The AASM Foundation is committed to developing the careers of sleep and circadian investigators by increasing support for sleep researchers. To meet this goal, the AASM Foundation has established research career development grants to assist sleep researchers at various stages of their career.
The Bridge to Success for Early Career Investigators is an AASM Foundation career development grant designed to provide ‘bridge’ funding to promising early career sleep and circadian scientists who have applied for a career development grant such as a K-award from the National Institutes of Health, a career development award from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or an equivalent career development award from another federal or non-federal funding agency, but whose application was not within the funding range. Through this grant, the AASM Foundation aims to assist investigators at a critical juncture in their career where bridge funding can determine whether a promising sleep and circadian scientist stays in the sleep field or moves to a different career track. The funding provides support during the period of time needed for revision and resubmission of a promising application in response to reviewer critiques.
This AASM Foundation research grant is supported by AASM Foundation general funds.
The Bridge to Success Grant for Early Career Investigators provides funds for one year and can be for up to $100,000 per grant (includes direct and indirect costs). There are no restrictions on the distribution of expenses, however, indirect costs are capped at 8%. The grant is a contract between the AASM Foundation and the grantee’s institution. A sample contract is available here.
Sleep scientists (MD, DO, DDS, DMD, DNP, DNSc, PharmD, PhD, or equivalent) who have applied for a multi-year career development grant from the NIH, VA or another granting body in the field of sleep or circadian science within the past two years that was scored in the peer-review process but fell below (or is likely to fall below) the funding agency’s pay line are eligible to apply.
Individuals must identify a research mentor with the skills, knowledge and resources to provide mentorship to the applicant in sleep and circadian research.
Individuals may apply for multiple AASM Foundation grants however, the same proposal (i.e., projects with budgetary and scientific overlap) may not be submitted for multiple requests for applications in a given cycle. Additionally, if an individual submits more than one application in a given Career Development Grant cycle, the AASM Foundation will only approve funding one grant should multiple proposals submitted by the applicant receive a competitive score.
Individuals who are the Principal Investigator on an open AASM Foundation research grant at the time of the application deadline are eligible to apply if they can demonstrate that there is no budgetary or scientific overlap between their open grant and the new project they are applying for funding. If there is budgetary and/or scientific overlap between projects, the applicant must indicate their plan to close their open grant in the event their new application is selected for funding (e.g., relinquish the current grant or complete the current grant to start the new grant).
Since these grants are intended as bridge support, if the NIH/VA or equivalent grant is received, the principal investigator must notify the AASM Foundation and the following would apply:
If external funds are received prior to distribution of AASM Foundation funds, AASM Foundation funds would not be released, and the grant would be closed out with the AASM Foundation.
If external funds are received after distribution of AASM Foundation funds, the principal investigator would be permitted to submit updated documents (i.e., a new budget, justification and project timeline) and would be allowed to retain the funds if the grant recipient can provide evidence for non-overlap.
International individuals who meet all the eligibility criteria are eligible to apply; however, payment of grant funds must be accepted by the institution in US dollars.
The following individuals are not eligible to apply:
Individuals who have received independent research funding of more than $250,000 are not eligible to apply. This does not apply to post-doctoral/ fellowship level training grants primarily covering the applicant’s salary (e.g., NRSAs). Additionally, current and former Principal Investigators on an AASM Foundation Bridge to Success Grant for Mid-Career/Senior Investigators are not eligible to apply.
Individuals who have a financial conflict of interest or have the potential to incur significant financial benefit from the proposed work and beyond the work itself are not eligible to apply.
Individuals who are seeking funding from AASM Foundation research grants to support ongoing projects that are currently funded by another granting body or supplement ongoing work (e.g., enrolling additional subjects into an ongoing trial) are not eligible to apply.
Note: The principal investigator will be required to make a statement to this effect prior to execution of the contract.
Current AASM and AASM Foundation Board of Directors members are not eligible to apply and cannot be listed as a PI, co-PI, key personnel, mentor (paid or unpaid) or paid consultant for one year after their term ends.
Note: In rare instances, AASM and AASM Foundation Board members may serve as unpaid consultants on an application, however, this requires Executive Committee approval prior to submitting the application.
A scientific grant review committee, appointed by the AASM Foundation Executive Committee, will evaluate and score all submitted applications. Factors that will be taken into consideration include:
Significance: Significance of planned research in addressing important questions related to sleep, sleep disorders or sleep health.
Experience and Appropriateness of Mentors: Plan for mentorship will facilitate applicant’s success and key personnel are well-suited for the project.
Career Development Activities and Goals: Planned research and mentorship will fill gaps in applicant’s knowledge, skillset, and abilities.
Approach: Planned research (overall strategy, methodology, and analyses) is scientifically sound, plan addresses protection of human subjects from research risks and inclusion/exclusion of individuals justified (if applicable).
Environment: Institutional support and availability of equipment and other physical resources for the planned research.
Appropriateness: A clear and feasible plan on how the Bridge to Success Grant for Early Career Investigators will facilitate the resubmission of a competitive application, what will be achieved with the funds and how it will enhance the applicant’s career trajectory.
Only materials submitted within the application will be used in the evaluation of applications. The AASM Foundation Executive Committee will submit funding recommendations to the AASM Foundation Board of Directors based on the scientific grant review committee scores. The AASM Foundation Board of Directors will make the final funding decisions.
Payment #2 – Upon receipt and approval of Final Report
If unique circumstances are explained in the budget justification of the applicant’s proposal, the Board of Directors will consider requests for an alternate payment schedule, with a maximum variance of 10%.
Note: Once a contract is executed for the grant, reallocation of funds of <10% do not require approval.
The AASM Foundation intends the Bridge to Success Grant for Early Career Investigators to provide funding for sleep and circadian researchers who have applied for a career development award that will not be funded and plan to submit a revised application in response to reviewer critiques. In addition, the AASM Foundation expects that the research and training planned during the Bridge to Success Grant for Early Career Investigators period will facilitate the applicant’s career development in academic sleep medicine and sleep and circadian research.
Applicants are expected to address the specific aims as described in the application. Major modification of the proposed aims requires AASM Foundation Board of Directors or Executive Committee approval.
During the project period, or shortly after project completion, the principal investigator will submit an abstract to the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS) for presentation at the SLEEP annual meeting. The AASM Foundation also anticipates that projects funded by this grant will lead to the publication of original research in peer-reviewed journals, such as the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
The expected results and deliverables should be clearly stated in the application. The applicant must submit progress and final reports during the project period, describing project activities and results, as outlined below. Failure to meet the deliverables or submit progress or final reports may result in termination of project funding.
Outcomes evaluation is an essential component of this grant. All proposals must identify the goals and appropriate outcomes measures of the research. The outcomes should align with the goals and objectives stated in the applicant’s proposal for this grant. The AASM Foundation intends that the research funded by this grant will lead to the publication of original research in peer-reviewed journals.
If using human or animal subjects, the applicant will be responsible for obtaining Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and use Committee (IACUC) approval. The IRB or IACUC letter of approval for the specified project must be on file with the AASM Foundation office prior to the execution of the contract. No funds will be released for the project without receipt of written approval by an IRB or IACUC. Failure to obtain IRB or IACUC approval will result in retraction of the grant.
We encourage potential applicants to contact us early in the application process with questions. Eligibility questions may need to be reviewed by a member of the AASM Foundation Executive Committee, so please allow for at least a 1-week response time for eligibility questions. For all other inquiries, please allow a minimum of two business days for a response. Please note that questions received within 48 hours of an application deadline may not be answered before the deadline.