NIH Bridges to the Baccalaureate Research Training Program (T34)

Please see the full solicitation for complete information about the funding opportunity. Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO).

Program Summary

The goal of the Bridges to the Baccalaureate Research Training Program is to provide structured activities to prepare a diverse cohort of community college students to transfer to and complete a bachelor's degree in biomedical research fields.  This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) provides support to eligible, domestic institutions to develop and implement effective, evidence-based approaches to biomedical training and mentoring that will keep pace with the rapid evolution of the research enterprise. NIGMS expects that the proposed research training programs will incorporate didactic, research, mentoring, and career development elements to prepare trainees to bridge from the community college and complete the bachelor's degree in biomedical fields. This program requires partnerships between two-year post-secondary educational institutions granting the associate degree with four-year colleges or universities that offer the baccalaureate degree.

The Overarching Objective of this Bridges to the Baccalaureate Research Training Program is to develop a diverse pool of research-oriented undergraduates who bridge from a community college or two-year institution and complete bachelor's degrees in STEM fields. Concurrently with the bridging and bachelor's degree completion goals, the Bridges to the Baccalaureate Research Training Program aims to develop a diverse pool of well-trained biomedical scientists, who have the following technical, operational, and professional skills:

  • A broad understanding across biomedical disciplines and the skills to independently acquire the knowledge needed to advance their chosen fields;
  • The ability to think critically and independently, and to identify important biomedical research questions and approaches that push forward the boundaries of their areas of study;
  • A strong foundation in scientific reasoning, rigorous research design, experimental methods, quantitative and computational approaches, and data analysis and interpretation;
  • A commitment to approaching and conducting biomedical research responsibly, ethically, and with integrity;
  • Experience initiating, conducting, interpreting, and presenting rigorous and reproducible biomedical research with increasing self-direction;
  • The ability to work effectively in teams with colleagues from a variety of cultural and scientific backgrounds, and to promote inclusive and supportive scientific research environments;
  • The skills to teach and communicate scientific research methodologies and findings to a wide variety of audiences (e.g., discipline-specific, across disciplines, and the public); and
  • The knowledge, professional skills and experiences required to identify and transition into careers in the biomedical research workforce (i.e., the breadth of careers that sustain biomedical research in areas that are relevant to the NIH mission).

Diversity at all levels—from the kinds of science to the regions in which it is conducted to the backgrounds of the people conducting it— contributes to excellence in research training environments and strengthens the research enterprise. This FOA is intended to support outstanding research training programs that will enhance diversity at all levels. As part of a larger initiative to enhance diversity, the Bridges to the Baccalaureate Research Training Program supports trainees at a critical transition point in the biomedical research training pathway.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST June 21, 2021

Sponsor Application Deadline: 5:00pm MT September 27, 2021

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Project Summary (3 pages maximum): Please include the following elements: mission, objectives, rationale, design of research training program, and a brief overview of the recruitment plan to enhance diversity. Highlight key activities in the training plan that promote skills development and the successful transition from a two-year into a four-year institution and completion of a bachelor’s degree in a biomedical field. Indicate the intended trainee outcomes.
  • PI Biographical Sketch
  • Budget Overview (1 page maximum): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required.

To access the online application, visit:


The Bridges to Baccalaureate Research Training Program requires strong partnerships between community colleges (or two-year colleges) and four-year baccalaureate degree granting institutions. One partner must be an institution that offers the associate degree as the highest science degree. The other institution must be a college or university granting baccalaureate degrees in disciplines relevant to the biomedical sciences. Two different scenarios are anticipated for these partnerships: (1) one baccalaureate degree granting institution as the lead applicant institution partnering with one or more associate degree granting institutions, or (2) one associate degree granting institution as the lead applicant institution partnering with one or more baccalaureate degree granting institutions. To reinforce the strong partnerships, the Bridges to Baccalaureate Research Training Program requires the participation of least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) from each partner institution. The program does not support single institutions offering both associate and baccalaureate degrees where graduates or transfers from the associate degree programs enter the baccalaureate programs, even if the students are moving to another department, school, or college.

A signed letter is required from the Provost or similar official with institution-wide responsibility verifying the eligibility of the applicant institution(s) at the time of application submission according to the eligibility criteria indicated above.

The PD/PI of the lead institution must be designated as the contact PD/PI. The contact PD/PI is expected to have a full-time appointment at the applicant institution unless extremely well-justified.

The ideal Bridges to the Baccalaureate Research Training Program leadership team should have an established investigator in the biomedical sciences who can provide both administrative and scientific leadership to the development and implementation of the proposed program.  Additionally, the team should consider including individuals with experience in student counseling, science of education, program evaluation, mentoring, and university administration.

Limited Submission Guidelines

An eligible applicant or partner institution may participate in more than one Bridges to the Baccalaureate Research Training Program partnership if the multiple partnerships are strongly justified by the potential to magnify the programs' and institutions' outcomes. However, an institution may be the lead in only one Bridges to Baccalaureate Research Training Program at one time.

Award Information

Award Amount: Application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project. The total amount of Training Related Expenses (TRE) that may be requested is limited to a maximum of $10,000/trainee/year. The maximum cap for the TRE portion of the proposed budget is $350,000/year.

Award Duration: Up to 5 years

Review Criteria

Please consider NIH’s specific review criteria as the proposal is developed. The internal review committee will use these criteria as a guide when evaluating internal proposals.