Research Bridge Program
Purdue's Bridge Program will provide short-term, limited financial support for faculty research programs during periods when externally funded research programs have experienced a temporary funding gap. Funds will be used to maintain research programs at a minimum "essential" level for a limited time to facilitate success in re-securing external funding.
The award amount will be commensurate with minimal funding levels to sustain a program and will be based on a review of the funding history and potential for future funding. A single, non-recurring award is anticipated. Any funds not expended by the end of the award period will be returned to the appropriate unit.
All EVPRP bridge funding support requires 1:1 match. That match can come from any combination of support from the faculty member’s home unit and college/school. If awarded, such matching funds will be transferred from the source account to a separate, account established for the awarded activity. For sources of funding difficult to transfer, units can capture those funds as in-kind contributions within the application budget. Any funds remaining at the end of the award period will be returned to the EVPRP, home unit and/or college equitably.
Tenure-track, tenured and research faculty with an established record of externally funded research programs on the West Lafayette campus are eligible to apply. Before bridge funding is awarded, applicants must have expended all unrestricted start-up funds.
Applicants do not have to submit through their Sponsored Program Services (SPS) Pre-Award team.
To initiate the process, click the button above. Be prepared to upload the following documents into the system; each as a separate document.
A brief description of the research program and explanation of need including the following:
- Past record of external funding
- Efforts underway to secure external funding to sustain the program beyond the bridging period
- If sponsor reviews have been received, a 1 page response to those reviews indicating how the proposal will be modified to respond to reviewers comments
- Agency reviews, rankings, etc.
- Clearly indicating contributions from each supporting unit
- Signed by fiscal officer for contributing unit (i.e. Business Manager for Dept., or DFA for College)
A letter or email from chair or head of the unit (e.g., department, division, center, institute, etc.) addressing the following:
- Confirming the matching funds provided by the unit
- An explanation of how the research program fits the unit's research priorities
- An assessment of the budget
- An assessment of the investigator's ability to attain continuation or new funding to sustain or extend research activities into the future
- An endorsement from the Dean indicating he or she is aware of the request, concurs with the Department head’s assessment, and confirming the matching funds provided by the college (This endorsement could be in the form of an email, or co-signature on the department head letter)
Criteria for Funding
The funding criteria will be based on the evidence of a funding gap in an existing program, commitment by the unit and college through matching support, and the potential for success in re-attracting external research funding to sustain the research and scholarly activities into the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is meant by "short-term, limited financial support?"
- The funding is intended to assist in sustaining existing research programs until the next sponsor funding cycle. Typically, the time frame will be less than 1 year and depends upon the funding cycle of the source of funds. The level of funding is also dependent upon the program. While no minimum or maximum amount is set, the budget will be vigorously reviewed to ensure that the applicant has taken the appropriate cost saving measures to prolong the existing funds at his/her disposal.
- How would an applicant demonstrate "the ability of the investigator to attain continuation or new funding to sustain or extend research activities into the future?"
- It is highly recommended that the applicant include a 1-page response to sponsor reviews indicating how he/she will respond to the previous critiques. If no reviews have been provided, the 1 page document can address what the applicant or Department Head believes are the shortcomings within the proposal.
- What is meant by "minimal funding levels to sustain a program"?
- The purpose of the funding is to keep the doors of a lab open while a proven Principal Investigator waits for expected funding. The submitted budget and budget 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 idea it to prevent losing key graduate students or staff in this interim period. The budget justification should include a good explanation of the cost saving measures the applicant has taken, or plans to take.
- Departments will often move a Graduate Research Assistant to a Teaching Assistant position, when faced with a short term funding gap. Will this be considered a part of the match expected by the unit?
- The source of matching support can be a teaching assistantship yet a stronger indication of the unit’s commitment to the project would be research assistant support. Salary and fringes paid by the unit will be counted toward the match. Additionally, TA funds are an example of a match that the department may not wish to transfer to the activity account. These funds could be earmarked as in-kind contributions and noted on the budget.
- Will Academic Year Salary paid by the department be considered as a part of the match expected by the unit?
- AY salary already budgeted on departmental general funds will not be an allowable expense for the match.
- The guidelines state that applicants must have expended all unrestricted start-up funds in order to be eligible for an award. Would other discretionary allocations available to that applicant also have to be expended?
- No, other discretionary allocations could be used as a part of the required match.
- Do I have to work with my College’s Sponsored Program Services (SPS) Pre-Award team in order to submit an application?
- No, you do not have to work with your Pre-Award team for submission. Because this is not a proposal for sponsored effort, rather an application for financial support, the submission process was intended to be initiated by the applicant and does not require a Coeus budget or institutional signature. You will be uploading documents indicating support from your department head and dean.
- If I am not working with my SPS Pre-Award team, who will provide me assistance on the budget and source of funding.
- For this application, your home business office is the best resource to assist with the budget. Once you have identified your key resources and activities that you need to cover during the gap period, they can provide you with a budget projection based on your current funding.
- Can I reallocate my Bridge funds, if needed?
- Any reallocation of funds should be approved by the department, college, and EVPRP, as appropriate, to ensure that the funds are used for purposes consistent with the intent of the program.
- Who would be the appropriate fiscal officer to sign the budget form?
- For the department level unit: Your department business manager would need to provide the source account for the departmental funds and will serve as the fiscal officer signing for the department. For the college level unit: the Director of Financial Affairs (DFA), or their designee, would need to provide the source account for the college funds and will serve as the fiscal officer signing for the college.
- What will the funding cycle of awards be?
- Awards, if approved, will be made on a rolling basis. It is important to include in your request the date funds will be needed to ensure that salaries can be covered without gaps.
- Will this funding be available to support a lab or applicant that currently has an existing award, but is awaiting the next, committed allocation of funding from the sponsor?
- No. This funding is not intended to supplant the existing Notice to Proceed (NTP) process. Should a PI have an existing award that is incrementally funding, the appropriate option for that PI is the NTP request (either department-backed or University-backed) through Sponsored Programs Services. For more about the NTP process, contact the Account Management team responsible for the award or see http://www.purdue.edu/business/sps/doc/Account_Management_Guidelines_for_SPS_Funds.pdf.
- Is this a program that will be continued annually?
- The initial source of funding for this program is non-recurring funds. Future funding will depend on availability of funding and demonstrated need.
- How long before the funds are needed should the application be submitted?
- Proposals should be submitted at least 1 month prior to the necessary start date to allow for review and processing time.