Grants program bridges funding gap caused by federal shutdown

Laboratory itemsResearchers whose projects were stalled by the federal government shutdown can apply for short-term funding through the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research’s Bridge Funding Program.

The initiative provides up to $20,000 for one year for campus research projects. The investigator’s college or department will provide a matching award.

“The purpose of bridge funding is to provide short-term financial support to sustain the research programs, laboratories and momentum of productive researchers during funding gaps to give them a chance to regain  — and maintain — extramural funding,” said Mitra Dutta, vice chancellor for research.

“October is one of the busiest months for grant submissions. Because of the shutdown, most deadlines were extended by one to two months.

“This in turn delays funding decisions, which will mean that researchers may experience a gap in funding. Thus the availability of bridge funding is more important than ever.”

Faculty members who have been principal investigators on a project funded by a national grant for at least three consecutive years are eligible.

“Bridge funding will be targeted to seasoned investigators with established projects that demonstrate a high probability of continued sponsor support pending resubmission,” Dutta said.

Letters of intent are due at noon Tuesday; applications must be submitted by noon Dec. 5.

“We expect to support about five bridge awards this cycle, although that number could vary depending on the number of compelling applications,” said Anthony Halford, program coordinator in Research Development Services.

Researchers who receive the awards will repay the funds to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, using future grants from national agencies.

“Two researchers who received bridge support last autumn have already received larger external grants from the NSF and NIH,” Halford said. “The indirect costs from their new awards will essentially pay back the bridge fund and make it possible to support additional researchers in the future.”

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