Enhance Grants Available to Support Short Term Data and Partnership Building Needs in the Environmental Health Sciences

The HERCULES Exposome Research Center (NIEHS P30 ES019776) is pleased to announce the 2023-2024 Enhance Grant Program in Environmental Health Sciences. These awards are designed to remove obstacles to Environmental Health Sciences research productivity for HERCULES Members by producing short-duration, limited funds on a time-sensitive basis.

Enhance Grant Funds are intended to be used to:

  • Enable submission of a new environmental health focused NIH R- or P-level grant within the next 12 months
  • Gather data needed to respond to critiques on a reviewed NIH application that is currently being revised for resubmission
  • Start dialogue and build partnerships with community groups in preparation for a larger proposal submission

Only the current/proposed PI of the NIH grant application may apply for the Enhance Grant. HERCULES will provide reimbursement or direct purchase of up to $5,000 (direct costs) per approved request. We expect to fund at least four of these awards dependent on the size of the requests.    


Enhance Grants support any research in the environmental health sciences that aligns with the mission of NIEHS. Enhance Grants must be used on the production of new, focused, preliminary data; the analysis of data to support grant submission; or community partnership building. Funding may be used on services through the HERCULES Facility Cores or the Emory Integrated Facilities Cores, on data science or analysis services of the HERCULES Environmental Health Data Sciences Core, on the purchase of supplies and reagents necessary to obtain specific data, on costs associated with performing a specific experiment, or on costs associated with a limited study of a population group or community. Applicants planning to use a HERCULES Core are required to consult with Core members regarding feasibility and costs before submitting a full application. 


A HERCULES Member who is currently PI or MPI of an NIH R- or P-level grant submission or new planned grant submission within 12 months. HERCULES Members who are currently receiving pilot funding from HERCULES are not eligible. Only one application per PI may be submitted within a 12-month period.

Application Submission:

Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Dr. Carmen Marsit (carmen.j.marsit@emory.edu) before beginning the application process in order to discuss the fit of their request with HERCULES goals, the NIEHS mission, and the goals of the Enhance Grant Program.

A completed application package should be sent to Hillary Barton, hillary.barton@emory.edu.

The Application must include:

  • HERCULES Enhance Grants Application
  • A copy of the PI’s Biosketch
  • A cover letter co-signed by the PI’s department chair/division chief indicating approval of the proposal
  • Projects that require institutional approvals (e.g., IRB, IACUC) must provide a copy of those approvals with the application. If your project is funded, additional materials required by NIEHS will be requested.


Application can be submitted any time, but only until January 15, 2024 at 5:00pm. The application will be reviewed and a funding decision made within 2 weeks of application submission or sooner.  

Projects with a foreign component, as defined by NIH, require advance approval from NIEHS.  Please submit these projects early in the funding cycle to allow sufficient time to set up.   

Regardless of funding decision date, all funds approved must be used by March 22, 2025, and any unused funds will be returned to the Center on that date.  Carryforward of unobligated funds is not possible.

Budget Rules:

  1. Funding of up to $5,000 direct costs may be requested.
  2. If requesting HERCULES Facility Core services, budget details should be discussed at the required consultation meeting prior to application submission.
  3. Indirect costs should not be included in the budget.
  4. No salary support may be requested.
  5. All federal and university rules and regulations regarding the administration of grants apply to these funds. Costs subject to CAS approval, such as computers, general purpose equipment, office supplies, etc., may not be budgeted. No travel can be budgeted.
  6. Requests for equipment are not allowable.

Awardee Requirements:

  • Enhance Grants are expected to lead to R-or P-level NIH funding, preferably with NIEHS. Awardees are required to keep the HERCULES Center Administrator informed of any proposal submission and/or grant funding resulting from the Enhance Grant award.
  • Any resultant publications must cite funding from HERCULES (NIEHS P30 ES019776) and electronic copies of the publications should be provided to the HERCULES Center Administrator.
  • Awardees must agree to participate in HERCULES activities (Retreats, Seminars, Data Clubs, Workshops, Stakeholder and External Advisory Board Meetings) and provide a brief written report at the end of the funding


  • For questions regarding this Enhance Grant please contact Dr. Carmen Marsit, email: j.marsit@emory.edu.