Apply for Pilot Funds

Every July, the Central Appalachian Regional Education and Research Center makes available funds for innovative pilot projects in occupational safety and health. Awards may range from $5,000 to $12,000 in total funds (direct plus indirect) and are typically available for short-term pilot studies of up to 12 months duration.


The most recent request for proposals (RFP) was issued on the following timeline

Call for Proposals Applications Due Funding Decision Award Date
April 2019 June 2019 July 2019 August 2019


Contingent on the CARERC's own funding, short-term projects receiving awards in the current cycle may be eligible for continuation beyond June 30, 2018. To be added to the Center’s electronic distribution list, please send your contact information to Susan Westneat,

Generally, the CARERC will consider any well-designed research, education, or prevention/ intervention project addressing occupational safety and health concerns in mining, forestry and logging, manufacturing, transportation/trucking, law enforcement, and other hazardous sectors. However, priority will be given to proposals that address the needs of at-risk workers in one or more of 177 Central Appalachian counties. This includes rural counties in eastern Kentucky (54), western North Carolina (29), western Virginia (25), eastern Tennessee (50), and/or southern West Virginia (16). See map.

The CARERC is one of only 18 NIOSH-funded education and research centers nationwide. CARERC training includes:

  • Agricultural safety and health
  • Occupational epidemiology
  • Occupational health nursing
  • Occupational safety & health
  • Mining health and safety

Proposals should reflect familiarity with the NIH PHS398 format. Proposals must include:

  • Abstract
  • Specific Aims
  • Research plan
  • Timeline (project narrative not to exceed 10 pages)
  • Detailed budget
  • Biographical sketches for key personnel
  • Letter(s) of support
  • IRB approval notice or copy of pending IRB application

Proposal narratives should clearly describe the proposal’s significance, innovation, approach, and environment, as well as investigator qualifications and anticipated impact of the project. Study protocols must enumerate specific aims and anticipated outcomes/impact and are expected to include an evaluation plan and timeline.

Applicants are advised to structure their project narratives (< 7 pages) according to these criteria. Accordingly, applicants may wish to use the terms bulleted and highlighted above as section headings.

The CARERC offers graduate degree programs and continuing education and is designed to serve as a resource for industry, labor, state and local government agencies, and other regional stakeholders. Industries/occupations relevant to this pilot studies announcement include:


  Research Prevention / Intervention Education / Translation
Law Enforcement / EMS
HazMat transport / clean-up
Logging / forestry
Transportation / Trucking
Health Care / Hospitals
Chemical and Dry Goods manufacturing
Small business (e.g., small machine shops, welding, etc.)
Agricultural Production


Proposals are welcomed from doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows, occupational and preventive medicine residents, junior faculty and graduate students with the knowledge, skills, and access necessary to complete the project. Students must have a faculty mentor serve as principal investigator. Principal investigators must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Applicants must document compliance with DHHS Regulations (45 CFR 46) on the protection of human research participants. Prior to funding, documentation must be provided to demonstrate that the project is subject to initial and continuing institutional review board approval. Projects must meet DHHS and NIH requirements regarding inclusion of women, minorities, and children, and use of animal subjects, as well as restrictions against use of these funds for lobbying.

Awardees will be required to submit at least one progress report during the project period and a final summary report within 90 days of completion. Awardees will also be required to provide indication of CARERC support on all presentations and publications resulting from the research and provide citations for presentations and publications for CARERC records


Address related correspondence to

​Christin Kane
Research Project Manager
233 Bowman Hall
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40536