Bridge Funding Program

Deadline:  August 17, 2020  

The deadline for applications for the next cycle of the School of Medicine (SoM) Bridge Funding Program is August 17, 2020.

For this review cycle, special consideration will be given to those whose progress towards addressing Study Section comments has been significantly impacted by COVID-19 related down time. Please consult the announcement below for application procedures and eligibility.  Application materials should be submitted to Rene Hamilton,, in a single pdf via email.

The following outlines a bridge funding plan to help investigators in the SoM who have had a lapse in R0l-or P0l-level support. U-level awards and R21s will not be considered at this time. Up to $100,000 per lapsed R0l grant or up to $200,000 per lapsed P0l grant will be provided by the Dean's Office and the Chair’s Office (combined total) following application by the affected individual's chair, anonymous review of merit by two appropriate Duke referees, and a positive recommendation by the Bridge Funding Committee.

Following a positive recommendation by the Bridge Funding Committee, the dollar amount awarded by the Dean will take into consideration discretionary balances at the unit/department level and as well as at individual level. Individuals with significant discretionary balances will not be awarded bridge funds; unit/departments with large discretionary balances will be required to match funds provided by the SoM.

1. Eligibility

  • Candidates include SoM faculty members who were unsuccessful with a first submission of a competitive renewal of an independent investigator award (NIH R01 or equivalent) or a program project grant.
  • Applications that were unsuccessful but received a priority score will be most competitive, and the candidate must effectively address the concerns outlined in the summary statement.
  • Applications for bridge funding of an unsuccessful (A1) resubmission of a competitive renewal will be considered if:
    • the applicant received a strong priority score, and
    • the applicant effectively describes how the summary statement will guide development of a new application.
  • Applications for bridge funding of an unsuccessful first submission of a new R0l proposal will be considered only if:
    • the new proposal represents replacement funding for a previous R01-level, NIH-funded line of investigation that has run its course within the last 2 years, or
    • the applicant has completed a K08, K23, K12, or K0l grant or an equivalent NIH K grant intended for transition to independence and has received a priority score on the original R0l submission.
  • An application will not be considered by the Committee if the expired grant to which it is linked has already received bridge funds.
  • Two separate applications by co-PIs on the same R01 will not reviewed.

Questions regarding eligibility prior to submission of an application can be addressed to Sue Jinks-Robertson at

2. Mechanism for Application 

Applications may be submitted for deadlines of April 15, August 17, and December 15.  Application materials should be submitted by the investigator's department chair and must include:

  • The chair's letter of endorsement, which names at least three faculty members outside the candidate's primary department who can provide an expert and unbiased review of the application. 
  • The specific aims page and the summary statement of the unsuccessful application for which bridge funding is requested.  In the case of replacement funds for a K-type award or an R01 has run its course, the number of the grant being replaced must be provided.
  • The investigator's response to the summary statement of the unsuccessful application (2-page limit). Include here any COVID-19 related issues that significantly affected progress towards addressing comments.  
  • The investigator's updated NIH biosketch. 
  • A budget for expenditure of the requested bridge funds. Bridge Funds cannot be used to support the salary of the PI.
  • A complete summary of other funds available during the bridge period (e.g. discretionary funds, gift accounts, other funded grants or those with a NOA). This should be prepared by the Business Manager of the appropriate department. 
  • Plans to secure funds (e.g., other applications, mentoring plan, grant writing course).

Please assemble these components of the application as a single pdf in the order listed above.

3. Application Review Process

  • Assessment of all application materials by two faculty members with appropriate expertise and without a primary departmental affiliation with the candidate, selected with input from the candidate's chair. 
  • Preparation of a brief statement by the reviewers describing the merits of the case and the likelihood of external funding following bridge support.
  • Review of the two faculty assessments and all application materials by Bridge Funding Committee. 
  • Recommendation by Bridge Funding Committee to the Dean of the School of Medicine.
  • Funding notifications will be made 4-6 weeks following the submission deadline.