Announcing the new MADRES Center Pilot Projects Program


Department of Population and Public Health Sciences

Publish date

October 5, 2020


The NIH-funded Maternal And Developmental Risks from Environmental and Social Stressors Center of Excellence on Environmental Health Disparities Research (MADRES,, based at the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences, is pleased to announce its Pilot Projects Program, supporting one-year research projects that aim to address scientific gaps in our understanding of the unequal burden of adverse environmental health impacts in susceptible communities.

The goal of the program is to advance environmental health disparities research while also increasing representation of members of health disparity populations in scientific and community-based research.

The MADRES Center is seeking investigator-initiated applications from all environmental health disparities research areas. Proposals related to disparities in the following topics are particularly encouraged:

  • Obesity and cardiovascular diseases
  • Mental health
  • COVID-19
  • Substance use
  • Maternal and child health
  • Immigrant health
  • Environmental pollutants
  • Acute and chronic stressors
  • Exposure mixtures
  • Neighborhood-level exposures
  • Structural racism, acculturation and environmental justice


Individuals with a postdoctoral or full-time faculty appointment in any department or school/division at USC, CHLA or CSUN who are (1) NIH early stage investigators and (2) self-identified members of an NIH-designated health disparity population are eligible to apply. Postdoctoral applicants are required to have a full-time faculty member as a faculty sponsor on their application.

NIH-designated health disparity populations include: Black or African American, Hispanic or Latinx, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian American, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, socioeconomically- disadvantaged, underserved rural population, and sexual and gender minorities.

Key Program Dates

Request for ApplicationsFull Proposal DeadlineAward NotificationAward Start Date
October 5, 2020November 9, 2020 at 5:00 PTFebruary 2021April 1, 2021

Proposal Guidelines

Each application will be required to include the major components of an NIH R03 grant application. In addition, applicants will be required to: (1) describe how a successful pilot project and/or expansion of the project will lead to an R01 or equivalent submission, (2) provide a plan for disseminating research results with consultation from the MADRES Community Engagement & Dissemination Core, and (3) provide evidence that the applicant meets the eligibility criteria.

Full application instructions can be found at: All proposed projects should have a clear and identifiable environmental health disparities emphasis. For questions, please contact Vivian Lee (

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