In accordance with the Strategic Plan for Research, the School of Medicine has developed a Bridge Funding Program to minimize disruption of existing research projects that have temporarily lost funding, but that received evaluations indicative of success in the next round of competitive review. Investigators who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply for bridge funding (up to $100,000) from the Executive Associate Dean for Research and Strategic Initiatives.
I. Criteria for Eligibility
- The investigator's NIH (R-series only), NSF, VA competitive or other federal renewal application was not funded. K-Award or equivalent junior investigators transitioning to NIH R-series, NSF or VA grants will be considered in this category. Other new applications are not eligible, unless it substitutes for an existing research grant or research award.
- Insufficient funds are available in the investigator's laboratory to maintain a minimal level of research competitiveness. If two or more R-series or equivalent grants are currently funded, the investigator is not eligible for this type of funding.
- The competitive renewal must have scored within 20 percentile points of the most current NIH institute payline, or received excellent (or equivalent) ratings from NSF, VA or other federal applications.
II. Application Procedure
The investigator should submit an electronic version of the following to the Executive Associate Dean for Research:
- The front sections of the grant application, from the face page through and including the specific aims page. NSF and VA grant applicants should include abstract, specific aims, pages detailing the budget, other support, facilities and resources, local and external collaborative arrangements.
- The NIH pink sheets or NSF/ VA/ Federal Grant evaluations of the competitive renewal.
- A letter from the investigator describing the specific consequences to the research program and laboratory personnel of losing the grant, the termination date of the current grant, and plan for resubmission including responses to major criticisms of the grant and intended resubmission date. The letter should also state that bridge funds will be relinquished as soon as additional funding is secured. Any research or salary support available to the investigator that was not reported to NIH, NSF or VA must be reported (e.g., foundation awards, discretionary funds, gifts).
- A granting agency contact (name and phone number), in order to contact NIH to determine the current payline.
- A letter from the investigator's chair agreeing to fund half of the bridge award from departmental sources. The letter should indicate the degree of departmental enthusiasm for the investigator. Departments that are temporarily in financial difficulties and cannot pay their share immediately are encouraged to arrange a loan through the Executive Associate Dean for Fiscal Affairs. If an amended application is not submitted within the 2 year NIH limit, the department must repay the Dean’s portion of the bridge funds.
III. Selection and Funding Procedures
A sub-committee of the Research Advisory Committee will evaluate requests and recommend action. Awards will depend on availability of funds and be made at the discretion of the Executive Associate Dean for Research. The total of any bridge award, including the funds provided by the Dean and the department chair, will not exceed 50% of the direct costs of the competing renewal, up to a maximum of $100,000. Funds will be transferred to the investigator's account in four quarterly payments, each payment upon receipt of a letter to the Executive Associate Dean for Research, signed by both investigator and chair, verifying that additional external funding has not yet been secured (see IIc). Work funded under this mechanism must meet all regulatory requirements of Emory University School of Medicine.