NIH Research Education: Bridges to the Doctorate (R25) Solicitation

Program Summary 

The over-arching goal is to support educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical research workforce. This FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on:

  • Courses for Skills Development: For example, advanced courses in a specific discipline or research area, clinical procedures for research, or specialized research techniques.
  • Research Experiences: For example, for graduate students: to provide research experiences and related training not available through formal NIH training mechanisms.

The Bridges to Doctorate Program is intended to provide these educational activities to Master's level students to increase transition to and completion of Ph.D.'s in biomedical sciences. A program application must include each educational activity, and describe how they will be synergized to make a comprehensive program. This program requires partnerships between master's degree-granting institutions with doctorate degree-granting institutions. Additionally, recruitment and retention plans are required as part of the application.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST July 17, 2018

Sponsor Application Deadline: 5:00pm MST September 25, 2018

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Project Summary (2-3 pages): Please describe the proposed research education program. Identify partner institution(s), program faculty, and program participants.
  • PI CV/Biosketch
  • Budget Overview (up to 1 page): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required.

To access the online application, visit:


Institutions with existing Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) institutional training grants (e.g., T32) or other federally funded training programs may apply for a research education grant provided that the proposed educational experiences are distinct from those training programs receiving federal support. In many cases, it is anticipated that the proposed research education program will complement ongoing research training occurring at the applicant institution.

Applicants must designate a PD/PI from each participating institution (lead/grantee and partner institutions). The lead and partner PDs/PIs must have a regular full-time appointment (i.e., not adjunct, part-time, retired, or emeritus) at their respective institutions, and should have student counseling, academic administrative and/or scientific research experience.

The master's degree-granting institutions in the Bridges to the Doctorate Program must offer a terminal master's degree with a strong focus on biomedical sciences as their highest degree and have a large pool, as determined by the applicant institution, of master's degree-seeking students from underrepresented groups to be eligible to apply as an applicant institution.  A college/university that has a substantial enrollment of master's degree students in biomedical sciences from underrepresented groups, but also offers a doctoral program in unrelated disciplines is eligible to apply as a lead applicant institution or participate as a partner institution. However, institutions offering both master's and doctoral degrees may not form partnerships within their own institution 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. Each proposed Bridges to the Doctorate Program must consist of a partnership/consortium composed of at least two institutions, including the lead applicant institution. One must be an institution that offers the master's degree as the only graduate degree in the biomedical sciences. Another institution must be a college or university granting the Ph.D. degree in the biomedical sciences. Two different scenarios are anticipated for these partnerships: a) one Ph.D.-granting institution as the lead applicant institution partnering with one or more master's degree institutions, or b) one master's degree-granting institution as the lead applicant institution partnering with one or more Ph.D.-granting institutions. An eligible applicant or partner institution may participate in more than one Bridges to the Doctorate partnership if such multiple partnerships are strongly justified by the potential to magnify the programs' and institutions' outcomes.

Limited Submission Guidelines

Applicants may not submit more than one application as the lead institution.

A lead institution may also partner on one or more applications submitted by other lead institutions.

Award Information and Duration

Award Amount: Application budgets are limited to $300,000 direct costs per year.

Award Duration: The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period. The maximum project period is 5 years.