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VU Bridge Program

Vanderbilt Basic Sciences Program for Resources to Bridge or Re-align Federal Research Grant Application

This program supports two types of investments for assisting primary VBS faculty with lapses in federal grant support. Funds for these programs are provided directly by VBS leadership to Departments and Centers through Internal Designated Centers or IDC (formerly APS).

Bridge and Realignment funds are awarded three times a year in the months of February, June and October. Submission deadlines are January 15, May 15, and September 15.  Proposals are submitted directly to the Associate Dean for Research (chuck.sandersATvanderbiltDOTedu) as a single pdf file.

I. Resources for Federal Grant Bridge Funding for Competitive Renewal Applications

Since 2005, this program has been in place to directly help faculty sustain their research programs when competitive federal grant renewals are unfunded. Supporting our investigators is a top priority in order to:

  • Provide the resources necessary to secure data for resubmission of a competing renewal application.
  • Minimizing the need to terminate project personnel during the grant lapse.

Eligibility and Support Summary – Please contact the Associate Dean for Research (Chuck Sanders) in the VU SOM Dean of Basic Sciences office if you need additional information.

1) Applicant must be the Principal Investigator (PI) on an NIH award that was submitted as part of a timely competing renewal process. R01 RF1, and P01 series awards are eligible.

2) A Bridge grants is designed to provide 9 months of project support.

3) The maximum budget of a Bridge grant is three-quarters of the year 1 total direct cost (TDC) specified in the renewal application.

4) If part of the year 1 NIH budget included a sub-contract to another institution (including VUMC), the funds proposed in support of that sub-contract should be subtracted (following proration to 9 months) from the budget request.

5) If there were funds budgeted to purchase major equipment/instrumentation in the year 1 budget the funds proposed for the purchase should be subtracted (following proration to 9 months) from the budget request.

6) Except in cases where support of collaborating Vanderbilt faculty and members of collaborator labs  is required to generate needed preliminary data in support of renewal, the cost associated with their salaries, benefits, and supplies should not be included in the Bridge budget.  The costs associated with these personnel as indicated in the year 1 NIH budget should be subtracted (following 9 mo. proration) from the Bridge request.  These personnel will be supported with Bridge funds only if very clear and convincing justification is provided in the Bridge proposal that their involvement during the Bridge period is essential for the collection of preliminary data in support the NIH proposal.

7) If the PI has unrestricted funds available and/or if there are carry-over funds from the grant for which renewal is being sought, these must be declared in the Bridge application and the sum of these funds must be subtracted from the total Bridge budget request.

8) The request for funding must be received within four months after the date the PI has received the summary sheets from the grant review.

9) The PI is expected to resubmit the A1 proposal for the next appropriate application cycle although this can be adjusted if additional time is required to address study section comments.

10) Applications for concurrent Bridge Funding support are allowed for a 2nd grant, although 2 proposals from a single PI will not be considered during the same application cycle. If multiple grants for a single PI are simultaneously Bridge-supported, the level of support for the 2nd grant will generally be reduced. Bridge funding is not available for a 3rd, or more, grant from a single PI.

11) A second bridge grant will not be considered for the same grant renewal if the renewal resubmission associated with the first Bridge award is not successful.

12) Only personnel listed in the unfunded renewal application will be covered by Bridge Funds you will receive. No new personnel are allowed.

13) Final decisions regarding Bridge Funding are made by the VBS Bridge Program Committee composed of the Dean, the Associate Dean for Research, and Department Chairs of VBS.

14) All faculty receiving Bridge Funds must complete a VICTR Studio for their bridged project.  Studios consist of 2 – 6 experienced faculty selected to participate in a guidance session based on specific areas of research and needs identified by the investigator. Bridge Funds will be released contingent upon scheduling the Studio session. Please click here for an overview of the program and for scheduling information.

Submitting A Bridge Funding Request

Faculty apply for Bridge Funding by downloading and completing the BRIDGE GRANT TEMPLATE.  Following completion of the application, this document should be converted into a PDF file and submitted to the VBS Associate Dean for Research (currently Chuck Sanders).Bridge funding requests require the signatures of both the applicant faculty member and their departmental chair.

II. Resources for Federal Grant Realignment for New Research Proposal Submission

This program is intended to help faculty transition their research program when they elect to not submit a competitive renewal for an NIH grant or fail to renew a grant. Support is only available for a one-time maximum $50,000 allocation.

Eligibility and Support Summary – Please contact the VBS Associate Dean for Research in the VU SOM Dean of Sciences office for detailed guidance

1) Applicant must be the Principal Investigator (PI) on an NIH R01, RF1, or P01 award for which they have elected to not submit a competitive renewal, either prior to submitting their A0 or after receiving A0 or A1 reviews.

2) The PI should have no other unrestricted resources available.

3) The request for funding and all information must be received between: three months before the first available unpursued competitive renewal proposal deadline and 6 months after the deadline. 

4) The one-time allocation of $50,000 will be made no earlier than at the end of the original grant funding period. Investigators with $50,000 or more in unrestricted funds are not eligible to apply for a Realignment award.

5) The NIH proposal that is submitted as the direct outcome of realignment funding is regarded as a new proposal, not a competing proposal.  It is therefore not eligible for Bridge support if they are not funded.

6) Applications for concurrent bridge and realignment funding support can be considered for different grants by the same PI, but not in the same round of applications.  Bridge and re-alignment funding is not available when a PI already has two such active awards.

7) A realignment funding proposal may be submitted for a grant that received Bridge support, but for which the final renewal attempt was not successful.

8) Final decisions regarding re-alignment funding will be made by Bridge Program Committee.

9) All faculty receiving Realignment Funds must complete a VICTR Studio for their realigned project. Studios consist of 2 – 6 experienced faculty selected to participate in a guidance session based on specific areas of research and needs identified by the investigator. Realignment Funds will be released contingent only upon scheduling the Studio session. Please click here for an overview of the Studio program and for scheduling information.

Submitting a Realignment Request

Faculty apply for Realignment Funding by downloading and completing the REALIGNMENT PROGRAM TEMPLATE.  Following completion of the application, this document should be converted into a PDF file and submitted to the VBS Associate Dean for Research (currently Chuck Sanders).  Realignment requests require the signatures of both the applicant faculty member and their departmental chair.