(CLOSED) NIH ES-21-001 Outstanding New Environmental Scientist (ONES) Award (R01 Clinical Trial Optional) NOI

Sponsor Name: 
Description of the Award: 

Institutional Limit

Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct. Only one application per school or college within a university will be accepted. For example, within a university, one application can be submitted from each of the schools of medicine, public health, arts and sciences, etc. If interest exceeds the institutional limit the Office of Limited Submissions will coordinate a downselect with the applicable college.


The Outstanding New Environmental Scientist (ONES) Award is intended to identify the most talented Early Stage Investigators (ESIs) who intend to make a long-term commitment to research in the Environmental Health Sciences and assist them in launching an innovative research program focused on understanding the effects of environmental exposure on people’s health.

Research Objectives

An essential element of the mission of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is the support and career promotion of the next generation of exceptionally talented and creative new scientists who will further the understanding of the impact of environmental exposures on human health. The NIEHS supports training and fellowship programs for pre and postdoctoral training, and mentored career development awards for faculty in the early stages of their career development. In 2006, NIEHS initiated a program of research grants for Early Stage Investigators, The Outstanding New Environmental Scientist (ONES) Award, that is designed to identify the best new biomedical investigators across the spectrum of science supported by the NIEHS (i.e., including basic mechanistic, clinical and population based researchers) and facilitate their establishing a vibrant, independent research program in the environmental health sciences.

Research Goals and Scope

The ONES program is designed to identify outstanding scientists at the formative stages of their career and assist them in launching an innovative research program with a defined impact in the environmental health sciences. These R01 research grants are targeted for researchers who are defined by the NIH as Early Stage Investigators.

Research programs supported by this announcement seek to promote career advancement of the most highly creative and promising new scientists who intend to make a long-term career commitment to research in the mainstream of the environmental health sciences, and bring innovative, ground-breaking research initiatives and thinking to bear on the problems of how environmental exposures affect human health.

The ONES Program is specifically targeted to Early Stage Investigators and program goals include career promotion as well as the scientific project proposed. Applications for the ONES program differ from standard R01 applications in that applicants must describe plans for the active participation of an external advisory committee to provide consultation and feedback on the research and career guidance, commitment by the institution to actively support the research program development of the Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI), and a plan for career enhancement which will provide a strong foundation for future research endeavors. See Section IV.2 for detailed application instructions.

Research projects proposed in response to this FOA will be expected to have a defined impact on the environmental health sciences and be responsive to both the mission of the NIH and, specifically, to the mission of the NIEHS and the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan: Advancing Science, Improving Health: A Plan for Environmental Health Sciences Research. This plan sets out a set of strategic themes and strategic goals that have been identified as priority areas for the field of environmental health sciences. These reflect both the mission of the NIEHS, which is to discover how the environment affects people in order to promote healthier lives, and the goal to conduct and support the very best environmental health sciences research in alignment with real-world public health needs, and to translate science findings into knowledge that can inform real-life individual and public health outcomes.

A variety of scientific disciplines, including basic, mechanistic, clinical, epidemiological, computational, engineering, and/or health risk communication approaches, can be used to advance the NIEHS Strategic Plan. Applicants should consult the strategic plan and to ensure that the research proposed in their application addresses the goals and priority areas of the NIEHS.

Applications submitted in response to this FOA must have a research focus on exposure-health related responses from environmental agents within the mission interest of the NIEHS. The Strategic Plan emphasizes that environmental exposures within the primary mission interest of NIEHS may both manifest effects through direct toxicities and as an element in combined exposures in the totality of all types of human exposure experiences throughout the lifespan, the exposome.

Examples of environmental agents which are considered of primary interest for NIEHS include but are not limited to: industrial chemicals or manufacturing byproducts, metals, pesticides, herbicides, air pollutants and other inhaled toxicants, particulates or fibers, fungal, and bacterial or biologically derived toxins. NIEHS is also interested in studies of health disparities and interventions which focus on how these environmental exposures interact with social determinants of health (e.g., age, gender, education, race, and income), both in populations and in individuals. Agents that are not considered within the primary mission responsibility of NIEHS include, but are not limited to: alcohol, chemotherapeutic agents, radiation that is not a result of an ambient environmental exposure, smoking, except when considered as a secondary smoke exposure as a component in the indoor environment (particularly in children), drugs of abuse, pharmaceuticals, dietary nutrients, and infectious or parasitic agents. Applications which focus entirely or primarily on these exposure factors will be considered nonresponsive to this announcement and will not proceed to review. However, it is appropriate to include these factors as part of research to define effects of the exposome, and these factors may be a part of applications focused on the totality of a person’s environmental exposure. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact NIEHS Scientific/Research staff prior to submission to determine if their project meets the goals of the ONES program.

Sponsor LOI Deadline: 
Jan 24, 2022
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Feb 24, 2022
OSVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Interested applicants should enter their contact information using the Apply button to the right.

To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
Penn State OSVPR NOI Deadline: 
Thursday, November 4, 2021 - 4:00pm
This limited submission is in downselect: 
Penn State may only submit a specific number of proposals to this funding opportunity. The number of NOIs received require that an internal competition take place, thus, a downselect process has commenced. No Penn State researchers may apply to this opportunity outside of this downselect process. To apply for this limited submission, please use this link:
No Applicants (First come, first served) contact limitedsubs@psu.edu