Listen to Podcast Discussion on R56-Bridge Awards

Funding News Edition: June 15, 2022
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When your innovative R01 application falls just outside the payline, NIH may choose to provide limited interim research support to new or established investigators through a High Priority, Short-Term Project Award (R56-Bridge). Learn more about this award type with our summary below and a recent NIH podcast episode.

You cannot apply for or request an R56-Bridge award. Instead, your NIH program officer may nominate your R01 application for consideration based on the innovation, merit, and programmatic importance of your proposed research. The one or two years of R56-Bridge support provides you time to run critical experiments and reapply for the R01.

Note that some NIH institutes and centers (ICs) do not support this award type. ICs may also use special criteria or rules. For example, NIAID R56-Bridge awards are limited to only one year, while other ICs may offer two years of support. Find NIAID-specific details in the R56-Bridge Award SOP.

For more guidance and advice about R56-Bridge awards, check out the May 11, 2022 All About Grants Podcast episode “Building Bridges” (MP3 and Transcript). David Kosub in NIH’s Office of Extramural Research hosts the episode with Drs. Lakshmi Ramachandra from NIAID and Bonnie Burgess-Beusse from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

The 13-minute episode covers the following topics and more:

  • The purpose of R56-Bridge awards and who may qualify
  • How program staff consider which applications to recommend for funding
  • Limited budget to support a well-defined activity for one or two years
  • Timing of decisions and when you should reach out to program staff

That last point is particularly important. NIAID strongly recommends that After You Get Your Summary Statement, Contact Your Program Officer for advice on likelihood of R01 funding and your next steps. Do not count on receiving an R56-Bridge award. Determine if the peer review criticisms are fixable and consider your Options if Your Application Isn't Funded.

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