Bridge to Independence Program

Application submission is closed.
BCM is pleased to announce the Bridge to Independence Program. Bridge to Independence provides bridge funding of up to $100,000 for junior faculty members who have expended their seed but not yet obtained independent funding. The program will provide awards for up to twelve months’ duration to faculty who fulfill the following eligibility criteria.


  • Applicants must be full-time BCM faculty members who received College seed funding. Please note that the BCM Junior Faculty Seed awards are gift-funded and are not considered College seed.
  • Applicants must have expended their College seed package by start of requested funding period. Note that this does not include the Junior Faculty Seed Awards which is a competitive award.
  • Applicants must show strong support from their academic unit heads. See “Format of the Application” for more information.
  • Applicants must be actively applying for external funding.
  • Applicants may not receive overlapping Bridge to Independence and/or Interim Funding awards.
  • Applicants may reapply for Bridge to Independence but must describe details and results of funding previously received. This information must include:
    • Dates and amount of Bridge to Independence funding received.
    • A detailed description of the results of Bridge to Independence funding, including papers, grant applications, etc.
    • Previous Bridge to Independence funding details should be attached as separate page(s) to “Other Support”.

Use of Funds

It is the purpose of Bridge to Independence to help junior faculty achieve research funding independence. A maximum of $100,000 may be requested to support faculty, graduate students, technicians, postdoctoral fellows, and to purchase supplies. Although faculty salaries are permitted, applicants should first work with their departments to cover salary from departmental resources when possible. Travel, subcontracts, and equipment are not permitted expenses.

Award funds will be transferred monthly in equal allotments into a new designated type one (unrestricted) account, and funds transferred within a fiscal year must be expended by the end of that fiscal year (June 30). Requests that cross fiscal years will have the funding split between both years. Funding will cease when an externally funded independent research award begins, or at the end of the approved funding period, whichever comes first.

Review Process

Applications submitted in this portal are for the upcoming fiscal year and will be reviewed after RFA deadline posted on this site (such as for the start of the new fiscal year). Applications will be reviewed by BCM faculty members of the Advisory Committee for Interim Research Support. The Committee's recommendations will be forwarded to the Senior Vice President for Research, who will prioritize the available funding. No written critique will be provided to the applicant.

Applications are accepted outside of the spring cycle; however, if the portal is closed, please inquire at on the alternate submission process and deadline(s).

Format of the Application

Documents must be uploaded separately.

Applications should be submitted online at:

Application materials must include:
  • Cover Page – This page is part of the online application.
  • Investigator's Statement – A statement from the applicant with an explicit rationale for support, including the investigator’s efforts to date to obtain independent funding. One paragraph must assess the potential for impactful science from this application. Another paragraph must assess the potential for NIH or equivalent funding. This section of the application has a three-page limit, single-spaced, 11 point Arial font with ½” margins.
  • Other Support - - A list of all current and completed sources of funds available to the applicant, prepared according to NIH guidelines for information on "Other Support." Also include a list of personnel presently in the laboratory and the source(s) of their salary support. This should include support from departmental sources.
  • Budget – A detailed budget explaining how funds will be spent (modeled after the first-year budget page of an NIH application). Include a detailed justification for each requested budget item. Applicants who demonstrate reasoned minimal budgets will be given greater consideration for funding.
  • Biosketch - The investigator's updated NIH biosketch. Sample Biosketch, Biosketch MS Word format.
  • Letter of Endorsement and Commitment – A letter from the academic unit head supporting the applicant which describes the scientific contributions anticipated from the applicant and how these will support the mission of BCM. The letter should also describe departmental support given the applicant, including the level of departmental funding committed, or an explanation for why departmental support is not provided.
  • Grants and Reviews – A list of applications submitted for external independent research funding. The list should include the award name, sponsor name, project title, and requested award amount/dates. Include a copy of reviews/summary statements when available.
  • Prior Bridge Funding Outcomes – Summary of prior bridge funding efforts and awards. Prior Bridge Funding Outcomes Template

Printable Format of Application

For more information about this program, please contact Intramural Funding and Awards at

For problems/questions regarding this web site, please contact Office of Research IT