How to Apply

Before You Apply

We recommend investigators take advantage of HHEAR consultative services in the early stages of formulating their proposal. Contact the HHEAR Coordinating Center at to request a pre-submission consultation.

It is important to remember that you are not applying for a grant. The HHEAR Program provides access to laboratory and data analysis services for investigators who want to add environmental exposures to their studies of human health. Your HHEAR application allows us to evaluate your eligibility and the feasibility of your project. It also allows us to assign a prioritization based on its alignment with HHEAR priorities. Additional guidance on important considerations for submitting a high quality application is provided in the Example Approved Application.

If we approve your application, you will work collaboratively with analysts and scientists in:

  • At least one HHEAR Laboratory Network Lab Hub
  • The HHEAR Data Repository, Analysis, and Science Center (Data Center)

The Application Process

Applying for HHEAR services involves multiple steps. From the application submission to final decision takes about 7 months. We anticipate up to six application cycles per calendar year. Find out more about the application schedule.

Here are the key steps in the application process:

1. Create a myHHEAR Account

Your account lets you access to the myHHEAR application submission and tracking system. To create a myHHEAR account, consult the myHHEAR User Guide. After creating an account, you receive an e-mail with instructions for signing in to your account. Please note, the information you provide for your myHHEAR account will prefill parts of your application. The name associated with the myHHEAR account should be the name of the Principal Investigator for the proposed HHEAR project.

2. Submit a HHEAR Initial Application

Once you create your account, you can access an Initial Application form online. The application asks for information about your:

  • Eligibility
  • Agreement to commit to HHEAR policies
  • Investigators contributing samples and/or data to your proposed project
  • HHEAR services requested
  • Parent study
    • Title, funding source(s), and key publications
    • Hypotheses
    • Main findings
    • Study design
    • Study population
    • Exposure(s) investigated
    • Biological or environmental samples collected
  • Proposed HHEAR project
    • Title
    • Abstract
    • Specific aims
    • Exposures to be investigated
    • Significance
    • Study design
    • Biological and/or environmental samples
    • Requested laboratory analyses
    • Data to be provided to HHEAR
    • Statistical analysis plan and power calculations
    • Challenges and biases

See a PDF template of the Initial Application for more information.

3. Initial Assessment

The HHEAR Coordinating Center makes sure your Initial Application is complete and then schedules a conference call with you to confirm your eligibility for HHEAR services. During this call, we also review our policies and procedures with you. If you are eligible for HHEAR services, the HHEAR Steering and Executive Committees assess your proposed project for consistency with HHEAR Program goals and research priorities.

4. Consultation and Feasibility Assessment

After the initial assessment, the Coordinating Center schedules a conference call with you and scientists from one or more of our Lab Hubs and the HHEAR Data Center. Our scientists will give you advice about your application, including your project’s feasibility, overall strategy, methodologies, and analyses. Following the call, the Coordinating Center sends you feasibility assessment reports, which document the discussions and recommendations for improvement (if applicable). The reports say whether your proposed project is feasible or not.

Due to the complexities of scheduling these calls, you need to choose one of the specified times that the Coordinating Center provides. These calls must occur within 15 business days after your Initial Application deadline.

5. Submit a HHEAR Final Application

If your proposed project is determined to be feasible, the Coordinating Center invites you to submit a HHEAR Final Application. The Final Application should address any recommendations made in the feasibility assessment reports. Also, you must submit the appropriate data dictionary, codebook(s), and questionnaire(s) from your parent study.

The Lab Hub and Data Center review these materials to confirm the feasibility of your proposed project.

6. Scientific Expert Panel Review

The HHEAR Scientific Expert Panel (SEP) will review your Final Application to provide an independent assessment of the potential of your proposed project to advance our understanding of how environmental exposures affect human health. This is not an NIH grant review. SEP members are subject matter experts external to the HHEAR Program.

7. Final Decision and Notification

Your funding institution, in consultation with the HHEAR Executive Committee, make the final decision to approve your application. The HHEAR Coordinating Center emails you the final decision, along with feedback on your application.