Fall 2021


request for applications

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 propose using one or more of the CACHET Cores (https://www.chicago-cachet.org/facility-cores): 

  • The CACHET Biomarkers Core (particularly for research using the new ICP-MS equipment for metals analysis)
  • The CACHET Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core (IHSFC)
  • The CACHET Microbiome Core

IMPORTANT: The NEW application process involves a reviewable Letter of Intent (LOI) by the deadline of September 1 notification of acceptance of selected LOIs for full proposal by September 15 and Full Proposal due by Sept 30, 2021 (details below).

DEADLINES: LOI – Sept 1, 2021 Invited Application – Sept 30, 2021


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

LOI Requirements and Submission:

Letters of Intent must make a strong case for the proposed research and they will be used to select highly competitive proposals that will be invited to develop a full proposal.

  • Cover Letter: List Project Title, PI, collaborating investigators (if relevant), Institution, and Facility Core that will be used. Provide contact PI e-mail address.
  • A one-page summary of the research objectives – Title of Project, Background, Significance, Specific Aims, Research Plan, and Cores that will be used.
  • NIH Biosketch for PI and inter-Center collaborator(s) if relevant.
  • Letter of Intent (LOI) Package should be submitted electronically to: For UIC campus: Nadia Pack at ncarran2@uic.edu; For UChicago Campus: Julie Erdmann at juliee@bsd.uchicago.edu no later than 5 pm CDT, Sept 1, 2021.

Full Proposal Requirements:

  • Utilization of CACHET Core Facilities (Integrated Health Science Facilities Core [IHSFC], Biomarkers- Mass Spectrometry, Microbiome) or interaction with CEC is mandatory. Note: IHSFC has multiple resources, including COMPASS and other large bio-/data-banks (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.
  • Proposal mechanisms are as follows:
    • Young Investigator Awards: (a) 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 Topic (COVID-19) Awards: The project must address an environmental factor that is relevant to and/or affects COVID-19 infections.
  • This can take the form of an Idea Award-type proposal or an Inter-Institutional-type proposal and abide by the above indicated requirements of 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 Idea-type awards – up to $35,000 for Inter-Institutional awards, both for one year.
  • 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 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).

Applications Submission:

Apply Now

Key Dates:

  • Letter of Intent: Requested by Sept 1, 2021
  • Application Deadline: Sept 30, 2021, 5 PM
  • Proposal Reviews: Completed by Oct 31, 2021; Funding Decision by Nov 5, 2021
  • Project Start Date: Nov 15, 2021


A written summary of the study’s accomplishments is due within four weeks of the end of the project period. Grantees will also be followed to monitor progress (e.g., grants submitted, awards received, and publications) resulting from the award. In addition, awardees may be invited to present the outcome of their research at GC-CPEH and CACHET events, including Annual Retreat and Symposia.

For more information:

UIC: Contact Nadia Pack at ncarran2@uic.edu or at 773-729-9509

UChicago: Julie Erdmann at juliee@bsd.uchicago.edu or at 262-893-7634