Bridge Funding Program

The deadline for applications for the next cycle of the School of Medicine (SoM) Bridge Funding Program is April 15, 2024. Please consult the announcement below for application procedures and eligibility. Application materials should be submitted to Santannah Syme,, in a single pdf via email.

Duke University School of Medicine Bridge Funding Program

Duke University School of Medicine Bridge Funding Program

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 as well as at the individual level. Individuals with significant discretionary balances will not be considered for bridge funds; units/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 subsequent 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.
  • A revised bridge application will not be considered unless the linked proposal is accompanied by a new summary statement.
  • Two separate applications by co-PIs on the same R01 will not be reviewed.
  • If the investigator has discretionary funds in excess of $100,000 they should contact Dr. David MacAlpine prior to submitting their application.

Questions regarding eligibility prior to submission of an application can be addressed to Dr. David MacAlpine at

2. Mechanism for application

Applications may be submitted for deadlines of April 15, August 15, and December 15.  Application materials must be assembled as a single pdf in the order listed below:

  • The chair's letter of endorsement that includes (1) the level of funding being requested and a commitment to provide matching funds, if available, (2) the names at least four faculty members outside the candidate's primary department who can provide an expert and unbiased review of the application, and (3) if applicable, the number of expired grant linked to the request.
  • The specific aims page and the summary statement of the unsuccessful application for which bridge funding is requested.
  • The investigator's one-page response to the summary statement of the unsuccessful application.
  • The investigator's updated NIH biosketch.
  • A budget for expenditure of the requested bridge funds. Although bridge funds cannot be used to support the salary of the PI, the PI must have reasonable effort protected to complete the project goals/aims. The cost associated with that protected effort should be allocated to and borne by a discrete, appropriate cost-sharing WBSE/cost center.    
  • A complete summary of other funds available during the bridge period (e.g. discretionary funds, gift accounts, other grant support). This must be prepared by the appropriate business manager.
  • Plans to secure funds (e.g., other applications, mentoring plan, grant writing course).

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 the 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.