The SOM Bridge Funding Program was created provide support for investigators with a strong track-record of federal funding who are facing a hiatus while working to resume extramural support. Bridge Funding recognizes the highly-competitive nature of federal-funding and seeks to help investigators keep programs active, maintain animal colonies, preserve research teams, and gather supplemental data during the process of re-application.


All the following criteria must be met. Applicants must have:

  • a primary faculty appointment in a School of Medicine (SOM) department
  • been PI of a major extramural grant, preferably federal, that terminated within the past 3 years without being renewed
  • submitted a federal grant proposal within the past 18 months that was not funded
  • insufficient start-up or other discretionary funds to perform the planned experiments


  • Maximum award size is $50,000 total direct costs, which is equally co-funded by the PI’s primary department and the Dean’s Office
  • Funds can be used to support:
    • salaries of research staff or trainees
    • supplies, reagents, animal purchase and per diem expenses, and human subject research expenses, such as Clinical Research Center fees, subject compensation, and investigational pharmacy charges
  • Funds cannot be used to support
    • the PI’s salary or that of any collaborating faculty members
    • faculty travel to a research conference
    • equipment purchases exceeding $7500

Submission and Review

Submission Deadlines

Eligible faculty can apply for bridge funding in March, July, and November of each year.  A call for proposals, which will specify the submission deadline for the upcoming cycle, will be issued by email to all faculty members approximately 6 weeks before the submission deadline. Additional information about submission deadlines can be obtained from the SOM research webpage and by contacting Ms. Deborah Taylor in the Dean’s Office (

Review Process

The SOM Research Council will coordinate peer review with oversight by the Sr. Associate Dean for Research. Each proposal will be reviewed by at least 2 faculty members with relevant expertise who are not members of the applicant’s primary department. The main criterion used to assess proposals will be the potential of the proposed studies to lead to submission of a successfully funded federal grant proposal. The review process will be confidential Applicants will receive brief written feedback about their proposals.

Bridge-funding Application

The bridge funding application must be submitted as a single pdf file containing each of the following elements in the following order:

Cover letter (maximum 2 pages) from PI describing

  1. status of the research program
  2. why there is a need for bridge funding

Letter from the PI’s department chair confirming

  1. support of the PI’s research program
  2. the PI will receive at least 20% protected research time during the period of bridge funding
  3. the PI’s department will provide 50% of the total direct costs of the award – i.e., up to $25,000
  4. the PI lacks sufficient start-up and/or other discretionary funds to conduct the proposed studies (the total amount of internal funds available to the PI should be stated)

The following components of the PI’s unfunded federal proposal

  1. face page
  2. specific aims page
  3. research strategy section
  4. literature cited section

The review panel’s summary statement for the unfunded proposal

Introduction to the proposed bridge funding studies. This section (maximum 1 page) should include

  1. any relevant new data obtained since the unfunded proposal was submitted
  2. the rationale for the proposed bridge funding studies

Work proposed for the 12-month period of bridge funding. This section (maximum 2 pages) should describe a well-defined plan to:

  1. address issues raised in the summary statement of the unfunded grant proposal
  2. acquire new data to support the feasibility of the planned extramural grant proposal

Literature cited pertaining to items 5 and 6 (cannot exceed 1 page)

PI’s plans for submitting a federal grant proposal (maximum length 0.5 page), including:

  1. anticipated date of submission
  2. specific grant type that will be pursued (e.g., R01)

Itemized budget for the 12-month period of bridge funding

Budget justification (maximum 1 page)

  1. if bridge funds are used to provide partial salary support for a graduate student, the budget justification page must describe the other sources of the student’s salary support for the bridge funding period, and how the student’s salary will be covered for the entire period that the student will be working under the PI’s supervision (which may extend beyond the period of bridge funding)

NIH biosketches of PI and other key personnel

Other Support page for PI

  1. list all other funding sources, including MU discretionary funds available to PI
  2. include a statement about any scientific and/or financial overlap of the other support with the bridge funding proposal

Progress Report

A final progress report is required for all bridge funding awards. The template to be used will be sent to the PI by dean’s office staff near the completion of the period of funding.