Research Program Bridge

Providing bridge support for faculty-initiated research projects when external funding has been temporarily interrupted.


This program provides bridge support for faculty-initiated research projects when external funding has been temporarily interrupted by an unsuccessful competitive renewal or whose recent grant application narrowly missed reaching a fundable score. These are generally R01 grants or projects within Center or Program Project Grants.


Faculty at the level of assistant professor or above are eligible to apply.  Because there are more requests for support than funds available, preference is given to situations where bridge funding is considered integral to a future competitive renewal. Hence, the application should be in the upper (better) half of applications reviewed to be eligible. An important consideration for bridge funding is the tone of the critique provided by the Initial Review Group (study section), or equivalent body and how well the applicant addresses the recommendations of the study section. The peer review critique should reflect an overall positive assessment of the proposal such that acquisition of additional data or introduction of new approaches accomplished during the bridge funding period will improve the likelihood of funding success.

In exceptional circumstances, lower half and unscored application may be considered, as problems may be remedied by the bridge funding mechanism (e.g., the need for a key reagent or technique). If it is thought this kind of situation pertains to the rejected application, a preliminary review can be conducted.  Please provide the study section critique and a letter describing the exceptional circumstances at least two weeks in advance of the deadline.

The size of the award will vary. However, funding for staff, supplies and other laboratory support should be limited to what is minimally needed to maintain the momentum of the research program for a period of time adequate to obtain funding. Awards may not exceed $30,000.

Review Criteria for Research Program Bridge Funding Applications

The IRSC will review applications for research program bridge funding based on several criteria. An important consideration is the critique provided by the study section or equivalent panel and the strategies proposed to address perceived weaknesses and strengthen the proposal. The relationship between the bridge funding and the investigator's ability to make progress towards reestablishing extramural support will be weighed heavily. The review committee will prioritize requests for support by assigning overall priority scores and transmitting their recommendations to the Vice President & Associate Dean of Research Administration & Operations.

Post-Award Considerations

Expenditures are to be prorated evenly over the 12-month budget cycle unless otherwise approved. Unexpended bridge funds revert back to the School at the time extramural funding for the project/program is awarded.  Also, all funds remaining at the end of the project period will be returned to the School. Extensions of time beyond the 12 months are not permitted for projects awarded under the bridge funding program.

An application is required for all requests for research program bridge funding. Get more information on what is needed by reviewing the complete application instructions.