Pilot Project Grants


The Great Lakes Center for Occupational Health and Safety solicits proposals and awards funds annually for Pilot Project Research Projects. The funds are intended for new occupational safety and health investigators, including PhD candidates, post doctoral trainees, new faculty in occupational health fields, and established researchers who are exploring occupational health and safety for the first time. The availability and amount of funding for this initiative is contingent on the Pilot Project award provided by NIOSH, but funding amounts typically range from $6,000 to a maximum of $20,000. To date, the rate of successful funding of proposals is approximately 50%.

The purpose of the awards is to:
1. Develop research expertise and capacity in ERC research trainees and new investigators;
2. Support new investigators in establishing new occupationally related research areas; and,
3. Encourage established investigators from other fields to apply their expertise to NORA topics. More information on NORA topics can be found on the CDC website.

The awards are intended to provide investigators with the resources needed to develop pilot information about a research hypothesis, with the expectation that investigators will subsequently develop fully formed extramural research applications on the basis of this pilot information. Use the links below to download the application instructions and information, the application form, and a budget proposal worksheet. All documents are between 24 and 50 KB in size. Submission deadline is 5:00 PM CST Thursday, April 15, 2021. Application materials are below.

Questions concerning the applications and funding may be addressed to:

Salvatore Cali, MPH, CIH
PPRT Program Coordinator
Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
University of Illinois at Chicago
School of Public Health (M/C 923)
1603 W Taylor Street
Chicago, Illinois 60612-7260
Phone (312) 996-5722
Email: scali@uic.edu (Inquiries by e-mail preferred)


Project Title
Principal Investigator

Prevalence of Heat Stress and Chronic Kidney Disease of Undetermined Causes (CKDu) Among Sugarcane Workers in Western Kenya
Michelle Hathaway, PhD candidate
Environmental and Occupational Health Division, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago

Neurotoxicity of polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) mixtures
Ola Wasel, PhD candidate (Jennifer Freeman, Faculty PI)
School of Health Sciences, Purdue University

Biomechanical Evaluation of Exoskeletons during Patient Handling
Jaejin Hwang, Assistant Professor
Industrial and Systems Engineering, Northern Illinois University



Project Title
Principal Investigator

Safety Climate Among Precarious Workers: Construed External Safety Image
Emily Stiehl, Clinical Assistant Professor
UIC Health Policy Administration

Occupational Personal Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter using Sensors: Feasibility and Performance
Saisattha Noomnual, PhD candidate
UIC Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences

Impacts of Technical Assistance Providers’ Participation in a Health, Labor, and University Capacity Building Process
Tessa Bonney, MPH, PhD candidate
UIC Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences

Identifying Candidate Epigenetic Biomarkers of Fatigue-Related Impairment
David T. Plante, MD, MS, Assistant Professor
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Psychiatry

Understanding the effects of environmental exposure to cadmium on prostate cancer progression
Rama Ali, PhD candidate
UIC Pathology