Clinician Scientist K to R Bridge Funding Program

Clinician scientists represent an essential component of the research enterprise in the College of Medicine. This program is designed to support promising young clinician scientists who have not yet established a federally funded independent research program at the end of their K award.

Funding cycles and application deadlines will be announced and may coincide with our fall bridge funding cycle.


K to R bridge-funding awards provide extended K-award equivalent salary support for clinician scientists to pursue new federal grants not funded during their initial K award. Examples of eligible federal grants to pursue include RO1, RO3, R21, and NSF awards. K to R bridge-funding awards cannot be used to pursue training and foundation awards or industrial research contracts. Only tenure-track faculty members are eligible for consideration.


K to R bridge-funding awards are for the clinician scientist’s salary and fringe benefit support only and cannot exceed the annual salary and fringe benefits provided in the individual’s original K award or $100,000, whichever is less. The award period will be for one year.

Submission and Review

Applications should be submitted in a single PDF by email to the office of the Senior Associate Dean for Research in the College of Medicine. Applications will be reviewed by the Bridge Funding Committee. Recommendations by the Bridge Funding Committee will be forwarded to the Dean of the College of Medicine for final decision. The primary consideration for making an award is the likelihood that the funds will lead to independent extramural federal support.

K to R Bridge Funding Application (combine into one PDF)

  • Cover Letter.
  • Letter of Support from the Department Chair.
  • Letter of Support from the faculty member’s mentor.
  • Current NIH Biosketch for PI.
  • Original K award application
  • One-year research plan:  In two pages outline your research progress to date, the specific aims of the new extramural grant(s) to be submitted, and the essential studies that will be completed to ensure a competitive application.  Include references for all publications and grants that were submitted during the original K award.
  • Copy of any critiques or summary statements for submitted applications.

Applications should be sent to Mary McConnell.

Applications are generally announced during the fall cycle in November.

Progress Report

A progress report (one page) is required for all funded K to R bridge funding applications at the completion of the award period. The report should be submitted to both the Senior Associate Dean for Research and the individual’s Department Chair. The report should include progress made in addressing the essential studies, new publications, and the status of extramural applications.