Pilot Projects

The theme of the Center is Urbanism, Air Pollution, Children’s Health and Environmental Justice

Small grants up to $15,000 available

Application deadline: January 17, 2024

The Southern California Children’s Environmental Health Research Translation Center is pleased to announce its request for applications for 1-year pilot projects intended to promote children’s environmental health research translation. The theme of the Center is Urbanism, Air Pollution, Children’s Health and Environmental Justice.

Much is known about environmental health hazards to children’ health and wellbeing that is not widely disseminated and known to parents, school administrators, policy makers and the general public. As a result, research results do not lead to change. Responsive pilot projects include development or application of novel approaches and tools that lead to better understanding of health hazards in children’s environments and to behavior change or engagement with solutions or policy that have potential to change unhealthy environments. Challenges of particular interest to the Center include reducing health effects of children’s environmental exposures to air pollution, noise, traffic from large sources such as ports, airports, freeways and major roads; health impacts of climate change such as urban heat islands; limited access to parks; features of neighborhood poverty or neighborhood violence; chemical exposures or others.

Projects that address environmental injustice and health inequities in Southern California are welcome, especially those that are developed in collaboration with affected communities and are designed to empower communities to engage in community action and policy. Although community engagement is not required, projects that meaningfully engage communities as partners will receive priority. Thus, a core budget of $10,000 may be supplemented with up to $5000 in well justified funds for community partners.

Applications are encouraged from interdisciplinary collaborators, including disciplines not traditionally represented in children’s environmental health research.  These include arts and humanities, the social sciences, architecture and urban planning, engineering, communications, among others, in addition to health sciences.

A final product from the project is encouraged.  Creative products are welcome, including but not limited to art exhibits, video productions, story maps. Translational products, including policy briefs, public commentary to policy makers, educational curricula, op-ed publications, evaluation of existing programs are also responsive to the request for applications. Scholarly publications contributing to understanding environmental effects on children and to development of solutions are also welcome, including evaluation of existing programs and journal commentaries. Awardees will be expected to share their experience and any products at the conclusion of the award in a meeting in February 2025. Opportunities for networking across different pilot projects will be available.


Eligible applicants include individuals with a full-time faculty or research scientist appointment at USC. Applications should include an abstract not to exceed 300 words and a proposal not to exceed 3 pages (single spaced, 1-inch margins, Arial 11-point font). The proposal commonly includes background and significance, approach, and expected outcomes. Up to one additional page may be used for plans for the future. A budget and justification is required. Funds may be used for staff, students, to support community partners and other expenses; budget for faculty salary may be approved in exceptional cases. Awards up to $5,000 in total costs are also available for postdoctoral fellows, or predoctoral students with a strong faculty mentoring team. A biosketch or CV should be attached for the Principal Investigator and each co-investigator.

For questions please contact: Dayane Dueñas Barahona (duenasga@usc.edu)

2023 Pilot Project Awardees


Yoshira Ornleas Van Horne

Columbia University

Project Title: No Somos Invisibles (We Are Not Invisible). Visualizing Environmental Harms in the South Bronx to Enhance Community Capacity in Combating Environmental Pollution
mary crocker

Mary Crocker

University of Washington/ Seattle Children's Hospital

Project Title: Development and Piloting of a Virtual Environmental Home Inspection Protocol to Address Environmental Asthma Triggers in Children

Sylvia Betancourt

LBACA/ Miller'sChildren's Hospital

Project Title: Asthma Intervention & Education Program