BRIDGE Program

Building Research, Innovation, Discovery, and Growing Engagement (BRIDGE)

Supported by the Provost Innovation Fund

As a regional comprehensive institution, Sam Houston State University strives to meet the educational, research, and leadership needs of the community it serves. The needs of this region are as dynamic as the growth it is experiencing. The region north of Houston ranks sixth among the top 100 U.S cities for economic and population growth, and highest in five-year housing growth. This population growth accompanies recent expansion in industries such as biotechnology, life and health sciences, life sciences manufacturing, and advanced manufacturing. SHSU is uniquely positioned to provide the research and innovation needed for this expansion, as well as assist with the general economic development of the region.

The intent of the BRIDGE program is to align and develop existing and emerging research themes at SHSU into sustainable programs that elevate the reputation of SHSU and establish the university as a major contributor to new knowledge and technology for Texas. Funding through this program will support research teams who require substantial investment over multiple years to develop successful funding proposals to specific funding agencies.

Successful BRIDGE projects will contribute to emerging industry and societal needs of the region and Texas by addressing fundamental contemporary problems or advancing existing knowledge through translational research, such as:

  • Preparing for demands on food, energy, and/or water systems
  • Research in life, health, and biomedical sciences
  • Addressing concerns of cybersecurity and resiliency
  • Preparing for the increased demand of educational services and mental health care

$500,000 will be available in FY23. Award size will vary based on details of individual proposals. Maximum size of the total award will typically fall below $175,000. Award periods will vary but will average ~2 years.

Program Information

  • Program Overview

    All SHSU tenure track/tenured faculty who are eligible to submit to external sponsors are eligible to serve as Principal Investigators (PI).

    An individual may submit up to two letters of interests, and only lead a single full proposal submission. Individuals can be listed on others proposal submissions in a non-PI role.

    Successful teams should involve researchers with diverse backgrounds, skills, and knowledge. The proposal should demonstrate how the combined approaches of the team will result in improved understanding, characterization, evaluation, and applications essentials. Team members should include individuals with different approaches or understandings of the target problem to maximize the proposal's competitiveness.

    Funds may be used to support activities required to execute the scope of work. This may include up to two months of salary (across 11 months to reflect time and effort) for SHSU contributors; salary for undergraduate and graduate students; salaries for technicians or post-doctoral positions; materials and supplies; capital equipment; travel; course buyout; coordination meetings, workshops, and visits to funding agencies.

  • Timeline

    • Request for applications (RFA) released: 1 March 2023
    • Letter of Interest Due: 3 April 2023 by 4:59 PM CST
    • BRIDGE LOI submissions published: 10 April 2023
    • BRIDGE Teams notify ORSP of intent to submit: 1 May 2023 by 4:59 PM CST
    • Full proposal due date: 5 June 2023 by 4:59 PM CST
    • Award announcement: 5 July 2023

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Have a question about the BRIDGE program? Check out the below FAQ document.

    BRIDGE Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Phase 1 - Letter of Interest (LOI)

    Submission of a Letter of Interest (LOI) before the published deadline is required in order to be eligible to submit a full BRIDGE proposal. LOIs should be submitted using the Microsoft Form. Submitting an LOI does not oblige potential proposers to submit a full proposal. LOIs are not subject to merit review, but rather are used to establish teams around common themes for full proposals.

    Letters of Interest may be submitted by individual researchers or by teams. In two pages or less, LOIs should:

    • Define a potential question, topic, and/or problem that relates to one or more of the proposed themes.
    • Allow the Review Committee to understand interests and general qualifications and experience of team members.
    • Potentially serve as the basis to facilitate collaboration and team formation in Phase 2.

    Only LOIs submitted via the Microsoft Form will be considered for competition.

    Successful submissions will be announced on the BRIDGE webpage.

  • Phase 2 - Team and Concept Formation

    The purpose of this step is to enable the formation of teams who will submit a full BRIDGE Proposal.

    The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs will collect all LOIs and - based on the potential for collaboration and scope of topics presented - form teams of researchers around the common project topics. During Phase 2, faculty members who submit a LOI may be further consulted by ORSP to discuss collaboration within or around a project idea.

    It is a goal of ORSP that full proposals will be submitted by teams with a diverse set of expertise that align with the priorities of the BRIDGE program. Team formation will be documented on the BRIDGE webpage. Teams will be expected to notify ORSP of their intent to submit a full proposal.

  • Phase 3 - Full Proposal Submission

    The full proposals will be limited to 15-pages, and shall address the following major categories:

    • Scope of Work (SOW): The proposal must present a scope of work that defines the problem and/or question to be addressed, describes the methodology for addressing the problem/question, and outlines a clear work plan.
    • Impact: Describe the major question or problem and how the proposed project will advance research in the field. Does it challenge the current state-of-the-art concepts? Will it overcome a barrier to advancing research in this field and broaden the horizon for future research? How will the proposed research impact society and our region of Texas?
    • Sustainability: Identify a specific funding agency(ies) or funding opportunities that align with the proposed project. Identify submission due dates or if the submissions are open-ended. Describe how the proposed project aligns with the funding agency(ies) and funding opportunities. Is it reasonable to expect that, in addition to alignment, funds will be available in the future (i.e., targeted program is not sunsetting and is of continued interest to the funding agency)? Is the proposed project of interest to other possible funding sources? If so, which?
    • Expertise: Describe the currently assembled organization, the lead PI, team members, and their roles. Describe how the team member’s different approaches, expertise, and understandings of the target problem will maximize proposal competitiveness and likelihood of success.
    • Need: Provide a budget and a budget justification. Are there specific gaps in knowledge or technology that need to be filled to enhance the competitiveness of an external proposal?

    Additionally, each Principal Investigators (PIs) and Co-Principal Investigators (Co-PIs) is required to submit a biographical sketch in the National Science Foundation (NSF) format using this template. Biographical sketches will not be counted in the 15-page limit.

  • Phase 4 - Internal Review Process and Selection

    The internal review process will include an evaluation and scoring of the full proposals by a review committee, presentations of the finalists to the Provost Leadership Team, selection of proposals for award, and a notification to all teams of the proposals selected for funding.

    The full BRIDGE proposal review criteria include:

    • Composition of the proposed BRIDGE team: Does the team leader’s research record demonstrate knowledge necessary to lead the interdisciplinary team successfully and effectively? Do team members possess the necessary interdisciplinary research expertise with potential to redefine how the problem is traditionally understood and therefore how it can be more effectively addressed?
    • Merit and significance: Will the proposal concept advance research in the field? Does it challenge the current state-of-the-art? Does the proposal align with the focus of BRIDGE funds? Will it overcome a barrier to advancing research in this field and broaden the horizon for future research? Is this a major question or problem?
    • Feasibility and approach: Are the proposed research plans, methods, and analyses appropriate? Will the methods and analyses achieve the objectives of the project? Are adequate resources (expertise, tools, equipment) included in the proposal?
    • Innovation and differentiators: Does the concept of the project leverage new theories, tools, or applications to advance the field? Will the project shift the current paradigm in the field? Are technical or intellectual innovations included in the concept?
    • External funding strategy: Does the project align with the funding agency(ies) and funding opportunities identified? Is it reasonable to expect that, in addition to alignment, funds will be available in the future (i.e., targeted program is not sunsetting and is of continued interest to the funding agency)? Is there potential alignment with other funding agency(ies) not mentioned in the proposal? (This criterion will be 50 percent of the review).

  • Phase 5 - Award Management and Reporting

    Awardees must attend quarterly update meetings with an oversight committee and submit biannual reports that addresses accomplishments for each 6-month period.

    Awardees must submit a final report within 60 days of award closeout. The final report should include specifics about the targeted submission, results of the research, new funding targets identified during the process, efforts underway to obtain external funding, and efforts to generate publications.

    Awardees are required to submit brief annual progress reports for two years following completion of the funded award to state progress on the following metrics: publications, external grant funding, or further projects stemming from the award. Any abstracts or publications arising from the work funded by the BRIDGE program must cite the appropriate funding source.

Need Help?

At all phases of proposal development researchers can leverage the resources and teams in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. Reach out to our team via email if you need any help!

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