Scheduled Issue Date: April 26, 2021*
Scheduled Submission Due Date: June 7, 2021 by 11:59 CT*
Scheduled Award Selection Notification: By October 29, 2021*
Period of Performance: 1 year
Amount of Award: Up to $100,000 per award

*Dates are subject to change by the AASM Foundation Board of Directors

The Bridge to Success for Mid-Career/Senior Investigators awards are targeted to mid-level and senior investigators in sleep and biological rhythms who need ‘bridge’ funding while re-applying for research support.

This award is designed to assist investigators whose grant proposal to the NIH or other federal agency (e.g., VA) for a large research grant (e.g., R01 or VA Merit Review) was submitted and not funded. A Bridge to Success Mid-Career/Senior Investigator Award will provide support for one year to help an independent investigator stay in the field of sleep and circadian research while reapplying for external funding. While this award is intended for established investigators, individuals applying for their first independent grants (e.g., first Ro1) after a career development award (e.g., K-award) are also eligible to apply.

The Bridge to Success Award for Mid-Career/Senior Investigators provides funds for one year and can be for up to $100,000 per award. 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. A sample contract is available here.

Eligibility for Career Development Awards offered by the AASM Foundation can be found here.

The following individuals are eligible to apply:

  • Sleep scientists (MD, DO, DDS, DMD, DNP, DNSc, PharmD, PhD, or equivalent) who submitted at least one NIH grant proposal (or the equivalent in the VA or other federal system) during 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.

Note: The proposal must have been for a grant suitable for a mid-career or senior investigator, such as an R01, VA Merit Review.

  • The unfunded application, summary statement and priority score (if available) reflecting that the application is unlikely to receive funding and a revision will be necessary, and reviewer critiques must be provided with the application.
  • We encourage applicants to be members of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
  • Applicants with two or more current, large, federally funded grants (e.g., >1 R01 or equivalent) are not eligible to apply for bridge funding through this mechanism. Applicants with one current, federally funded grant must provide clear justification for why the bridge funds are needed to continue the program of research.
  • Individuals may apply for multiple AASM Foundation Career Development Awards (CDAs) but may only hold one active AASM Foundation CDA at a time.

Note: Individuals who have received an AASM Foundation 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 receive funding through the Bridge to Success mechanism must plan to resubmit their application within one year of receipt of initial funding from the AASM Foundation, and this timeline must be included within the application.
  • 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 AASM Foundation funds, AASM 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 asked to return unspent funds as of the date of receipt of external funds.
  • Individuals must not have a financial conflict of interest or incur significant financial benefit from the proposed work above and beyond the work itself.

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.

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:

  1. Significance: Significance of planned research in addressing important questions related to sleep, sleep disorders or sleep health.
  2. Investigators: The principal investigator’s accomplishments in advancing sleep health and key personnel are well-suited for the project.
  3. Environment: Institutional support and availability of equipment and other physical resources for the planned research.
  4. Appropriateness: A clear and feasible plan on how the Bridge to Success Award will facilitate the resubmission of a competitive application, what will be achieved with the Bridge funds and how it will sustain the applicant’s career in the sleep field.

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%.

Note: Once awarded, 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.