Bridging Support

Effective September 16, 2013, the Extended Bridging Support Program is a mechanism which has been developed to support Instructional Track Faculty who have had a record of continuous external funding but who currently lack external funding and are no longer eligible to submit an A1 application for their most recent NIH R01 grant.  To be eligible, a faculty must have been a PI on at least one NIH R01 grant (or equivalent federal grant) and have recently resubmitted a competitive continuation grant (presumably an A1) that will not be funded. In addition, faculty with more than $75,000 (to be decided upon) in discretionary funds are not eligible for extended bridging but may apply if their funds become lower than $75,000.  Faculty who are not eligible for extended bridging may still go through the process in order to get the in-depth review.  In that case, they do not need to submit a budget summary and the budget justification.

Bridging (including the Departmental matching funds) may be provided for up to two years.  However, an R01 application (or equivalent) must be submitted during the first year of funding in order to receive consideration for a second year of funding.

The faculty member’s chair and division or section chief must sign off on the application for bridging funds, monitor the faculty member’s progress towards agreed-upon goals with formal reporting in nine months and periodically thereafter, and be responsible for the faculty member’s progress towards competitiveness and independence.  If timely progress toward the agreed-upon goals is not accomplished, funding will terminate.

The application materials should be submitted as a single pdf file in the order listed below.

  1. Application cover pages including completed signature pages and budget summary.  [Download Application]
  2. Budget justification (not to exceed one page).  Include a narrative which fully explains the relationship of cost to the proposed activity and the basis for the cost estimates.  If salaries are included, please itemize the salary and fringe benefits for each person.  The salary for the PI is not to be requested as part of this application.  Requests are limited to the minimum funding necessary for the first year and cannot exceed $100,000.  Awards may not cover budget reductions in existing awards from external sponsors, cost overruns, or travel.
  3. Complete summary statement from the most recent Study Section Review, including score and percentile.
  4. Current NIH-style Biosketch.
  5. Current NIH-style Other Support page (that includes listing of any discretionary available funds). Single year pilot awards and private foundation grants that are no more than $50,000 each do not disqualify you from applying for bridging since the goal is to support the faculty member to regain their national funding.
  6. A short (two-page) description of the research proposed for the first year of extended bridging including specific aims and rationale.

If a second year of bridge funding is needed, the application must be submitted at least one month before the beginning of the second year.  The application should include the following items in the order listed in a single pdf file and should be submitted to the Chair of the EBS:

  1. A letter from your department chair recommending a second year of funding based on the progress toward the completion of the goals outlined for year one.
  2. A research progress report including status of grants with any relevant summary statements or anticipated dates of decision and dates when funds may be available.
  3. Outline of approach and plan for year two including revised aims.
  4. Publication list generated in year one (including submitted and ‘in preparation’ manuscripts; for the latter please indicate the planned date of submission and target journal).
  5. Itemized budget and budget justification for year two.  Please include dates for year two funding period.

NOTE:  When new external funding is obtained, the balance of the bridging funds must be returned.

The review process will proceed as follows. The EBS will first approve proceeding with a presentation by the applicant and the review committee members (typically selected from suggestions made by the applicant or selected by the EBS). A review committee, with expertise in the field of the grant proposal, consists of three reviewers (only one member of the committee can have a primary appointment in the department of the applicant). The committee will be chaired by a member of the EBS who will oversee the review.  All members of the committee will be provided with all of the materials submitted by the faculty being reviewed at least one week prior to the review.  Scheduling of the committee members is the responsibility of the applicant department administration office. The applicant will make a 35-45-minute oral presentation in which slides can be used to present background and specific aims.  However, it will be expected that most of the presentation will be a “chalk talk” describing the proposed experiments and their relationship to future applications.  The review committee will provide feedback regarding the specific aims, the experiments planned, and the preparation of the next submission.

The committee will then continue the discussion privately addressing the likelihood of success and any other issues and provide their recommendations to the EBS regarding funding.  One of the members of the review committee will be designated to take notes on important points in the discussion and suggestions made to the applicant during the committee meeting as well as to provide a brief summary of the discussion of the review committee in its Executive Session.  The report from the open session will be provided to the applicant to help them in planning their experimentation and the report from the Executive Session of the committee as well as the one from the overall review will both be provided to the EBS for review and their decision regarding funding and funding levels at the next meeting of the EBS. The EBS will do everything it can to complete its evaluation within 6 weeks from the time it receives the bridging request, but it will be important for the involved department to schedule the review committee meeting in a timely manner.