Blue Ribbon Bridge Funding

In order to sustain research projects that have lost extramural funding, the School of Medicine Bridge Fund program provides support to eligible principal investigators (PI) to assist with re-establishing external funding. The bridge funds provide a means to maintain the viability of existing research laboratories, avoids the loss of trained research staff, and allows the PI to generate the data necessary to remain competitive for extramural support.

A PI is eligible to apply for bridge funding, provided that:

  • he/she had an active federal grant similar to an NIH R01*
  • the grant funds have been expended
  • he/she has submitted a competitive renewal to the external funding agency within the past twelve months, which is currently under review or has not been funded
  • he/she has submitted an application to the most recent round of competition for the President’s Research Fund (PRF) program (if the PI is eligible for PRF funding)

Departments receiving support from the annual Doisy fund will be expected to utilize that support prior to requesting bridge funding support from the Dean’s office. If a department has been allowed to retain hard dollars for non-tenure track faculty or research staff, or is utilizing its returned indirect cost funds, or funds awarded through the non-salary incentive plan, this must be disclosed to ensure that all available resources are utilized to help sustain worthy investigators.

Blue Ribbon Bridge Fund awards may be granted for up to a one-year period, with the possibility of a second year of support. Renewal of bridge funding for a second year will follow the same process as the initial bridge funding request. Awards will be granted for a maximum of one year or until the grantee renews funding for the project or obtains new funding from other sources, whichever comes first. When extramural funding is re-established, all unspent funds must be returned to the Blue Ribbon Bridge Fund program to assist other investigators. The maximum requested amount will be 40 percent of the final year’s direct costs of the federal grant minus any consortium costs.

Application Process:
Blue Ribbon Bridge Fund applications will be considered on a rolling basis. The department and PI will prepare and submit the following material through the Blue Ribbon Bridge Fund application form:

  • A confidential cover letter from the department Chairperson to the Dean with a description of internal funds available to the department (Chairman’s fund, hard dollars, indirect costs, other designated accounts, etc.), and to whom these funds have been allocated. This letter should also detail the support that has already been provided to the applicant for this project, including previous bridge, seed and PRF awards, and departmental support.
  • Amount of bridge funding requested.
  • A description of efforts that have been made to obtain funding for the project, along with the applicant’s active and pending grant information and scores from recent submissions.
  • Narrative of needs during the interim period with a detailed, justified budget for the bridge funding that is being requested.
  • A brief statement from the PI to support the funding.
  • A copy of the critique (review) of the PRF application.
  • Completed Blue Ribbon application form.

Applications should be submitted to the Dean through Denise Johnson, Office of Planning and Operations (

*Types of grants that can be supported through this program are large federal grants for bench research. Typically, these will be renewable grants with direct costs over $100,000/year that bring in federally negotiated indirect costs. No clinical research or training grant will be supported. Eligible grants include, but are not limited to, NIH R01, P01, and U01, NSF, and CDC grants. If there is a question regarding eligibility, please contact Joel Eissenberg, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Research at 977-9235 or via Email.