New $1 Million NIH Grant Creates Environmental Health Research Institute for Nurse and Clinician Scientists


January 24, 2022

Grand Island, New York

New $1 Million NIH Grant Creates Environmental Health Research Institute for Nurse and Clinician Scientists

Castner Incorporated with consortia partners Emory University, Washington State University, and University of Alabama in Huntsville have received a $1 Million National Institute of Health’s National Institute Environmental Health Sciences grant to provide environmental health research training. The 5-year grant covers a train-the-trainer program called EHRI-NCS, which stands for Environmental Health Research Institute for Nurse and Clinician Scientists. The program is for 144 faculty, scientists, and educators who will shape the next generation of environmental health nurse scientists.

The EHRI-NCS program will enroll a new cohort every year. The program includes self-paced online courses, a 1-week intensive workshop, and mentorship support. The location for the intensive workshop will rotate over the years among online-only; Atlanta, Georgia; Niagara Falls, New York; and Spokane, Washington. Enrollment applications for the first cohort are being accepted until January 31, 2022. The program is recruiting clinician scientist participants who have completed at least 6 academic credits of graduate research and who educate, train, & mentor registered nurses in research trajectories.

“We are really excited to offer participants the opportunity to interact with cutting edge scientific leaders and laboratories through the EHRI-NCS. We’re providing the information in a way that participants have a ready-made and user-friendly instructor toolkit to start teaching this material in their own institutions right away.” relays Dr. Jeannie Rodriguez, Assistant Director of the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care Program at the Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing.

“We have extensive ongoing collaboration and mentorship networks for our participants to join. We are committed to supporting their long-term success well after the workshop with invitations to full integration with a community of environmental health scientists” says Dr. Luz Huntington-Moskos, Director of the Community Engagement Core Center for Integrative Environmental Health Sciences Community Engagement Core at the University of Louisville.

“The EHRI-NCS grew out of successful projects and collaborations in the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environment’s Research Workgroup. One of the biggest strengths of this work has been our ability to bring innovations and scientific information to nursing leaders around the country in the full range of rural, urban, suburban, and other settings in ways that are deeply relevant to their policy, research, education, and practice” says Dr. Katie Huffling, Executive Director of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments.

“The EHRI-NCS is completely participant-centered by using a flipped classroom approach.” explains Jessica Castner, President of Castner Incorporated. “This means everyone has online access to the course basics to finish at their own pace. Then, the program focuses entirely on supporting the participant’s goal–whether that’s designing a new center, a new course, a new academic program, a new research project, a new policy, or adding a new environmental health variable to their work. Picture it as if each participant is given the keys to open whatever door they want, and the program is designed to offer a great deal of depth and expertise to support whatever the new learning choices the participant decides to invest their time and energy into.”

“The biggest requirement is curiosity.”


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Castner Incorporated is a New York State woman-owned business enterprise and research institute. The mission of Castner Incorporated is creating healthy environments by generating new knowledge and data-driven approaches for where people live, work, play, and learn.

The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments is the only national nursing organization focused solely on the intersection of health and the environment. The mission of the Alliance is to promote healthy people and healthy environments by educating and leading the nursing profession, advancing research, incorporating evidence-based practice, and influencing policy.

EHRI-NCS Enrollment Applications:

Enrollment applications for the first cohort are being accepted until January 31, 2022