The Bridge to Success for Early Career Investigators awards are designed to provide ‘bridge’ funding to promising early-career sleep scientists who have applied for a career development award such as a K-award grant from the NIH, a Career Development Award from the VA, or an equivalent career development grant from another federal or non-federal entity. Individuals who previously submitted an application for review, but whose applications are unlikely to be within the funding range, are eligible to apply.
Through this award, the AASM Foundation aims to assist investigators at a critical juncture in their career where bridge funding can determine whether a promising sleep 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 or for collection of preliminary or pilot data in response to reviewer critiques.
The Bridge to Success Award for Early Career Investigators provides funds for one year and can be for up to $100,000 per award, with the possibility of a full or partial second year of funding for awardees who document additional need and continued promise in sleep and circadian research. The funds can be used for research expenses such as salary support (commensurate with current stipends or salaries), supplies, participant costs and institutional overhead. There are no restrictions on the distribution of expenses, however, indirect costs are capped at 8%. The award is a contract between the AASM Foundation and the awardee’s institution.
- Sleep scientists (MD, DO, or PhD) who have applied for a multi-year career development award from the NIH, VA or another awarding body in the field of sleep or circadian science in 2016 or 2017 that was scored in the peer-review process but fell below (or is likely to fall below) the funding agency’s pay line. Applicants must have received a summary statement and priority score reflecting that their application is unlikely to receive funding and a revision will be necessary.
- Successful applicants must be members of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine at the time of acceptance of the award, and membership must be maintained for the duration of the award. Applicants are encouraged to join the AASM at the time of application.
- Applicants must identify a research mentor with the skills, knowledge and resources to provide mentorship to the applicant in sleep and circadian research.
- Individuals who receive funding through the Bridge to Success mechanism must plan to resubmit their K/CDA or equivalent application within one year of receipt of initial funding from the AASM Foundation, and this timeline must be included within the application materials (see below).
- Since these grants are intended as bridge support, if the NIH/VA or equivalent award is received, the applicant must notify the AASM Foundation and the following would apply:
- If external funds are received prior to distribution of Foundation funds, Foundation funds would not be released, and the award would be closed out with the AASM Foundation.
- If external funds are received after distribution of Foundation funds, the investigator would be permitted to submit updated documents (i.e., a new budget and project timeline) and would be allowed to retain the funds.
- Individuals who have received an AASM Foundation SRA I or II as the PI are not eligible to apply for career development awards or junior faculty awards (except for the Bridge to Success award for mid-career/senior investigators).
- Individuals may apply for multiple AASM Foundation Career Development Awards (CDAs) but may only hold one active CDA at a time.
(Note: Individuals who have received a Career Development Award (CDA) are encouraged to apply for an AASM Foundation Strategic Research Award (SRA); however, the investigator must demonstrate that there is no budgetary or scientific overlap between the CDA and SRA projects.)
- Individuals who have received independent research funding of more than $150,000 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).
Please note that the AASM Foundation will not fund ongoing projects that are currently funded by another awarding body, and the investigator or organization will be required to make a statement to this effect prior to execution of the contract. These awards are also not intended to supplement ongoing work, for example, for enrolling additional subjects into an ongoing trial. In some circumstances, the AASM Foundation will consider requests for matching funds for projects that require such funds by another awarding body if there is indication that the other award is to be given, pending matching funds.
An award review committee, appointed by the AASM Foundation Executive Committee, will evaluate and score all submitted applications. Factors that will be taken into consideration include:
- The critiques within original summary statement and the likelihood that a revised application will be competitive for funding.
- A clear and feasible plan for resubmission of a competitive K/CDA/equivalent grant application that is responsive to the critique of the original application (including, for example, collection of required preliminary data).
- A clear and feasible plan for research and ongoing career development during the Bridge to Success award period, including continued involvement in academic sleep medicine.
- Clear evidence that a primary mentor with relevant expertise in sleep and circadian research and sufficient time to dedicate to the applicant will provide mentorship during the Bridge to Success award period.
- A clear plan for continued involvement in a mentored training plan (potentially including formal training or courses) directed towards a successful career path in sleep and circadian research during the Bridge award period.
- The applicant’s experience and availability of resources within the applicant’s institution necessary to complete the work proposed within the Bridge to Success award.
- Appropriateness of the proposed research to the mission of the AASM Foundation.
- The anticipated relationship between the funds provided and expected outcomes.
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 Award Review Committee scores. The AASM Foundation Board of Directors will make the final funding decisions.
|Payment #1 – Upon execution of contract||90%|
|Payment #2 – Upon receipt and approval of Final Report||10%|
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%. Reallocation of funds of <10% do not require approval.
The AASM Foundation intends the Bridge to Success Award to provide funding for researchers who have applied for a career development award that will not be funded and who plan to submit a revised application. In addition, the AASM Foundation expects that the research and training planned during the Bridge to Success award 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.
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.
|Progress Reports||Every six months|
|Final Report||Within 90 days of award completion|
Outcomes evaluation is an essential component of this award. 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 award. The AASM Foundation intends that the research funded by this award 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 award.