NEARS Request for Proposals Open

National Environmental Assessment Reporting System (NEARS) Request for Proposals

The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will offer subawards between $2,500 and $4,000, depending on the number of applicants, to support state, tribal, local, or territorial governmental food safety programs to learn more about the National Environmental Assessment Reporting System (NEARS) program. NEARS is a surveillance system that captures environmental assessment data from foodborne illness outbreak investigations in retail food services to improve food safety programs.

Who Is Eligible?

State, tribal, local, or territorial governmental food safety agencies not yet participating in NEARS are eligible. States not participating in NEARS will be given priority. Click here to see the list of states and jurisdictions currently participating in NEARS.

What Types of Activities Can the Funding Support?

Funding will support food safety program initiatives to explore involvement in CDC’s National Environmental Assessment Reporting Systems. Supported activities include:

  • Staff time to learn about NEARS, such as  
    • Taking Environmental Assessment Training (EATS) to conduct environmental assessments
    • Participating in a NEARS webinar training session
    • Attending a regional or national NEARS presentation
  • Purchase of environmental sampling/other investigation equipment to build capacity in foodborne outbreak investigations
  • Ability to use funds to encourage local programs within the state to participate

Expected Outputs

  1. Complete the online Environmental Assessment Training Series (EATS)
  2. Complete the Introduction to NEARS webinar series hosted by CDC
  3. Provide a one-page final report that:
    1. Identifies how the funding was able to help your program build capacity in conducting foodborne outbreak investigations (e.g., secured additional equipment, increased environmental assessment knowledge, provided training to staff, etc.)
    2. Identifies if NEARS is a good fit for your program, if you’d like to register your food safety program to participate in NEARS, and potential challenges to implementation

Project Period of Performance

February 1, 2022 through June 30, 2022

When Are Applications Due?

Applicants must submit their online application by 5 p.m. EST, Friday, January 7, 2022. Awardees will be notified via email after the application period closes.

COMPLETE THE Application


Release Date: 
Tuesday, November 16, 2021