NIH All About Grants Podcast: Building Bridges

Bonnie Burgess-Beusse, Ph.D., Program Director: Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, NIDDK, NIH
Lakshmi Ramachandra, Ph.D., Chief; Tuberculosis and Other Mycobacterial Diseases Section, NIAID, NIH

You may have heard that NIH can provide limited, interim research support for applications with creative and innovative approaches that fell just outside the payline. These “bridge awards” are helpful for researchers to gather additional data to revise their current application. But, how do we decide on which applications to support this way?

Join us for this NIH All About Grants podcast episode to learn more about R56/bridge awards (MP3/Transcript). Drs. Lakshmi Ramachandra from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Bonnie Burgess-Beusse with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases will tell us about the purpose of bridge awards, how program staff consider who and what to recommend for funding, the budget, when investigators should reach out about them, and more.

“…If you received a score that was close to the pay line but you missed being funded, but you have extenuating circumstances in your laboratory… for example you might be in danger of losing your position or losing your lab, that’s something that can be helpful for program officials to know, because that can also factor into their decisions.” – Dr. Bonnie Burgess-Beusse

“when the program staff are considering which applications to nominate for bridge funding, they first… consider whether the [principal investigator] should just revise and resubmit. The reason being that bridge funds are actually quite limited…and not every PI can actually benefit from one to two years of funding…. other things that staff will consider is…what potentially could be lost by not providing some funding. Now could it be momentum? Could it be loss of some very important resource? Then we also look into what is the relevance of what is being supported to the…institute’s mission…” – Dr. Lakshmi Ramachandra

NIH’s All About Grants episodes can also be heard on iTunes and Spotify. Have an idea for a future podcast? Email We love suggestions!


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