CACHET seeks applications for Pilot Projects for research that addresses environmental, biological and/or social factors influencing environmental health in our communities 

 Applications are required to use one or more of the CACHET Cores (https://www.chicago-cachet.org/facility-cores):    

The CACHET Community Engagement Core (CEC)   (https://www.chicago-cachet.org/community/cec/)  

The CACHET Environmental Biomarkers Core  (EBC)

The CACHET Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core (IHSFC) 

 The application process involves submission of a mandatory Letter of Intent (LOI) and a Full Application (details below). 

DEADLINES: LOI – APRIL 1, 2024 and Full Application – MAY 31, 2024


  • All CACHET members, or UIC/UofC non-members who propose collaboration with a CACHET member.
  • Collaborations with non-members for specific expertise are allowed.
  • Collaborations with community partners are encouraged.

LOI requirements and submission:

LOI Submission Link

Full Application Requirements:

  • Utilization of CACHET Core Facilities (Integrated Health Science Facilities Core [IHSFC], Biomarkers- Mass Spectrometry, Microbiome) or interaction with Community Engagement Core [CEC]) is mandatory. Note: IHSFC has multiple resources, including COMPASS and other large bio-/databanks (https://www.chicago-cachet.org/facility-cores/ihsfacilitycore/) for most investigations that can be leveraged. IHSFC also provides study design and statistical planning or analysis.
  • NEW: Special Priority Topic Awards for Alignment with CACHET CEC partner concerns:
    • Concern 1: Air quality and the increase in diesel emissions due to new warehouses that have been built in a CACHET partner community. Community members are worried that the warehouses will bring in more trucks and traffic that will have a disproportionate impact on this community. These warehouses are close to a densely populated area (near a park, high school, elementary school, and the SES shopping district.) There is no current plan to mitigate this harm.
    • Concern 2: There is a growing concern about the health impacts of lead that may be leached into the city’s drinking water, especially when old water service lined (pipes_ are disturbed, replaced, or removed. There is particular concern about increased risk associated with lead exposures in drinking water that could occur during lead service line replacements.

*** Pilot project ideas that can help create baseline data in any of the special interest categories are also beneficial and align with the work being done in the community. If you have any other questions/concerns or ideas about community issues/topics, please contact the CEC team: cec_cathet@uic.edu

  • Proposal mechanisms are as follows:
    • Young Investigator Awards: (a) must be a hypothesis-based EHS research project that requires generation of preliminary data; (b) no prior history of federal grant support; and (c) a strong mentorship plan with a CACHET member. The application must include a letter from a faculty sponsor describing the mentoring plan and timeline to seek independent grant funding.
    • Idea Awards: The project must be related to EHS research, with particular emphasis placed on areas of interest of CACHET Focus Groups and/or activities of CACHET Cores (see CACHET Website).
    • Inter-Institutional Awards: The project must be a collaborative research project between investigators at UIC and UChicago, must show tangible synergy, and must be related to EHS research. The application must contain:
  • Rationale paragraph justifying collaboration across institutions (i.e., complementary expertise and/or resources from two institutions).
  • Paragraph outlining plans for a collaborative team science proposal to outside agencies.
    • Special Priority Topic Awards: Environmental Health Disparity Research and Community-based Participatory Research, particularly research aligned with CACHET CEC partner concerns (see above).
  • This can take the form of a Young Investigator, Idea, or Inter-Institutional proposal and abide by the above indicated requirements for one of these mechanisms.

Budget and Project Duration:

  • Young Investigator Awards: up to $25,000 for one year; may include a request for salary support for the PI. Renewal for an additional year upon a meritorious progress report may be considered.
  • Idea Awards: up to $25,000 for one year; may not include salary support for the PI.
  • Inter-Institutional Awards: up to $35,000 for one year; may not include salary support for the PI.
  • Special Topic Awards: up to $25,000 for Young Investigator or Idea-type awards – up to $35,000 for Inter-Institutional awards.
  • Tuition support and travel cannot be included in the budget

Note: Recommended budget amount and/or duration for funded applications may be adjusted by the CACHET Executive Committee.

Full application should be submitted electronically no later than 11:59 PM on MAY 31, 2023.


Full Proposal Format: Half-inch margins, Arial 11-point font

Required sections and page limitations:

  • Specific Aims – One page
  • Research Plan – up to 3 pages.
  • Introduction/Background
  • Hypothesis/Specific Aims
  • Research Approach
  • Cores that will be used
  • Paragraph about plans for future grant application
  • References
  • Budget and budget justification
  • Supporting documents (e.g. letters of support).

NIH Biosketches: PI & Co-Is

Abstract 300 words

Applications Submission: Submit LOI and Full Applications through InfoReady System

Key Dates:

  • Letter of Intent: APRIL 1, 2024, 11:59 PM CDT
  • Full Application: MAY 31, 2024, 11:59 PM CDT
  • Proposal Reviews: June 2024; Funding Decision by July 1, 2024
  • Earliest Project Start Date: July 8, 2024



A written summary of the study’s accomplishments is due within four weeks of the end of the project period. Grantees will also be expected to report on progress, (e.g., grants submitted, awards received, and publications) resulting from the award. In addition, awardees are required to present the outcome of their research at CACHET events, e.g., Annual Retreat and/or Symposia.

For more information contact: Mallory Ward at mallory.ward@bsd.uchicago.edu