Request for Information (RFI): Climate Change and Health
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

July 30, 2021

Response Date:
September 17, 2021

Related Announcements

  • August 26, 2021 Notice to Extend the Response Date for NOT-ES-21-009 "Request for information (RFI) on Climate Change and Health". See Notice NOT-ES-21-012
  • August 18, 2021 Notice of NHLBI Participation on NOT-ES-21-009: Request for Information (RFI): Climate Change and Health. See Notice NOT-HL-21-028

Issued by

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)

Fogarty International Center (FIC)

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO)

Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH)



The Steering Committee of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Climate Change and Human Health Working Group invites feedback on the approaches NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices can take to enhance research on the health implications of climate change in the United States and globally.


Climate change poses substantial threats to human health across the lifespan. These threats influence diverse health concerns including communicable and non-communicable diseases, injuries, hazardous exposures, mental health, and death. Observational and modeling studies have identified impacts on and threats to health and well-being that are immediate (e.g., extreme weather events such as hurricanes, heat waves, floods and droughts) as well as resulting from more gradual changes in climate (e.g., rising sea levels, shifts in rainfall and humidity). In the United States and globally, structural racism and discrimination place communities of color, under-resourced, health disparity populations, and other historically disadvantaged communities at higher risk from health impacts of climate change.

Health consequences of climate change may be direct (e.g., heat stress, death) or indirect (e.g., infectious diseases or conditions associated with pollution) effects, and may occur due to actions taken to mitigate (e.g., changes in energy systems) and adapt (changes in the built environment) to climate change. Understanding the health implications including potential health benefits -- of actions to prevent, mitigate, and adapt to climate change offers opportunities to improve the social and environmental determinants of health, especially for at-risk communities.

Information Requested

This request for information (RFI)invites comments from diverse stakeholder groups that include scientific researchers, community advocates, clinicians, and policy makers. The NIH has identified six priority areas of research on human health and climate change, listed below. This RFI) seeks to identify research gaps and priorities in these areas and encourages responses on related topics that are not listed.

I. Innovative Research that Addresses Climate Change and Human Health

  • Approaches to understanding threats and opportunities posed by climate change and climate change mitigation actions
  • Existing cohort studies or other ongoing research studies across the lifespan that could be leveraged to understand the health implications of climate change
  • Exposures, risks and harms associated with climate change that disproportionately affect communities of color, under-resourced communities, health disparity populations and/or other historically disadvantaged communities and other vulnerable groups (e.g., children, older adults, women, pregnant women, persons with disabilities) in the United States and internationally
  • Evaluation of policies, programs, and interventions aimed at behavior change to prevent climate change and reduce negative effects of such change
  • Solutions-based research on climate change and human health including biomedical, behavioral, and health intervention strategies (e.g., strategies to address malnutrition, food security, vaccine development, vector management, water treatment) that address climate induced changes in disease and community needs
  • Social and behavioral science research to understand individual or population level adaptation, including migration and displacement, to climate change related threats including biomedical, behavioral, and health intervention strategies that can help to strengthen individual and community-level resilience
  • Implementation science and health systems approaches to scale-up and spread the delivery of tools and health services to affected communities

II. Scientific Infrastructure to Address Human Health and Climate Change

  • Strategies to collect, measure, organize and analyze diverse Big Data streams to improve the quality and harmonization of data on climate change and human health
  • Data infrastructure (e.g. standards, common data elements, repositories, platforms) needed to facilitate national and international data sharing in support of research
  • Potential partners, especially those with data in the public domain, for the NIH to build and/or enhance public health research and intended impacts
  • Strategies for international cooperation to enhance public health surveillance and research

III. Research and Community Partnerships to Address Environmental Injustice and Foster Resilience

  • Identification and engagement of key stakeholders and disciplines in health equity-related research on climate change
  • Strategies to engage and sustain trusting partnerships with minority, under-resourced and historically disadvantaged communities and other vulnerable groups (e.g., children, older adults, persons with disabilities) in order to build resilience to the impacts of climate change
  • Approaches to develop community-based interventions and strategies that address structural racism and discrimination, factors that intensify climate change related health impacts in minority, under-resourced and historically disadvantaged communities
  • Ethical issues and approaches to conducting research in and with impacted communities

IV. Rapid Research Response Capacity to Address Human Health and Climate Change

  • Approaches and strategies to solution-oriented research that can be implemented in time sensitive situations (e.g., following extreme weather events)
  • Approaches for the rapid assessment of existing health related intervention/mitigation/adaptation strategies for use in weather-related disasters
  • Level of scientific evidence needed to apply existing health related intervention/mitigation/adaptation strategies to weather-related disasters
  • Digital and non-digital solutions to prevent injury, illness, or toxicant exposures, enhance access to health services; ensure equitable access to health services; and build resilience

V. Diverse Workforce to Address Human Health and Climate Change

  • Multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary training needs of researchers interested in the impacts of climate change and extreme weather effects on human health in the United States and internationally
  • Strategies to increase diversity, equity, and inclusiveness of the biomedical workforce to address climate change and human health

VI. Translation and Dissemination of Research Findings and Health Protective Strategies

  • Methods for distillation of climate change research findings to diverse audiences, including affected communities and policy makers
  • Strategies for transparent, equitable, and timely dissemination of research findings on climate change and human health to those communities most affected
  • Methods and opportunities for translating research evidence into programs, policies, and clinical practice
  • Communication approaches to facilitate understanding and action on of the effects of climate change on human health across multiple sectors (e.g., health care, transportation, labor/occupational, education, energy)

How to Submit a Response

Responses will be accepted through August 30, 2021. Responses must be e-mailed to Please include "NIH Climate Change and Human Health RFI" and the Notice Number (NOT-ES-21-009) in the subject line. Responders are free to address any or all the categories listed above. The submitted information will be reviewed by NIH staff.

Responses to this RFI are entirely voluntary and may be submitted anonymously. If willing, you may indicate the environment to which your perspective pertains (e.g., academic institutions, extramural, intramural researchers, industry, and the public). Please do not include any personally identifiable information or any information that you do not wish to make public. Proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should not be included in your response.

The Government will use the information submitted in response to this RFI at its discretion. The Government reserves the right to use any submitted information on public websites, in reports, in summaries of the state of the science, in any possible resultant solicitation(s), grant(s), or cooperative agreement(s), or in the development of future funding opportunity announcements.

This RFI is for informational and planning purposes only and is not a solicitation for applications or an obligation on the part of the Government to provide support for any ideas identified in response to it. Please note that the Government will not pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for use of that information.

We look forward to your input and hope that you will share this RFI opportunity with your colleagues.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices