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Pilot Projects Program

The CEG provides seed money for pilot projects focused on the study of gene-environment interactions (GxE). Made possible by NIEHS center award P30 ES006096, CEG pilot funding supports new initiatives in basic and population research, attracts investigators to research in environmental health sciences, and enables recipients to use CEG core facilities (e.g., genomics, proteomics, etc.) with a matching subsidy that would otherwise be unavailable to them. The program has seen an average 13 to 1 return on investment as recipients parlay their preliminary findings into larger externally funded studies.

The CEG awarded 4 pilot grants of up to $40,000 in summer 2023 for competitive proposals involving the study of gene-environment interactions (GxE). “Gene” in this context may entail individual genes/gene components, gene products, genomics, functional genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, or epigenomics. "Environment” in this context refers to environmentally relevant toxicants including industrial chemicals or manufacturing byproducts, metals, pesticides, herbicides, air pollutants or other inhaled toxicants (including secondhand smoke), particulates or fibers, and fungal/bacterial or biologically derived toxins. Click below for a copy of the last RFA (PDF). The deadline for 2023 applications passed on July 31, 2023.

Download Research Funding Announcement Word Doc

Successful applicants engaged in Human Subjects Studies (HSS) or non-exempt studies using existing human data human specimens are required to complete an ASSIST questionnaire and provide current IRB approval and a planned Inclusion Enrollment Report before any funding can be released for the project.

Download Human Subjects questionnaire (PDF) 

Pilot Funding Eligibility: Principal investigators (PIs) must have a faculty appointment or be a senior research staff member with doctoral-level training. Postdoctoral Fellows and Graduate Assistants are not allowed to be PIs on CEG pilot awards.

Proposals that do not address gene x environment interaction(s) will be considered non-responsive and will not be reviewed. Exceptions may apply to the Translation and Community Engagement Award category.

Gene in this context means individual genes/gene products, genomics, functional genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and epigenomics.

Environment in this context is defined based on the language used by the NIEHS for environmentally relevant toxicants in its RFAs, as described below.

Examples of environmentally relevant toxicants include industrial chemicals or manufacturing byproducts, metals, pesticides, herbicides, air pollutants, other inhaled toxicants, particulates or fibers, and fungal/bacterial or biologically derived toxins. Agents considered non-responsive include, but are not limited to, alcohol, drugs of abuse, pharmaceuticals, chemotherapeutic agents, radiation which is not a result of an ambient environmental exposure, and infectious or parasitic agents, except when agents are disease co-factors to an environmental toxicant exposure to produce the biological effect... However, it is appropriate to include these factors as part of research to define the effects of the exposome, and these factors may be a part of applications focused on the totality of a person’s environmental exposure.  [our emphasis added]

For more information on the Pilot Project Program, including scientific or technical questions, please contact its directors Dr. Jagjit Yadav ( or Roman Jandarov, Ph.D. (

Authors of proposals that include the use of human subjects or human specimens are advised to seek an advance consultation with the Integrative Health Sciences Facilities (IHSF) Core.

For IHSFC contact information and other directory\administrative inquiries: Please contact Teresa Donovan 513-558-3625.

Research supported by the Center for Environmental Genetics should cite NIEHS P30ES006096.

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Department of Environmental and Public Health Sciences
Center for Environmental Genetics
Kettering Lab Building
Room 210
160 Panzeca Way
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0056
Mail Location: 0056
Phone: 513-558-3646