Announcing the FY 2009 NIH Director’s Bridge Awards

Notice Number: NOT-OD-09-068

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

  • January 8, 2010 - See Notice NOT-OD-10-039 NIH Fiscal Policy for Grant Awards FY 2010.

Key Dates
Release Date: March 19, 2009

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (

As indicated in previous notices regarding the financial operating policy for FY 2009, as described at and at, the NIH is taking specific steps to continue the support available to investigators whose R01 applications receive review scores near the Institute or Center nominal payline and who have limited additional support. This approach was reinforced with the enactment of (P.L. 111-8) the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009.

This announcement updates and expands the NIH Director’s Bridge Award (NDBA), which was initiated in FY 2007. The NDBA provides continued but limited bridge funding for meritorious investigators who just miss the funding cutoff and have minimal support from other sources. The continued funding will permit the Principal Investigator additional time to strengthen a resubmission application. An NDBA recipient will receive an R56 award for a single year.

A pending, competing renewal research project grant (R01) application (original) or a resubmission application (A1, A2), which just misses the nominal funding payline for the IC to which it is primarily assigned may be nominated for the NDBA by the administering NIH Institute, provided the PI has less than $400,000 in other support (total costs) from all sources to fund her/his research. Note that only the most meritorious A2 applications will be considered for the NDBA. Applicants may not apply for an R56 grant and applicants may not self nominate for the NDBA.

Total costs approved by the Institute or Center for the first year of the project up to $500,000 will be provided using a one year R56 grant. Awarding the NDBA (R56) does not affect the status of a pending R01 application. After an NDBA to an original application, the applicant may submit an A1 resubmission application to seek support for the project. If the bridge award is made in response to an A1 or A2 application, the applicant must submit a new application to seek support for any subsequent project (see

NIH received 91.3 million in the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 to support vulnerable research programs. Applications submitted for funding in FY 2009 and applications submitted in FY 2008 that are still being considered for funding in FY 2009 may be nominated for the NDBA.


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