Richard Remigio
October 8, 2020

Richard Remigio, a PhD candidate in Environmental Health Sciences, has received the NIH R36 Dissertation Award from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for his research on the climate effects on health care delivery for medically-vulnerable populations. 

The R36 Dissertation Award grants up to $40,000 to students in accredited research doctoral programs in the United States to cover dissertation research costs. According to the AHRC grant database, Remigio received $39,458.

When he discovered that he won the award in late August, he felt a “great sense of honor and validation.” 

“The process of putting together a grant application, especially a grant application at the graduate level, is difficult. It was a journey,” Remigio said. 

The process took about nine months because there were several stages involved, he said. 

Remigio’s dissertation research looks at the role of harmful environmental exposures, including extreme heat, inclement weather and air pollution, and its effects on individuals living with end-stage renal disease. 

Not much focus has been given to this population, where communities of color are disproportionately impacted, he said.

Therefore, there is a critical need to understand how adverse weather events can impact highly vulnerable populations like ESRD patients completing hemodialysis, which is a way to treat advanced kidney failure. 

Remigio has been collaborating with several partners, including a team from the Renal Research Institute that provides him with research-related health data and a statistician.

The R36 Award permits a roughly nine-month timeframe to conduct the research. 

Remigio said he is more than halfway into the project, about 60%. One thing he’s working on is fine-tuning some of the final analyses so he can begin the writing process. 

Remigio’s advice to students interested in applying to the R36 Award is to start the process early, inform advisors so they can assist with application materials and be patient. 

Remigio also encourages students to take environmental health professor Don Milton’s grant writing class. 

“I was very fortunate to have taken that class. That was the catalyst to me applying for the R36 Award,” Remigio said.

To learn more about Remigio’s dissertation research, visit the ARHQ grant summary