The Bridge Funding Program provides up to 12 months of support for full-time faculty members with independent research programs, who are experiencing a temporary loss of significant funding. The program is intended to support applicants who face a funding gap between two extramural research grants (usually R01 or equivalent). Typically, applicants have been unsuccessful in a recent attempt to renew or replace a federal grant but are likely to be funded upon submission of a revised application, based on scores and reviewers’ comments.

Applications will be evaluated by a faculty committee. Applicants must demonstrate that their research program is jeopardized due to lack of extramural funding, that they have one or more rounds of well-scored but unfunded federal applications, and that they will have exhausted all available discretionary or start-up funds within one year of applying for bridge funding.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the productivity of faculty members with increased child and dependent care responsibilities. The bridge funding program will consider applications from faculty for whom increased caregiving responsibilities have delayed the submission of renewal or revised applications, resulting in a temporary funding gap.

     
Timeline
Summer Cycle
Winter Cycle
Request for Applications (RFA) Released
April 10
October 9
Applications Due
May 29
December 11
Award Notification
July 31
January 29
Award Period August 1, 2020 - July 31, 2021 February 1, 2021 - January 31, 2022

Eligibility

  1. Applicants must be faculty members who have a full-time, salaried appointments in the School of Medicine and have been faculty members for more than 3 years. Priority will be given to two groups of applicants:
    • Established Investigator (more than 8 years as a UCSF faculty member) who has lost or will lose >40% of all extramural funding in her/his research portfolio, and anticipates a deleterious effect (e.g. loss of research personnel or research participants). Bridge funding applications may be submitted up to six months prior to the expected loss of funding. Established investigators must have independent research programs with continuous, peer-reviewed, extramural funding during the previous three-year period. Applicants must include the reviews for at least one well-scored but unfunded application.
    • New Investigator (8 years or less as a UCSF faculty member) who has an independent research program that is supported, at least in part, by extramural funding. The applicant must be facing a significant gap in this funding, and applications must include the reviews for at least one well-scored but unfunded new or renewal application. Bridge funding in the new investigator category is intended for faculty during the early post-mentored phase of their careers. Faculty members who have mentored K awards are not eligible to apply in this category, and bridge funding cannot be used to support the transition to the first independent extramural research grant.
  2. Faculty in either category can apply if they are facing a significant funding gap due to delays in grant submission resulting from increased caregiving responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. If the anticipated funding gap is due to delayed submission of a revised (A1) renewal application or revised new application, the applicant should provide the reviews from the unfunded first submission and describe the plans for addressing the reviews, as in all Bridge Funding applications.

    If the funding gap is due to delayed submission of the first renewal application or new application, and therefore no reviews are available, we will waive the requirement for a summary statement as described elsewhere in these instructions.

    In any case, the applicant should use the cover letter to explain the increased caregiving responsibilities, the magnitude of the funding gap, and plans for renewal of funding. Other eligibility and review criteria still apply.

  3. Applicants who receive bridge funding awards are not eligible to reapply for bridge funding until six months after their award period has ended. For example, an investigator who received an award in Cycle 17, which ended on 7/31/16, would be eligible to apply for a second award no earlier than Cycle 20 (award period: 2/1/17 – 1/31/18).
 

Review Criteria

The applicant has an independent research program; applicants with laboratory-based research have independent laboratory space.

  1. The applicant has demonstrated conscientious efforts to establish and maintain extramural funding and to diversify funding streams.
  2. Support of the Department Chair, including documentation of the department’s financial commitment to the applicant and a statement that the department will provide 33% of the bridge award.
  3. Quality of the applicant’s research portfolio and research productivity.
  4. Recent grant applications (last two years) that received favorable scores (close to the funding range); the applicant should explain how the reviewers’ comments will be addressed.
  5. Discretionary (including start-up) funds available to the applicant must be spent down to a maximum of $40,000 before calling upon awarded Bridge funds.

Awards

  1. Awards are granted for a maximum of one year; all unspent funds must be returned to the Bridge Funding Program.
  2. Awardees must notify the SOM Dean’s Office within two weeks of receiving notice of any funding, from any source, to support any project within his/her research portfolio (e.g. extramural, intramural, industry, and foundation awards, startup, gifts, discretionary funds such as an endowed chair, etc.).
    • If the new award is larger than the balance of the bridge funding grant at the time the grant is reported, the bridge funding award will end as soon as the new funding begins.
    • If the amount of the new award is less than the balance of the bridge funding grant, then the balance of the bridge funding award will be reduced accordingly.
    • The total amount of any bridge funding award will not exceed $100,000.
  3. The Bridge Funding award may be used to support:
    • Faculty salary; and/or
    • Supplies/project expenses; and/or
    • Animal care or core facility services; and/or
    • Salaries/benefits for research personnel; and/or
    • Research participant accrual or maintenance
  4. Bridge Funding award funds may NOT be used to support:
    • Travel
    • Budget overdrafts
    • Administrative costs (i.e., school and departmental surcharges)

Attachments

 

Contact for Application Process: