The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected the academic community in many ways, including in research productivity. Early career faculty, particularly women and underrepresented minorities, and those in the bench sciences and conducting human subjects research have been disproportionately affected (1,2,3,4,5). To provide additional support to faculty who are facing gaps in sponsored funding, the university has launched the JHU COVID-19 Bridge Grants program.
This program is co-funded by the Office of the President and managed by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research. We intend to award approximately 150 Bridge Grants through the program. Awardees will need to attain matching financial support from their division (center, institute, department, school) upon selection for a bridge grant. Awards will be for a total of up to $50,000.
Applicants must be facing a gap in sponsored funding. The program seeks to support faculty who might otherwise be lost to the university, would lose essential staff or fellows, or whose research would be significantly affected by the funding gap.
Tenured, tenure-track or similar (e.g. School of Education full-time faculty) assistant and associate professors, BSPH scientists, and SOM instructors with an established record of externally funded research programs are eligible to apply.
The focus is on faculty whose work involves bench and related sciences or human subjects research; however, faculty from all disciplines in need of temporary bridge funds are eligible to apply.
Applicants must clearly identify next steps in attaining sponsored funding, including the details of specific external funding opportunities (include the URL link/PDF).
Before bridge funding is awarded, applicants must have explored alternative sources of funding and, except under unusual circumstances, expended all unrestricted discretionary funds.
Applicants can request bridge grants up to $50,000 over one year (up to $25,000 from the university and $25,000 from the matching partner). The award amount will be commensurate with maintaining research programs at an “essential” level and will be based on a review of the funding history and potential for future funding. A single, non-recurring grant is anticipated. Funds are to be expended by June 2022 but up to one year, no-cost extensions can be granted.
Bridge funds can be used to cover the salary of the PI, lab and/or research personnel (including fringe), and materials and supplies, and travel.
Upon selection, applicants must attain written confirmation of matching funds from their department chair/head/director, a center/institute director, or their dean. The school’s vice dean for research, or equivalent, will help facilitate these matching requests.
Application – Apply Here: https://apply-jhufac.smapply.io/prog/bridge_grants
The program will have deadlines on May 24, 2021 in early fall 2021, with potential for future cycles pending expenditure of funds.
The Office of the Vice Provost for Research will partner with the divisional research leaders (vice deans for research, or equivalent) to determine the final selection of grantees.
Highest priority for selection is to individuals with strong funding records who are facing a funding gap and might otherwise be lost to the university, would lose essential staff or fellows, or whose research would be significantly affected by the funding gap. Existing funding lowers the priority. The submitted budget and justification will be reviewed to determine if the applicant has taken the necessary steps to scale back operations to the minimal levels while retaining the necessary staff to be ready for the next award. The program’s purpose is to prevent losing key students, fellows or staff in this interim period. The justification should include a good explanation of the cost saving measures the applicant has taken, or plans to take.
The second consideration is likelihood of pending submissions. Ultimately, awarding of bridge grants will be based on the candidate’s qualifications and recent productivity, track record of securing external support, the needs outlined in the justification, and the plan to obtain funding and achieve financial independence.
Applications deemed worthy of funding but of lower priority will be asked to reapply in the next review cycle.