Bridging the Gap Research Award

2023-24 applications are now closed. Thank you for all those who applied.


The Bridging the Gap Research Award is an $8,000 award that will provide resources to help a postdoctoral student prepare a competitive research grant proposal.

Early-stage investigators are often expected to produce extramurally funded research with very limited or non-existent support for successfully applying for and receiving the grant dollars they need. This award seeks to bridge that preparation gap in today’s increasingly competitive grant funding environment. Postdoctoral students may use award funds for anything that supports a larger grant proposal, including but not limited to, equipment and supplies, additional analyses, consultants, statistical support, data collection, and professional development or training.

The Bridging the Gap Research Award will be given to one postdoctoral student member on an annual basis. Special consideration will be given to applicants whose research will investigate key social problems including, but not limited to, climate change, health inequities, COVID-19, and the spread of misinformation.

In addition to a monetary award, the awardee will be assigned a mentor who is an SBM Fellow or a distinguished behavioral medicine professional with experience in their research topic area. Throughout the 1-year period of active funding, the mentor will reach out proactively to the awardee to provide guidance and help overcome hurdles. The award recipient will also be responsible for completing regular conversations with their mentor no fewer than three times throughout the 1-year period of active funding.

Meet SBM's Bridging the Gap Research Award recipients here!

The Bridging the Gap Research Award was generously funded by Sharon Manne, PhD, FSBM and General Fund donations made through the Proven Science-Better Health Giving Campaign. Learn more on how to support the future of behavioral medicine researchers here!


Alignment with SBM's Strategic Goals

SBM members told leadership in 2020 that the availability of funding is a threat on the horizon for the behavioral medicine field. One member stated that “if training programs and students don't have funding, or aren't valued by society, we are at risk of shrinking or going extinct.” Members also said a core way for SBM to be truly indispensable to their professional lives is by funding their research. The Bridging the Gap Research Award will help students secure the grant funding that is critical to their careers and to improving health, and will make their grant applications stronger and more likely to be funded.


Applicant Eligibility

  • Must be an SBM postdoctoral student member

    • Applicants for the 1-year, non-renewable award must have received their doctoral degree and be a student member at the time of application.

  • This award will not provide the recipient’s institution with indirect funding

  • Proposals are encouraged from behavioral medicine disciplines including, but not limited to, psychology, medicine, nursing, epidemiology, nutrition, physical therapy, public health, and more.

  • Underrepresented racial and ethnic minority researchers, sexual and gender minorities, and women and individuals with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.


Application Requirements

Applications are now closed!

  1. Narrative: Prepare a narrative including the following (limited to 2 pages):

  • Title of research project

  • Applicant institute and name of institutional mentor and/or research team

  • Statement of need (i.e., tell a story about what the problem is, what has been done, your research proposal, and how funding is going to bridge the gap)

  • Description of how award funds will be used within the one-year award period

  • Concrete plans for seeking additional funds to complete a larger related research project.

  • Description of how your research, if funded, would advance the current state of knowledge in the field and would impact health. Special consideration will be given to research projects that investigate key social problems including, but not limited to, climate change, health inequities, COVID-19, and the spread of misinformation.

  • Detailed timeline for the research project and application for additional funds

  1. Budget: Provide a budget justification of of how funds will be used within the 1-year award period (limited to 1 page). Use must be directly related to the research project. Funds cannot be used for the SBM Annual Meeting registration and/or travel expenses.

  2. Applicant CV


Award Selection & Notification

After the applications close on July 17, SBM’s Scientific Education Council will have 3 weeks to review and select the award recipient based on their criteria. The award recipient will then be notified by the Scientific Education Council Chair/SBM President of their award in late August 2023.


Additional Expectations of Award Recipient

  1. The award recipient must provide a progress report of their research project 6 months into their active year of funding, and no later than 6 weeks after their full year of award funding has ended.

  2. The award recipient is expected to attend the donor reception during the next Annual Meeting and give a short presentation of their project (no more than 5 minutes).

  3. The award recipient must inform SBM when their research funding application is submitted, and must share the outcome as soon as it is known.

  4. The award recipient must have at least one call or personal meeting with their paired SBM mentor shortly after they are awarded, and complete regular conversations with the mentor no fewer than 3 times during the awarded year.

  5. The award recipient will submit an Outlook article detailing their research and Bridging the Gap Research Award experience


Funding the Future of Behavioral Medicine

Thanks to generous gifts from our members, we are able to continue funding at least one award each year through 2027. With the huge pool of award applications received from postdoctoral student members from underrepresented backgrounds each year, we need more resources to fund additional awards for postdoctoral students in need and ensure a secure future for the field of behavioral medicine research. We need generous individuals like you to support the next generation of behavioral medicine researchers--a generation that shows some of the greatest promise we've seen in years. Our postdoc members deserve the opportunity to thrive and experience the same success as some of the most prominent behavioral medicine scientists who call SBM their "professional home." We can give that to them, together.

Make a donation today to support the Bridging the Gap Research Award here:

  • Simply enter your gift amount in the General Fund box and then write "Bridging the Gap Research Award" in the This Gift is honor section.

Are you a company or do you work for a company who would be interested in supporting the Bridging the Gap Research Award? Check out our 2024 Support Opportunities Guide for more information on how you can support this important award for early-career researchers and other key programs. 2024 Support Opportunities Guides and Exhibitor Prospectus