How to Apply

The 2016 call for pre-proposals has been closed.  After review, selected applicants will be invited to submit full proposals.


Full Application Instructions

Full Application Deadline: March 7, 2016

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The Upper Midwest Agriculture Safety and Health Center (UMASH) is requesting applications for small grants ranging from $5,000 to a maximum of $25,000 to address health and safety issues related to agricultural workers and their families.

UMASH is specifically interested in projects that address concepts outlined in the NIOSH National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) for agriculture and in the NORA strategic goals, approach agricultural safety and health challenges using a One Health model that considers the connections between human, animal, and environmental health, and address issues important to the agriculture industry in the Upper Midwest.

This announcement is open to investigators working in academic, government, community, industry or health care settings who have the knowledge, skills, and ability to carry out the proposed work.

The UMASH pilot project program will consider proposals that meet one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Develop innovative ideas in agricultural safety and health research, education, and outreach that have high probability of obtaining additional funding.
  2. Conduct exploratory activities to characterize emerging issues related to the health and safety of agriculture workers and their families.
  3. Create new partnerships to address health and safety of agriculture workers and their families by bringing together multidisciplinary expertise to initiate new and innovative activities, e.g. a symposium or conference to develop a new collaboration (it is anticipated these would be lower cost activities).

A final report summarizing research activities and results must be received within one month of the end of the grant funding period. A template for the final report will be available for awardees to download from the UMASH website. Investigators will be expected to complete a poster and/or provide a short presentation of their project results at a UMASH meeting. Costs to attend the meeting can be included in the budget. In addition, investigators will be expected to provide UMASH with a brief post-project update annually for up to 3 years. These updates will enable UMASH to track the outcomes of funded proejcts.

It is anticipated that these projects will be completed in one year or less.

Application Guidelines

To apply for these grants, the following materials must be received by March 7, 2016. Applications will be accepted in electronic format only. The entire application should be submitted as a single PDF in the order outlined below:

  1. Application Cover with the following information:
    1. Title of project
    2. Funding request
    3. Principal Investigator(s): name, title, organization, address, email, phone
    4. In your cover letter, please include the following statement:
      This pilot project application is not currently under review by any other grant administering program. If I submit this pilot project application (or an application with similar aims) to another funder while it is under review by UMASH, I will notify UMASH. I understand that failure to comply with this policy is grounds for rejection of the application and withdrawal of any funds that may be awarded.
  2. Abstract: A 250 word abstract that includes a summary of the proposal (below).
  3. Proposal: A short, single-spaced proposal, three pages maximum using 11 point (or larger) Arial font for items A-E below, outlining the proposed research project. Required elements include:
    1. Objectives and specific aims.
    2. Significance and how the project is important to agricultural health and safety in the Upper Midwest
    3. Innovation; what new knowledge or ideas this project will help develop
    4. Approach; must be concise, but sufficiently detailed to evaluate the potential success of the project
    5. Anticipated results and plans for developing future opportunities
    6. Timetable
    7. References
  4. Application/Budget Form – [Download Form (Word) (pdf)]
    Eligible Expenses:
    If there is clear justification of the need for expenditures and a clear explanation of their direct relevance to the proposed research, these awards may be used for any category of research-related expenses, with the following limitations.

    • Faculty salary support may not exceed 5% for each faculty member.
    • Travel must be directly related to the aims of this project.
    • Indirect costs are not permitted.
  5. Budget Justification: Should not exceed one page; a description of each item listed in the budget should be included with an indication of its relation to the proposed work.
  6. Biographical sketch: A short (no more than two pages) biographical sketch or resume for key personnel detailing qualifications to conduct research. Provide: (a) name, degrees, title, institution; (b) positions and honors in chronological order; (c) selected peer-reviewed publications.
  7. Human or Animal Subjects: Statement addressing plans for use of human or animal subjects in research. IRB approval must be received prior to distribution of funds. The IRB must be registered with the DHHS Office of Human Research Protections and have completed a Federal-wide Assurance.
  8. Letters of Support: Required if the project is dependent on the cooperation of any organization, health care facility, business or other institution.
  9. Compliance Form:  Completed Compliance and Signature Form [Download Form (Word)]

Submission Instructions

Applications will be accepted in electronic format only. The entire application should be submitted as a single PDF document in the order listed in the APPLICATION GUIDELINES section above.

The subject of the email should be formatted as follows:
UMASH Pilot Project – PI Last Name: Project Title

Submit all application materials no later than 4:30 pm on March 7, 2016 to Bruce H. Alexander, PhD at



January 12, 2016RFP – Call for pre-proposals
January 28, 2016Pre-proposals due
February 5, 2016Requests for full applications
March 7, 2016Full proposals due. Submit as a single PDF document to
March 2016Proposal review process
March 2016Funding awards announced
March 1, 2017Project completed
Within 1 month of project completionFinal report submitted
Annually for up to 3 yearsBrief post project updates (for 3 years after project completion)

Application Review Criteria

Review criteria for proposals submitted to the Pilot Program include the following:

Technical Score (50%), including an assessment of:

  • Overall merit:  The proposed project must be original, innovative, and feasible within the resources requested. The applicant must also demonstrate appropriate understanding of the proposed project.
  • Purpose: The significance and innovative characteristics of the proposed work must be clear.
  • Specific objectives and goals: Specific goals of the project must be listed and defined.
  • Methods: The methods proposed for carrying out the proposed activities must be clearly defined and described.

Programmatic Score (50%):
The programmatic score will be based on the following criteria. It is not expected that the pilot projects will meet all areas, but the degree to which they meet specific or multiple areas is important.

  • Builds capacity among new investigators: The funds provided by this program are intended to encourage new investigators in the field of agricultural safety and health and create new partnerships that will develop innovative ideas.
  • Develops innovative projects in agricultural safety and health that have a high probability of obtaining additional funding: Greater weight will be given to projects that have the potential for being developed into proposals for more substantial funding, based on preliminary results from this research grant.
  • Has a high potential for making an impact on the health of agriculture workers: Translational research ideas or research-to-practice (R2P) is encouraged.
  • Demonstrates a high degree of relevance to the NIOSH/NORA objectives and addresses agricultural health and safety issues specific to the Upper Midwest region.The NORA objectives will be used to evaluate the relevance of research proposals. Additionally, research topics that address agriculture health and safety in the Upper Midwest will be given special consideration.
  • Involves multiple partners: Proposals for pilot funding that seek to involve multiple interested parties, such as employees, organized labor, employers, state officials, academics, etc. are encouraged. Proposals that initiate promising interdisciplinary collaborations are particularly encouraged.
  • Budget: The budget should be appropriate to complete the scope of the work proposed.

Questions? Contact Diane Kampa at 612-626-4826 or

The NIOSH-funded UMASH Pilot Research Training Program (U54 OH010170) must be acknowledged in all associated publications. In addition, the following statement must be included in all publications arising from this research: “The contents of this effort are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or other associated entities.