Request for Information (RFI): Environmental Justice Research Gaps, Opportunities and Capacity Building
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

October 4, 2023

Response Date:
December 15, 2023

Related Announcements

NOT-PM-24-001 - Notice of Participation of the All of Us Research Program in NOT-ES-23-016: Request for Information (RFI): Environmental Justice Research Gaps, Opportunities and Capacity Building.

NOT-AG-23-068 - Notice of Participation of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) in NOT-ES-23-016

Issued by

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)

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

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

National Institute on Aging (NIA)

Tribal Health Research Office (THRO)

All applications to this funding opportunity announcement should fall within the mission of the Institutes/Centers. The following NIH Offices may co-fund applications assigned to those Institutes/Centers.

Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO)

Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives, Office of Disease Prevention (ODP)

Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Environmental Justice Working Group invites feedback on the approaches NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices can take to support research and capacity building efforts to advance environmental justice in the U.S. and globally. Additionally, Request for Information (RFI) responses will enable the NIH Environmental Justice Working Group to be responsive to Executive Order 14096 on Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All, and to synergize NIH efforts with other Federal Agencies in a whole-of-government approach to advance environmental justice.


In April 2023, the Executive Order 14096 on Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All was released and calls for a whole-of-government approach to ensure that all individuals and communities have access to clean environments that are free from the harmful effects of pollution and chemical exposures. Importantly, Executive Order 14096 highlights the need for research, data collection, and analysis to advance environmental justice.

For the purposes of this RFI, in alignment with Executive Order 14096 on Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All, environmental justice is defined as the fair and equitable treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of income, race, color, national origin, Tribal affiliation, disability, sexual orientation, sex and gender identity in agency decision-making and other Federal activities that affect human health and the environment so that people: (i) are fully protected from disproportionate and adverse human health and environmental effects (including risks) and hazards, including those related to climate change, the cumulative impacts of environmental and other burdens, and the legacy of racism or other structural or systemic barriers; and (ii) have equitable access to a healthy, sustainable, and resilient environment in which to live, play, work, learn, grow, worship, and engage in cultural and subsistence practices.

NIH has long supported a broad research portfolio that explores the underlying inequities related to environmental exposures and their disproportionate impacts on health (i.e., environmental health disparities research), including the Centers of Excellence on Environmental Health Disparities Research program that launched in 2015. More recently, the NIH developed an initiative with a specific focus on climate change and health research. Despite these efforts, more transformative, solutions-oriented research is needed across the NIH on environmental justice to address disproportionate cumulative (environmental and social) exposures and improve the health and well-being of affected communities in U.S. and global settings.

Information Requested

This RFI invites comments from communities with environmental justice concerns, scientific researchers, community-based organizations, consumer advocacy groups, service agencies, health care providers, policymakers and the public. This RFI seeks to identify gaps and opportunities pertaining to environmental justice research and training as well as capacity building needs in areas listed below and highly encourages responses on related topics that are not listed.

Transformative Environmental Justice Research and Action

  • Multidisciplinary, transdisciplinary and team science approaches
  • Development and testing of multi-level and structural level interventions
  • Implementation research to support the uptake, scale-up, spread and sustainment of evidence-based interventions
  • Community-led research approaches
  • Inclusion of Indigenous Knowledge
  • Environmental justice research and action in global settings including low-and-middle income countries
  • Cumulative and generational impacts across the life course
  • Methods and approaches directed at systems and structural level drivers

Scientific Infrastructure to Support Environmental Justice Research

  • Strategies to collect, measure, organize and analyze diverse Big Data streams to improve the quality, linkages between, and harmonization of data
  • Data infrastructure (e.g., standards, common data elements, repositories, platforms) needed to facilitate national and international data sharing in support of research
  • Leveraging existing datasets, tools, and resources
  • Development and testing of environmental exposure assessment methods, tools and sensors
  • Adaptation of exposure assessment methods, tools and sensors in environmental justice settings

Community Partnerships to Address Environmental Injustices

  • Identification and engagement of key partners in environmental justice research including, but not limited to, community-based organizations, federal, state, and local government agencies/programs and service sectors (e.g., departments of housing, transportation, agriculture, environment), locally owned businesses, and Tribal organizations and communities
  • Strategies to engage in trusting and equitable partnerships with populations with health disparities that are at risk from the health impacts of environmental injustices
  • Strategies to sustain community partnerships
  • Approaches to develop community-based interventions and implementation strategies that address key barriers to the adoption and sustainment of these interventions
  • Ethical issues and approaches related to environmental justice research and action with impacted communities

Diverse and Inclusive Workforce to Advance Environmental Justice

  • Identification of approaches to reduce t raining gaps and ensure that opportunities to bolster or elevate environmental justice research capacity are accessible for all affected communities
  • Strategies (specific activities and approaches) to increase diversity, equity, inclusiveness and accessibility of the scientific workforce conducting environmental justice research, in alignment with NIH's interest in diversity, see?NOT-OD-20-031, see also?NOT-OD-22-019.

Science Communication and Dissemination of Research Findings

  • Science communication approaches to disseminate research findings to affected communities, health care providers, educators, and policymakers
  • Strategies for culturally and linguistically appropriate, transparent, equitable, and timely reporting back of research findings on environmental injustices
  • Methods and opportunities for translating environmental justice research into environmental justice action (e.g., programs, policies)

Science, Research, and Data that would support Federal Environmental Justice Actions

  • Data gaps and inadequacies related to environmental justice
  • New or expanded data or knowledge sources that should be considered in Federal decision-making, including community generated data
  • Ways that cumulative impacts, environmental justice, community-led science, population health, and health disparities research can better inform Federal policy actions

How to Submit a Response

All responses should be submitted electronically at the RFI submission website by 11:59:59 pm (ET) on December 15, 2023. You will see an electronic confirmation acknowledging receipt of your response. 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:

Lindsey Martin
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences