Pilot Project Program

The University of New Mexico Center for Native Environmental Health Equity Research is seeking to fund pilot projects submitted by early-stage investigators from NIH-defined Health Disparity populations that address scientific, policy and/or community needs and advance Native American environmental health equity. The overarching mission of our Center is to promote resilience through reducing the effects of environmental exposure disparities on the health of Native American Communities. The Center has been successful in characterizing mixed metal exposures and observing differences in exposure/health outcome relationships at a mechanistic level. Additionally, the scientific community has realized the potential environmental and human health toxicity associated with an increasing and ubiquitous presence of microplastics entering the environment as a result of disposal of larger volumes of consumer and industrial plastic waste. As this awareness has increased world-wide, partner communities and our research team have become cognizant of unique conditions in tribal communities associated with infrastructure disparities that may exacerbate these exposures and health disparities.

We will support applications that use the concept of information to knowledge to action paradigm to address research questions that directly address community concerns with the ultimate goal of developing effective mitigation strategies to eliminate health disparities. Priority will be given to applications that address the interrelationships between exposure disparities, health disparities, and loss of resources necessary for the sustainability of cultural traditions and practices. We will select high quality research that promotes collaboration between the Center and partner communities, and promotes development of early stage investigators as they strive to establish independent research programs in Native environmental health disparities research. The number of pilot projects awarded will depend on the number of meritorious proposals received. Proposals may seek to 1) explore areas of emerging significance, 2) develop or enhance novel methodologies and approaches, including those focused on social determinants of health, or 3) develop new regional partnerships and collaborations.

Interested investigators from eligible institutions (described below) are strongly encouraged to discuss research plans with Center investigators prior to submission of the pilot application and should contact leadership of the Center (contact information provided below) to learn of available resources or potential collaborations.

Specific details for application requirements will be announced with the annual call for proposals.

Primary Contact

Debra MacKenzie
University of New Mexico