BRIDGE FUNDING PROPOSAL

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Purpose

Recognizing that some productive investigators are likely to be “unfunded” for time intervals due to uncertainties in external funding, the purpose of bridge funding is:
  • To improve success of research faculty by providing some continuing research support.
  • To make UAB an attractive, research friendly environment for recruitment and retention.
  • To strengthen the morale of research faculty.
  • To enhance confidence in school administration as “research supportive”.

Eligibility

  • Faculty investigators who serve as a Principal Investigator.
  • NIH grants (or NSF equivalent) scoring better than the 35th %ile.
  • The investigator's NIH (R-series or equivalent) or NSF competitive renewal application was not funded.
    • A new application is not eligible, unless it substitutes for an existing research grant or represents the equivalent of an “A2” resubmission.
    • Bridge funding is typically a one-time request but a second request may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Priority will be given to those investigators who lead two or less R-series or equivalent grants.

Application Process

  • A copy of the grant application.  
  • The NIH study section critiques or NSF evaluations of the competitive renewal application.
  • A letter from the PI indicating the specific consequences to the research program and laboratory personnel of losing the grant, the termination date of the current grant, plans for resubmission including brief responses to major criticisms of the grant, identification of other sources of salary support and research support, and a plan for use of requested bridge funds.
  • A letter from the chair agreeing to provide faculty salary support equivalent to 75% of the bridge award (i.e., 75% of $75,000 = $56,250) from departmental sources. Please note that the salary support should be transferred to the new bridge account.  The letter should include a brief description of the steps that will be taken to increase the competitiveness of the resubmitted application, including (as examples) internal faculty panels to strategize and provide feedback in developing the revised application, commissioning external reviewers for the revised application, grantsmanship training where appropriate, etc.

Review Process

  • First level of review by the Department Chair with appropriate input from others on the scientific merit of the application.
  • Each proposal, approved and supported by the Chair, will be submitted to the Dean’s office and reviewed by a bridge-funding committee comprised of senior faculty from across UAB. This committee will evaluate eligibility of the grant application and the PI for bridge funding and make a recommendation to the Dean concerning funding. Anonymity of the specific committee member evaluating any given application will be maintained, and the committee will be responsible for appropriately disclosing and managing conflicts of interest.

Awards

  • The PI’s unrestricted accounts are expected to be the first source of bridge funding.
  • Bridge awards depend on availability of funds and are made at the discretion of the Dean; up to a maximum of $75,000 per year.
  • Funds are transferred to the investigator’s account in one lump sum payment.
  • Yearly review of recipients required, regarding a recommendation for further funding. Awards are unlikely to be continued beyond two years total funding.
  • Continued contact with Dean’s Office regarding the status of the grant application for which Bridge Funding was requested.

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