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Bench-to-Bedside Program

About Bench-to-Bedside

The NIH Bench-to-Bedside program was originally established in 1999 to integrate the work of basic and clinical intramural scientists, and expanded in 2006 to partnerships between intramural and extramural programs. (Intramural science refers to research that takes place on an NIH campus under the auspices of federal employees, while extramural research is conducted by investigators and institutions outside of NIH.) Funded projects can receive up to $150K per year for two years. Projects can involve only intramural investigators, but collaborations between intramural and extramural investigators will be prioritized in review.

Intramural investigators in all institutes/centers are eligible to serve as project leaders on proposals. Extramural principal investigators (PIs) with an existing NIH grant (e.g., researchers at CTSA or AIAMC sites) are invited to initiate proposals in one of two ways. First, extramural investigators may seek an intramural partner at NIH who would function as the project leader and serve as the point of contact. To identify an intramural collaborator, extramural investigators can consult the NIH's database of all current intramural research at Bench to Bedside program staff are also able to assist in identifying intramural partners.

Second, extramural investigators may initiate proposals and serve as project leaders. In this role, extramural principal investigators will develop letters of intent and if approved, may develop full proposals. In this scenario, extramural investigators are required to identify an intramural collaborator on the project. However, no matter which way the project is initiated, the intramural investigator will be responsible for submitting both the letter of intent and full proposal electronically using proposalCentral. Applications submitted by extramural investigators will not be accepted.

Research proposals can fall into one of six special funding categories: AIDS, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Dietary Supplements, Minority Health and Health Disparities, Rare Diseases, or Women's Health, which align with the interests of our Donor Office partners.  All projects that are not funded by the Donor Offices as well as additional meritorious projects that don't fall within the scope of the categories listed above will be considered for funding in the "general" category. These projects are funded using Stable Funds provided by the NIH Director.

The Bench-to-Bedside program uses an electronic venue (proposalCentral) to aid investigators in submitting a letter of intent and in collaborating online with the project leader on developing a proposal for submission. Reviewers will also have access to online features to augment the review process.

For awards involving extramural partners, PIs can budget a portion of their funds to the extramural collaborator(s), which will be directed as an administrative supplement to an existing grant. In order to ensure uninterrupted funding, it is best if there is sufficient time left on the grant vehicle to get to the end of the project period. If there is no appropriate grant vehicle for receiving the supplement at the time of the original or year 2 awards, the collaborator runs the risk of not being able to receive funding. If indicated, the amount of funds to extramural investigators may be increased to cover indirect costs. Anticipated indirect costs must be included in the budget tables of the application. Among other stipulations, the support must be consistent with the approved aims and objectives of the parent grant. Principal investigators for all awarded projects will be required to submit annual progress reports on the project's status and extramural collaborators receiving administrative supplements are required to include a section in the parent grant RPPR on the progress made on the BtB project.

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This page last updated on 04/01/2019

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