Bridges to the Baccalaureate Research Training Program (T34)

Program Goal & Structure

The goal of the Bridges to the Baccalaureate Research Training Program is to provide structured activities to prepare a diverse cohort of research-oriented students to transfer from associate degree-granting institutions to baccalaureate degree-granting institutions and complete a baccalaureate degree in disciplines related to the biomedical sciences. Training grants offset the cost of stipends, tuition and fees, and training related expenses, including health insurance, for the appointed trainees in accordance with the approved NIH support levels. Training grants are usually awarded for five years and are renewable. Full details are found in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)​ PAR-22-125.

Institutional Eligibility

The Bridges to the Baccalaureate Research Training Program provides support to eligible, domestic institutions to develop and implement effective, evidence-informed approaches to biomedical research training and mentoring that will keep pace with the rapid evolution of the research enterprise. This program requires strong partnerships between at least two post-secondary educational institutions offering science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) degrees. At least one partner must be an institution that offers the associate degree as the highest STEM degree and the other partner(s) must offer baccalaureate degrees in biomedically relevant STEM fields (for examples of biomedically relevant STEM fields, see the Classification of NSF-NIH Science and Engineering Fields​. Two different scenarios are anticipated for these partnerships:

  • One baccalaureate degree granting institution as the applicant institution partnering with one or more associate degree granting institutions, or
  • One associate degree granting institution as the applicant institution partnering with one or more baccalaureate degree granting institutions.

As the partnership between the associate degree granting institution(s) and the baccalaureate degree granting institution(s) is a key component of this program, the application must include a Program Director/Principal Investigator from each participating institution.

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 only be the applicant for a single Bridges to Baccalaureate Research Training Program.

Trainee Eligibility and Participation

The individual to be trained must be a citizen or a noncitizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of appointment. Additional details on citizenship, training period, and aggregate duration of support are available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Trainees must be enrolled at the associate degree-granting institution(s) at the time of initial appointment. Trainees should be research-oriented individuals with plans to transition and complete a baccalaureate degree in a STEM field that will position them to pursue research-oriented biomedical higher degree programs or enter careers in the biomedical research workforce.

All trainees are required to pursue their training full time, as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies. Trainees are typically provided full-time support for two years of undergraduate studies. There is flexibility in how the two years of support can be administered, but there must be robust support at both the associate degree-granting and baccalaureate degree-granting institutions. Typically, one year of full-time support is provided at the associate degree-granting institution and one year of full-time support at the baccalaureate degree-granting institution.

Information for Applicant Institutions

Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the NOFO (including Related Notices in the Overview Section), Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and consult NIGMS staff to discuss eligibility and application requirements prior to submission. When submitting an application, it's important to follow all instructions and avoid issues that lead to noncompliance and withdrawal prior to review. NIGMS does not require applications requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs for any year to contact staff to obtain agreement that the IC will accept the application.

For Bridges to the Baccalaureate grants, potential applicants should contact Dr. Laurie Stepanek or Dr. Shakira Nelson.

The Bridges to the Baccalaureate Research Training Program (T34) is part of the NIGMS undergraduate program umbrella cited in 42 CFR 66.102.​