HEI established the Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award as a career development award to provide funding for outstanding investigators who are beginning their independent research careers. By providing financial support for investigators early in their careers, HEI hopes to encourage highly qualified individuals from a wide range of disciplines to undertake research on the health effects of air pollution. A key component of the proposal and award is the mentorship plan, which outlines how awardees will interact with and learn from established experts in their field of study. Given the career-development nature of this award, HEI encourages applicants to propose bold and exciting studies that will allow them to develop as strong, independent researchers and to become innovators and ultimately leaders in their field of study. Applicants may have training and experience in any discipline relevant to air pollution.
Since the early 1980s, HEI's research program has addressed a broad range of questions about the health effects of exposure to ambient air pollution from motor vehicles, wildfire smoke, and other important sources. HEI seeks to fund studies that span a range of scientific fields, including atmospheric science, epidemiology, exposure science, risk assessment, social science, statistics, economics, and toxicology. In considering potential research topics, applicants should be aware of HEI's current areas of interest, as described in the HEI Strategic Plan for Understanding the Health Effects of Air Pollution 2020-2025. The current plan focuses on four key areas: (1) evaluating the effectiveness of air quality actions, (2) complex questions for the air pollution mixture, (3) transport and urban health, and (4) global health. In addition, emerging areas of interest for HEI include (a) climate, air quality, and health, (b) transportation and health in a changing landscape, and (c) environmental justice.
HEI encourages investigators to submit applications addressing these high-priority research areas. They will, however, also consider particularly innovative or high-quality applications in other areas consistent with HEI's mission to support research to generate the scientific evidence needed to inform regulatory decisions, enhance public health practice, or better support risk assessments, while leveraging the most appropriate tools and models. Note that the proposed research should reflect an original investigation but may include working with data that were collected through earlier work. The proposed study should be the investigator's own study and not simply a continuation of a former supervisor's projects.
HEI strongly encourages individuals who are underrepresented in environmental exposure and health research to apply and encourages all applicants to diversity their research teams by including underrepresented individuals, including those attuned to and knowledgeable about the communities in which the studies are taking place, to the extent appropriate given the study location(s).