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Call for Pilot and Feasibility Program Applications

The Children’s Health Exposure Analysis Resource (CHEAR) Pilot and Feasibility (P&F) program will provide laboratory analysis services for generation of preliminary data in support of grant applications that add environmental exposure assessment to studies of children’s health.


The goals of the CHEAR P&F program are to:

  1. Encourage new and experienced investigators to add environmental exposure assessment to their studies of children's health.
  2. Provide an opportunity for investigators to study novel exposures and outcomes.
  3. Provide investigators with ready access to CHEAR laboratory services to generate preliminary data for additional research funding from NIH or other national granting agencies.

Examples of laboratory analyses suitable for the CHEAR P&F program include projects that:

  • Assess the adequacy (quality and/or volume) of stored biospecimens for exposure biomarkers
  • Determine if an exposure biomarker can be detected in stored biospecimens
  • Assess value of a biomarker for testing association between environmental exposures and health outcomes
  • Investigate the exposure distribution of an environmental chemical when it is unclear or unknown that the exposure is sufficiently present in the study population


An investigator may be eligible for the CHEAR P&F program if all of the following apply:

  • You are eligible to apply for an NIH grant at your home institution.
  • You have an ongoing or completed epidemiological or clinical study on children's exposures and related health outcomes.
  • You want to add environmental exposure data to your research or need more extensive analysis of exposures to support a scientific hypothesis related to health outcomes in the child, or later in life.
  • You have existing samples that are biological specimens collected from children and/or their parents.

We especially encourage applications from investigators who have not previously included environmental exposure assessment in their research on children’s health.

Note: The CHEAR P&F program does not require that the original study, providing the biospecimens for a P&F application, must be funded by NIH. However, if an investigator wishes to apply for laboratory or data services from CHEAR for a larger study following the successful completion of a pilot study, his or her original study must be funded, at least in part, by NIH.

Scope of Services

The services provided under the CHEAR P&F program include both targeted and untargeted environmental exposures and biological response analyses of human biospecimens. The services will exceed neither 50 samples nor a total cost of $10,000 per application. Applicants may request analyses at a total cost greater than $10,000, but they will be expected to provide the additional funds.

Application Process

Applicants are required to consult a CHEAR Laboratory Hub to discuss the suitability of a proposal and costs of biospecimen analyses before submitting an Application.
Applicants should contact the CHEAR Coordinating Center early during the submission period to set up an appointment for a Lab Hub consultation.

Submit your request for a Lab Hub consultation appointment to

A complete application submission includes:

  • Completed application form (Download the fillable Word Doc)
  • Biosketches for the Principal Investigator (PI) and up to three significant contributors

Submit your completed application form and biosketches to the CHEAR Coordinating Center at

Application Review

The CHEAR Executive Committee will evaluate applications and make a recommendation for approval or rejection based on the following review criteria:

  • Alignment with goals of CHEAR
  • Scientific merit
  • Likelihood of future extramural funding
  • Qualifications and scientific environment of the investigator

The NIEHS Program Officers will review a report of the Executive Committee recommendations and make a final decision to approve or reject each application.
The total number of applications accepted will be dependent on the number of meritorious applications and the availability of CHEAR laboratory resources.

Application Submission and Review Schedule

CHEAR will begin accepting appointments for Lab Hub consultations on June 4, 2018. We will begin accepting applications for the P&F program on June 11, 2018. The deadline for submission of P&F applications is July 13, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. ET. All applications will be reviewed and applicants notified of decisions within 6 weeks after the submission deadline.

Application Submission and Review Schedule

Activity Begin End
Contact the CHEAR CC to schedule an appointment for Lab Hub consultation June 5, 2018 June 29, 2018
Submit applications June 11, 2018 July 13, 2018
Review applications July 16, 2018 August 10, 2018
Send notifications of application decisions August 13, 2018 August 18, 2018


If you have questions about the CHEAR P&F Program laboratory services, costs of biospecimen analyses, suitability of a proposal, or the application process, please contact us at

Page last updated: 
May 25, 2018