based organization or public agencies) as Co-PIs is highly encouraged.

  3. Junior faculty interested in developing CEnR research careers, are encouraged to apply.

  4. An investigator can be PI on only one submitted proposal per round. Investigators can be co-investigators on multiple applications, or PI on one application and co-investigator on one or more other applications.

  5. Hopkins-affiliated postdoctoral fellows, PhD students, graduate students, and community members may submit a CHARMED application and be included as research team members on CHARMED proposals.  However, they may not be the PI.  If the applicant is not a faculty member, the supporting faculty member PI is required to write a letter indicating review, mentorship responsibility, and approval of the project.

  6. Eligible submissions must be oriented towards specific milestones, with clear endpoints and a realistic timeline for completion within the twelve-month funding period.

  7. Applicants identified as the main PI have primary responsibility for the grant submission, and if subsequently selected for funding, all work to be performed as well as all reporting requirements and other stipulations which must be satisfied as a condition of receiving this award. Awards WILL NOT be transferred to another investigator post-award.

  8. Successful awardees will be required to attend the Annual CHARMED Symposium to present the results of their project.



  1. Relevance to Community-Engaged Research: Are there clear plans to develop a new or build on an established academic-community partnership to move a project through to the next step and relevance to the following community-health themes: (1) Cardiorespiratory Health and Airborne Contaminants; 2) Chemical Mixtures and Emerging Contaminants, and Health; 3) Community, Social, and Environmental Determinants of Health; and 4) Neurological Health of the Center and/or to the broader field of environmental health.

  2. Scientific impact, novelty, and merit

  3. Qualifications of the research team

  4. Feasibility of project completion within a 12-month period

  5. Likelihood of resulting in additional research funding

  6. All awardees will be encouraged to utilize at least one Core of the Center, to work with the CEC, IHSFC, and Administrative Core (AC) to disseminate their findings to the appropriate stakeholders, and to translate their findings into practice or policies.


Application & Submission Information


Request for Information: Interested faculty should contact the Pilot Project Program Directors (Marsha Wills-Karp and Thomas Hartung) for more information and to help determine whether their research fits within the scope of the PPP.

Funds Available: Investigative teams may request up to $40,000/faculty, with an award term of one year. Pilot grants will not be awarded for projects already funded through external agencies, however coupling of CHARMED pilot funding with funding from other internal JHU pilot projects to extend the impact of the work is encouraged.   

Since these Awards are intended to support new community-engaged projects, no preliminary data are required.

APPLICATION FORMAT: Applications should be in a font no smaller than 11 points, with margins of at least 0.5 inches on all sides Complete applications will consist of the following six elements (COMBINE ALL MATERIALS INTO A PDF FOR SUBMISSION-labelled with the PI’s name):

1. Project Plan:

        The project plan should be composed of the following components and be no longer than 5 pages:

a.  Abstract

b.  Innovative hypothesis to be tested or goal to be achieved

c. Description of the nature of the community partnership that enables the proposed work (as appropriate)

d.  Approach to be pursued during the year of funding

e.  Description of potential CHARMED Core utilization

f.  Expected impact of the proposed studies on community health beyond the initial     funded phase including what future work would be enabled

g.  A statement discussing how this project is relevant to the themes of the Center and a description of how the results of the pilot project will inform or support subsequent applications for extramural funding

h. A statement of how the results will be disseminated to the community and be translated into policy/practice; Priority will be given to projects that directly impact the CHARMED community areas (Maryland, DC, Pennsylvania and Delaware) and utilize the Core services of the Center.

2. Comprehensive Budget: 

Allowable Expenses: Successful applicants will receive awards that can be utilized to support the awardee’s research teams, recruitment of study participants, community member engagement, utilization of ECMC and IHSFC Core services, laboratory supplies, equipment, technical personnel or student salaries, collaborative activity costs (e.g., partnership meetings), and any other costs required to complete the study. With Core leadership approval, travel essential to the conduct of research, but not for travel to present results at established meetings or conferences may be requested. The budget MUST include an explanation of other funding sources that will be used to cover costs not covered by this pilot grant program. The budget MUST include the name and email address of the applicant’s financial contact. Faculty salary costs should not be included-but will be considered under certain circumstances. 

No indirect costs should be included in the budget, unless under special arrangement.

3. Detailed Budget Justification:

A budget justification describing how the funding will be allocated to each investigator on the team, and how it will be apportioned for any personnel, supplies, equipment or other project expenses. Any budget amount up to the cap can be proposed. Funds may be requested for salary support for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows or technicians, equipment, consumables, and/or computer time.  (1-page maximum).

4. Biographical Sketch Information:

All academic investigators (PI, Co-PI) should provide a current NIH prototype biosketch (5-page limit). Community partners can submit a short resume or bio. Please include all current and pending support from sponsored and non-sponsored sources.

5. Detailed Project Timeline:  

All awards are for one year of support. Carryover of awarded funds to a second year will be considered under special circumstances by written request with justification accompanied by a brief report of progress. Applicants must describe a credible plan that assures that they will make substantial progress within one year of funding.

6. Reference list of up to 30 references (not included in the 5 page proposal)

Application Submission & Review

1. Sending an Application:

Applications, with the components listed above are to be submitted electronically in a single PDF file to This funding mechanism uses internal funding and does not require review or approval by any Office of Research Administration.  

2. Incomplete and Non-responsive Applications Will Not be Reviewed.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval of human subjects is not required prior to review of an application. However, initiation of IRB or ACUC review, if necessary or applicable, will be required prior to commencement of research. Due to the accelerated nature of this program, investigators are strongly encouraged to initiate necessary approvals prior to grant submission or during the grant review period.


The review process will evaluate the scientific merit and innovativeness of the project, its potential long-term impact and the synergy expected to result from the proposed cross-departmental collaboration. The project itself must be both highly innovative and currently unfunded. A panel of internal or external peers will review application.


Award notices and announcement of awardees is anticipated in two months after submission.

Award Administration Information

Award Notices: Award notices will be issued from the Administrative Offices of the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering and will provide additional information about the award including information and instructions about making funds available for use.


Post-Award Reporting: Recipients will submit a final progress report, including any completed work, reports of invention, and any external funding applications/awards enabled by this funding.


Presentation of Results: It is expected that recipients of CHARMED Pilot Projects will present their findings at the CHARMED Annual Symposium.

Contact Information                

The CHARMED Center for Environmental Community Health 

Email Marlee Rendel (preferred contact method) 

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