HICAHS Pilot Grants


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Grant amount: Up to US $25,000

Anticipated deadline: Jul 31, 2020

Applicant type: Graduate Student Faculty Postdoctoral Researcher Working Professional

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: Preferred: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming Other eligible locations: United States

Location of residency: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah Show all

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The HICAHS Pilot Grants program funds innovative researchers to conduct projects that promote worker health and safety in agriculture, forestry, or fishing. Extra consideration is given to projects that directly impact the HICAHS region which includes Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

This program has been highly successful, leading to the generation of federally-funded R01 grants, the development of new educational materials and intervention techniques, the training of student and junior investigators, and publication of peer-reviewed journal articles and conference presentations.

Pilot/Feasibility Research Projects

Pilot research funding enables investigators to establish preliminary success and experience in agricultural health research, meanwhile increasing the likelihood of future funding. We encourage applications from student investigators or any investigator who is new to the field of agricultural and forestry occupational health and safety research. Specific eligibility requirements are listed in Eligibility.

Examples of past funded pilot/feasibility projects include (but are not limited to):

  • Effects of herbicides on human reproductive health
  • Musculoskeletal disorders in dairy parlor workers
  • Exposures to fine particulate matter during animal feeding operations
  • Evaluating the prevalence of drug-resistant bacteria in dairies
  • Effects of human exposure to Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria in agricultural dusts on inflammatory and immune responses
  • Interventions and education to promote machine safety during grain handling
  • Effects of mountain bark beetle infestations on the safety of forestry workers

However, any areas of research related to occupational health and safety in agriculture or forestry will be considered. 

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Eligible pilot research project investigators are: 
    • Junior investigators;
    • Graduate research trainees, occupational medicine residents, or postdoctoral fellows;
    • Faculty members of any rank who are new to the field;
    • Staff from health departments/state agencies and public health institutions; 
  • Previous engagement/history with HICAHS is not required. 
  • Investigators from minority and underrepresented populations are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Allowable expenses include all relevant project expenses including:
    • Salary for key personnel, graduate students, and other support staff is allowed.
    • Salary payment to faculty mentors is limited to 5% of a 12 month equivalent salary plus fringe benefits.
    • In-state tuition for graduate and undergraduate personnel.
    • Supplies and small specialized equipment.
    • Domestic travel necessary to conduct the research.
    • Indirect costs up to 8%.
    • Equipment purchased for the project becomes the property of the university sponsoring the principal investigator. 


  • Disallowed expenses
    • Indirect cost >8%, faculty mentor salary >5% of a 12-month equivalent salary plus fringe benefits.
    • Technical conference travel.
    • Routine clerical assistance