Research Support


Pilot Funds

Pilot funds will be available in order to assist faculty in preparing the most competitive new federal grant applications. This initiative is open to all BSD faculty to help generate preliminary data for 1) new R01-equivalent research project grant proposals (NIH or NSF); or 2) to facilitate collaborations amongst faculty (including with collaborative partners who may be outside the Division), for new center or team science grant proposals (e.g., NIH P’s, U’s, RM1’s, multi-PI R01s, NSF STCs, etc.). To this end pilot funds can be used for multiple purposes, e.g., 1) to generate reagents for key preliminary data, 2) purchase small equipment items necessary for a successful proposal, and/or 3) short-term funding for personnel or supplies to perform the experiments.

The Dean’s Office will work with a group of faculty to review and rank the proposals. Key criteria for successful pilot funding awards will include the potential for highly innovative and impactful science that is likely to compete successfully for NIH or NSF funding in funding cycles over the following year.

The size of the pilot research awards will be up to $25,000 for individual faculty R01-equivalent proposals, and up to $50,000 for collaborative proposals. We expect to award up to $1 million in pilot funds per year.  

If you are interested in competing for these funds, please submit a one-to-two-page (maximum) proposal, that contains the following information:

  • Title of Proposal
  • Proposed PI (and Co-Investigators if a collaborative proposal)
  • Targeted grant mechanism & link to call for proposals, or target date of submission to standard NIH cycle
  • One to two paragraphs outlining the scientific theme, rationale, and overall goals for the proposal
  • Total funding requested and breakdown of the budget
  • Justification for the requested amount and a description of what the pilot funding will enable that you couldn’t do without the funding (e.g., detail the key experiments, equipment, personnel, etc., required to strengthen the proposal)

Proposals will now be considered on a call basis, with decisions in approximately 4 weeks. The July 31st, 2021 Call for Proposals is now closed. Please watch for announcements regarding the next opportunity.    

For questions and further information, please contact Connie Lee ( and Jola Glotzer (


Bridge Funding

Generally, bridge funding should be used to support critical personnel in an investigator’s lab and to support research goals for the resubmission of a grant application. Bridge funding should not be viewed as “incentive” funding with which to initiate a new program. 

Eligible faculty must not have other R01- level funding or access to other University funds (for example startup or gift funding). 

As a general guideline, requests in the range of $20,000-100,000 will be considered. PI salary, equipment and travel are not allowable costs. 


    To apply for bridge funding, please submit as a single PDF document of the following materials to Connie Lee ( in the Office of the Dean for Basic Science.

    • Brief response to reviewer’s comments (i.e., pink sheets for NIH applications, or equivalent for NSF)
    • Description of proposed research, including how the bridge funds will increase the likelihood of future funding (1-3 pages)
    • CV including funding record and publications related to the unfunded grant marked with an asterisk
    • A statement demonstrating evidence of attempts to secure funding (which must include summary statement and score for the unfunded grant and may also include abstracts of submitted grants, panel reviews or other evaluations)
    • Budget, with justification of necessity of projected costs
    • A signed letter of support from the applicant’s department chair  

    Dean's letters

    Submit your request to

    For letters that do not request a financial commitment we request that the draft is submitted to 2 weeks prior to the grant deadline.

    For letters that request a financial commitment we request that a draft letter, draft budget and the target award information are submitted to 5 weeks prior to the grant deadline.