PA NUMBER:  PAR-02-083 (See Revision PAR-07-040)

RELEASE DATE:  May 21, 2002 (Replaces March 14, 2002 version)

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

April 14, 2006 (NOT-GM-06-109) - See this notice for Extension of the 
Expiration Date for the Bridges to the Future Program Announcements 



National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

This is a re-issuance of PAR-02-083, which originally was published in the 
NIH Guide on March 4, 2002.  Two review criteria, pool size and 
administration, were inadvertently omitted.  This announcement contains all 
review criteria and clarifies the reporting requirements.


o Purpose of the PA
o Research Objectives
o Mechanism(s) of Support 
o Eligible Institutions
o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators
o Special Requirements 
o Where to Send Inquiries
o Submitting an Application
o Review Considerations
o Review Criteria
o Award Criteria
o Required Federal Citations


The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and the National 
Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of 
Health (NIH), reannounce opportunities to apply for funding for the Bridges 
to the Future Program.  The mission of the Bridges to the Future Program, 
established in 1992, is to make available to the biomedical science research 
enterprise and to the nation the intellectual talents of an increasing number 
of underrepresented minority students.  Bridges to the Future accomplishes 
this mission by supporting programs that facilitate the transition of 
students from associate- to baccalaureate-degree granting institutions and 
from master"s- to doctoral-degree granting institutions.  Bridges to the 
Future promotes effective inter-institutional partnerships to improve the 
quality and quantity of underrepresented minority students being trained as 
the next generation of scientists.  

This PA solicits new and renewal applications for a partnership initiative 
involving institutions awarding the master"s degree and institutions awarding 
the doctoral degree.  A separate PA, Initiative for Minority Students: 
Bridges to the Baccalaureate, describes an initiative targeting the 
transition from associate to baccalaureate programs.  


Many underrepresented minority students enter terminal master"s-degree 
programs and have the potential to become independent research scientists.  
That potential may be developed by improving the skills they need to be 
successful research scientists and by providing challenging curricula, 
outstanding mentoring, active research experiences, guidance, advice, and 
financial support.  The Bridges to the Doctorate program supports 
partnerships between institutions offering terminal master"s degrees and 
research institutions with doctoral programs in sciences related to 

Bridges to the Doctorate aims to increase the number of underrepresented 
minority biomedical scientists.  The program seeks to improve the ability of 
educational institutions to train and graduate promising underrepresented 
minority students in the biomedical sciences, including the relevant 
behavioral, physical, and quantitative sciences.  The goals of the Bridges to 
the Doctorate program are best accomplished by the development of 
partnerships that support and facilitate the transition of underrepresented 
minority students to a doctoral program -- a key step in their educational 

Bridges grants are institutional and must reflect the plans and priorities of 
the participating institutions as well as the collective plans and priorities 
of the partnerships.  Collaborative agreements should fit the needs and 
situations of the institutions involved.  The challenge for the participating 
partners is to create a partnership program, or to enhance an existing 
program, that will focus attention and adequate resources on the 
institution(s) granting master"s degrees and enhance the academic 
competitiveness of its (their) science graduates.

Bridges to the Doctorate programs must address the needs and requirements of 
the underrepresented minority graduate students enrolled in the partner 
master"s-degree program.  Activities that may be supported include, but are 
not limited to, the following:

o Establishing a mentoring program for master"s students with faculty at the 
doctoral institution

o Enhancing the curriculum of the master"s institution

o Enabling and encouraging students from either institution to take classes 
at the other institution

o Offering academic counseling for master"s students

o Providing research opportunities for master"s students at the doctoral 
institution or in private industrial laboratories (students may receive 
compensation for these activities)

o Strengthening the research capability of the master"s institution (e.g., by 
fostering research collaborations among faculty and joint seminar programs).


This PA will use the NIH institutional education project (R25) grant award 
mechanism.  Applicants are solely responsible for planning, directing, and 
executing the proposed project.  The total project period designated in your 
application may not exceed 3 years.  Your requested direct costs cannot 
exceed $600,000 for the 3-year period.  The NIH will pay facilities and 
administrative (F&A) costs at 8% of the direct costs, minus appropriate 
exclusions, or actual F&A costs, whichever is less.  You must provide a 
budget for each year.  This PA uses just-in-time concepts.


You may submit (an) application(s) if your institution has any of the 
following characteristics:

o Public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, hospitals 
and laboratories
o Domestic institution


Any individuals with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry 
out the proposed research are invited to work with their institutions to 
develop an application for support.  Individuals from underrepresented racial 
and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always 
encouraged to apply for NIH programs. 


An institution may be involved as a partner in more than one Bridges program, 
but can be the APPLICANT institution for only one program.  Institutions 
submitting their own applications may participate in programs with other 
applicant institutions as long as these interactions are consistent with the 
institutions" resources and plans.

Institutions that submit applications in response to this PA may submit 
separate applications for support for a Bridges to the Baccalaureate program 
PAR-02-084 if they meet the eligibility requirements.  

Each proposed Bridges program must consist of a partnership between at least 
two institutions.  One must be an institution that offers the master"s degree 
as the only advanced degree in the sciences within the participating 
departments AND has a significant enrollment of underrepresented minorities.  
Another partner must be a college or university offering the doctoral degree 
in areas relevant to the biomedical sciences.  Applications may involve a 
consortium of several institutions and may include several institutions 
within a single State system.
One participating institution must be designated as the applicant 
institution.  This institution must name the program director and  submit the 
application.  The institution should be experienced in, and have the 
infrastructure for, managing grants.  Each participating institution must 
name one individual as its program coordinator.  

Institutions offering both master"s and doctoral degrees may not use funds 
from the Bridges program for graduates of their own master"s-degree programs 
to enter their own doctoral programs, even if a student is moving to another 
department, school, or college.  The program seeks to promote and enhance 
partnerships BETWEEN institutions.

STUDENT ELIGIBILITY:  Programs developed under this initiative must 
specifically target underrepresented minority students majoring in the 
sciences, including the natural, physical, and behavioral sciences, 
information sciences, and mathematics. For purposes of this PA, 
underrepresented minority students are individuals belonging to a particular 
ethnic or racial group that has been determined by the grantee institution to 
be underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral research nationally.  
Historically, individuals who are underrepresented in biomedical or 
behavioral research include, but are not limited to, U.S. citizens who are 
African American, Hispanic American, Native American, and native to the U.S. 
Pacific Islands.

In your application, you should describe the criteria for selection and 
retention of student participants and for selection of participating faculty.  

RESPONSIBLE CONDUCT OF RESEARCH:  Students who are part of the Bridges to the 
Doctorate program must receive instruction in the responsible conduct of 
research.  Your application must include a description of your program for 
providing formal or informal instruction in scientific integrity, or the 
responsible conduct of research.  Although the NIH does not establish 
specific curricula or formal requirements, you should consider providing 
instruction in the following areas: conflict of interest, responsible 
authorship, policies for handling misconduct, policies regarding the use of 
human and animal subjects, and data management.  When providing training in 
scientific integrity, discussion of the mutual responsibilities of the 
institution and the graduate students is also beneficial. 

Your application should address the content, rationale, and format of the 
instruction, the degree of faculty participation, student attendance, and the 
frequency of instruction.

ALLOWABLE COSTS:  Allowable costs and expenses include the following, as 

o Administrative costs
o Salary support
o Extramural consultants
o Equipment (including computers)
o Travel to Bridges meetings
o Student travel to scientific meetings
o Remission of tuition (see below)
o Remuneration of students (see below)

You are allowed administrative costs, to be determined, for example, by the 
number of students involved, the number of institutions involved, the 
complexity of the program, and the amount of support the institution(s) 
provides.  You must carefully justify all costs in terms of the proposed 

Faculty may receive salary support for program planning and implementation, 
teaching Bridges courses, professional development, or other Bridges 
activities specifically described in the application. 

Allowable expenses for extramural consultants (e.g., evaluator, trainer, 
advisory group) may include plane fare, ground transportation, per diem, and 
consulting fees.  You must present both the breakdown and justification of 
costs in your application.

You also must justify the cost of each item of equipment in terms of the 
proposed program.  With regard to computers, the institution(s) must retain 
ownership of them, and they may not be used as rewards or incentives for 
students" participation. 

Include in your budget travel funds for the program director, a grants 
manager from the grantee institution, and the program coordinators from the 
participating institutions to travel to the Bridges Program Meeting each 
year.  Also include the costs of student travel, with per diem, to scientific 

Remuneration of students is limited to underrepresented minorities 
matriculated at the partner institution(s) granting master"s degrees and may 
include salary/wages and/or other forms of compensation paid in lieu of wages 
for participation in research experiences.  Student tuition (or other forms 
of compensation paid in lieu of wages) is allowable provided the following 
conditions are met:

o The student is performing necessary work,
o There is an employer-employee relationship between the student and the 
o The total compensation is reasonable for the work performed, and
o The institution provides compensation for all students under similar 
circumstances, regardless of the source of support for the activity.

You should request salaries for students at an hourly rate based on the 
prevailing scale at the institution. 

Your proposed budget should include funds for data acquisition and data 
entry, each year, into the Electronic Student Tracking and Reporting system 
(E-STAR).  E-STAR is a program developed by NIGMS to facilitate 
administration and evaluation of the Bridges to the Future Program.  
Individuals access E-STAR through the Internet and the World Wide Web.  The 
minimum computer needs for access to E-STAR include an IBM-compatible 386 
with 4 megabytes of RAM, with Microsoft Windows(tm) 3.1 and WIN32S, or a 
Macintosh 68020 with 4 megabytes of RAM, a 14.4 kilobytes- per-second modem, 
and Internet access. 

UNALLOWABLE COSTS:  The following costs and expenses are not allowed:

o Salaries and expenses for students who are not underrepresented minorities 
o Housing or food expenses for students, except when they are attending 
scientific professional meetings
o Programs for non-matriculated students or their teachers
o Recruitment expenses
o Salary support solely for faculty mentoring
o Support for faculty research
o Support for student textbooks, incentives, memberships, and Internet 

SUPPORT FOR DOCTORAL TRAINING:  Students who complete the master"s degree and 
enter the partner doctoral program should receive financial support, if 
needed, from the doctoral institution while they are progressing 
satisfactorily in the doctoral research training programs.  The Bridges to 
the Doctorate program does not provide funds to students in the doctoral 
program.  In your application, you should describe the institutional support 
that will be available to students who transfer into the doctoral program.

EVALUATION:  Evaluation is a mandatory component of every Bridges to the 
Future Program.  You must set specific goals and measurable objectives that 
will be used to develop the program and to measure progress.  We recognize 
that minority and minority-serving institutions have diverse missions, 
opportunities, and environments.  Therefore, the Bridges to the Future 
Program emphasizes improvement as defined by specific goals and measurable 
objectives established by applicant institutions.

Each application should include the following:

o A clear statement of the goals for the program and the participating 
o A set of measurable objectives for tracking progress toward these goals 
o plan for evaluating whether the objectives are met 
o A measure of the efficacy of specific interventions

STUDENT POPULATION AND CAREER TRACKING: You must describe in your application 
the success of the master"s-degree granting institution in training students 
in the sciences.  Include information on the number of minority students who 
receive the master"s degree and graduates" subsequent careers or education.

You should describe a system for tracking the students, including their 
future careers.  You should maintain data to show the impact of this program 
on retention rates, graduation rates, transfer rates to the next higher-
degree program, and graduation rates from the next higher-degree programs.  
You should compare these data with those of non-minority students and 
minority students who did not participate in the Bridges program.

UNIFIED PLAN:  If an institution is involved in more than one Bridges to the 
Future Program, you or the institution"s program coordinator must describe 
how the various Bridges programs interact and are consistent with the overall 
goals of the program.  Institutions with active or pending NIH grants for the 
Support for Continuous Research Excellence (SCORE), Research Initiative for 
Scientific Enhancement (RISE), or Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) 
programs, or with other sources of funds, such as the National Science 
Foundation or the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, may apply to the Bridges 
program.  These applicants must describe how the programs complement each 
other and how the students and faculty supported by each will interact.  
Applicants that have another, different transition program should describe 
that program and explain the relationship of the program to the Bridges to 
the Doctorate program.

CONSORTIUM AGREEMENTS:  You should delineate appropriate agreements and 
consortium arrangements with your partner institutions consistent with your 
own unified institutional plan.  You must include in your application the 
following statement, accompanied by signatures of appropriate administrative 
officials from EACH collaborating institution:


In addition, you must include letters from each institution signed by the 
appropriate institutional official and program coordinator and acknowledging 
participation in the program.

Information on the NIH policy regarding consortium agreements is available at

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS:  You must submit a progress report annually.  This 
report must include information on each student participant and a summary of 
the impact of the program.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  Specific information on the Bridges to the Future 
Program, including instructions on preparing the PHS 398 form and Frequently 
Asked Questions, is available at


We encourage your inquiries concerning this PA and welcome the opportunity to 
answer questions from potential applicants.  Inquiries may fall into two 
areas:  programmatic and financial or grants management issues:

Direct your questions about programmatic issues to:

Irene Eckstrand, Ph.D.
Division of Minority Opportunities in Research
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Building 45, Room 2AS-25K, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594-5402
FAX:  (301) 480-2228

Direct your questions about financial or grants management matters to:

Antoinette Holland
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Building 45, Room 2AN-50B  MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone: (301) 594-5132
FAX: (301) 480-3423


Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application 
instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001).  The PHS 398 is available at in an interactive, 
searchable PDF format.  For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone 
(301) 710-0267, Email:

APPLICATION RECEIPT DATES: The schedule for receipt of applications, review 
of applications, and start dates for awards is as follows:

Application Receipt Date:           May 14     November 14
Council Review:                     October    May
Earliest Anticipated Start Date:    January    July

SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH:  Submit a signed, typewritten original of 
the application, including the checklist, and five signed photocopies in one 
package to:

Center For Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD  20892-7710
Bethesda, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)

The title and number of the program announcement must be typed on line 2 of 
the face page of the application form and the YES box must be marked.

APPLICATION PROCESSING: The CSR will not accept any application in response 
to this PA that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial 
review unless the applicant withdraws the pending application.  The CSR will 
not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already 
reviewed.  This does not preclude the submission of a substantial revision of 
an application already reviewed, but such application must include an 
Introduction addressing the previous critique.


Applications will be assigned based on established PHS referral guidelines.  
Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an 
appropriate review group convened in accordance with the standard NIH peer 
review procedures.  


The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of 
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health.  In 
the written comments, reviewers will be asked to discuss the following 
aspects of your application in order to judge the likelihood that the 
proposed research will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these 

o Significance
o Approach
o Innovation
o Investigator
o Environment
o Pool Size
o Administration

The scientific review group will address and consider each of these criteria 
in assigning your application"s overall score, weighting them as appropriate 
for each application. 

(1) SIGNIFICANCE:  If the aims of your program are achieved, how will they 
advance the diversity of the scientific workforce?  Is a thorough evaluation 
plan, including specific goals and measurable objectives, in place?

(2) APPROACH:  Is your application adequately developed, well integrated, and 
appropriate to the aims of the program?  Do you provide details and rationale 
for the activities that will enhance the academic preparation of your 
targeted population(s) of students?  Do you demonstrate knowledge of current 
literature and practice on effective intervention strategies?  Do you 
acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative approaches?  
Does your program make good use of the skills and resources at participating 

(3) INNOVATION:  Does your program employ novel approaches or methods to 
recruit, retain, train, and mentor students?  Does your program challenge 
existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?

(4) INVESTIGATOR:  Is the program director appropriately trained and well 
suited to carry out this work?  Does the program director have the necessary 
leadership skills?  Do the program director and coordinators have the 
qualifications and experience to carry out the proposed program?

(5) ENVIRONMENT:  Does the scientific environment in which the work will be 
done contribute to the probability of success?  Is there evidence of 
institutional commitment at each institution?  Is the strength of the 
collaborations sufficient to foster professional training of underrepresented 
minority students?

(6) POOL SIZE:  Are there sufficient numbers of underrepresented minority 
students in the participating science departments who are interested in 
additional studies in biomedical science?  Is there evidence that 
underrepresented minority students at the participating institutions progress 
to higher education?

(7) ADMINISTRATION:  Is your proposed system for tracking program 
participants adequate to monitor the effectiveness of the program?  Is your 
administrative plan, including space and other resources, adequate?


Applications submitted in response to a PA will compete for available funds 
with all other recommended applications.  The following will be considered in 
making funding decisions: 

o Technical merit of the applications
o Geographical distribution of the participating institutions
o Diversity of the underrepresented minority student participants
o Relevance to program priorities 
o Availability of funds

The NIH can make awards only to institutions that have financial management 
systems and management capabilities that are acceptable under NIH policy.  
The NIH will administer awards in accordance with the NIH Grants Policy 


the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their sub-populations 
must be included in all NIH-supported clinical research projects unless a 
clear and compelling justification is provided indicating that inclusion is 
inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of 
the research. This policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 
(Section 492B of Public Law 103-43).

All investigators proposing clinical research should read the AMENDMENT "NIH 
Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical 
Research - Amended, October, 2001," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and 
Contracts on October 9, 2001, (
files/NOT-OD-02-001.html), a complete copy of the updated Guidelines is 
available at 
The amended policy incorporates: the use of an NIH definition of 
clinical research, updated racial and ethnic categories in compliance with 
the new OMB standards, clarification of language governing NIH-defined Phase 
III clinical trials consistent with the new PHS Form 398, and updated roles 
and responsibilities of NIH staff and the extramural community.  The policy 
continues to require for all NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials that: a) 
all applications or proposals and/or protocols must provide a description of 
plans to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by 
sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable, 
and b) investigators must report annual accrual and progress in conducting 
analyses, as appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group 

The NIH maintains a policy that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 
21) must be included in all human subjects research, conducted or supported 
by the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include 
them. This policy applies to all initial (Type 1) applications submitted for 
receipt dates after October 1, 1998.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
"NIH Policy and Guidelines" on the inclusion of children as participants in 
research involving human subjects that is available at 

policy requires education on the protection of human subject participants for 
all investigators submitting NIH proposals for research involving human 
subjects.  You will find this policy announcement in the NIH Guide for Grants 
and Contracts Announcement, dated June 5, 2000, at

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to 
provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act 
(FOIA) under some circumstances.  Data that are (1) first produced in a 
project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) 
cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action 
that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed 
through FOIA.   It is important for applicants to understand the basic scope 
of this amendment.  NIH has provided guidance at:  
Applicants may wish to place data collected under this PA in a public 
archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the 
distribution for an indefinite period of time.  If so, the application should 
include a description of the archiving plan in the study design and include 
information about this in the budget justification section of the 
application.   In addition, applicants should think about how to structure 
informed consent statements and other human subjects procedures given the 
potential for wider use of data collected under this award.

for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page limitations.  
Unless otherwise specified in an NIH solicitation, internet addresses (URLs) 
should not be used to provide information necessary to the review because 
reviewers are under no obligation to view the Internet sites.  Furthermore, 
we caution reviewers that their anonymity may be compromised when they 
directly access an Internet site.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010:  The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to 
achieving the health promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy 
People 2010," a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas.  This 
PA is related to one or more of the priority areas.  Potential applicants may 
obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS:  This program is described in the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance No. 93.960,  and is not subject to the 
intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health 
Systems Agency review.  Awards are made under authorization of sections 301 
and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and 
administered under NIH grants policies described at and under Federal Regulations 
42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92. 

The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free 
workplace and discourage the use of all tobacco products.  In addition, 
Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in 
certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which 
regular or routine education, library, day care, health care, or early 
childhood development services are provided to children. This is consistent 
with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of 
the American people.

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