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Grants to USA and Canada Researchers for Studies Related to the Development of Communicable Diseases


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Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease (PATH) Program

Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF)

Agency: Foundation

GrantWatch ID #171502

Grant Description

Grants to USA and Canada researchers affiliated with nonprofit IHEs to study the development of communicable diseases. Applicants must submit a pre-proposal prior to submitting a full proposal. Funding is intended for researchers at the assistant professor level to explore the interaction between humans and microorganisms. The goal of the program is to provide opportunities for investigators, who are accomplished yet still at an early stage in their careers, to study how humans and potentially infectious agents are affected by their encounters.

The Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease program provides opportunities for assistant professors to bring multidisciplinary approaches to the study of human infectious diseases. The goal of the program is to provide opportunities for accomplished investigators still early in their careers to study what happens at the points where the systems of humans and potentially infectious agents connect. The program supports research that sheds light on the fundamentals that affect the outcomes of these encounters: How colonization, infection, commensalism, and other relationships play out at levels ranging from molecular interactions to systemic ones.

PATH provides funding to support investigators at the assistant professor level to study pathogenesis, with a focus on the interplay between infectious agents and their hosts, shedding light on how both are affected by their encounters. The awards are intended to give recipients the freedom and flexibility to pursue new avenues of inquiry and higher-risk research projects that hold potential for significantly advancing understanding of the pathogenesis of infectious disease. Researchers who start from the human host are appropriate applicants, as are those who start from the microbe or virus. Research on under-studied infectious diseases, including emerging diseases as well as well-established ones, is encouraged. Work on fungal, protozoan, and metazoan diseases and emerging infections is especially of interest. In addition, excellent animal models of human disease, including in veterinary research settings, are within the program’s scope. Interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged. Work connecting pathogenesis itself to climate change is also encouraged. Work that additionally involves more elements, for example, vector biology, is very welcome. 

Important Notes:

  • Microbiome-related proposals must be infectious disease-focused to compete well in this program.
  • BWF encourages submissions from those working in protozoan and metazoan parasites, protists, and fungi. Viral, bacterial, immune, and multi-species work is likewise encouraged. Work-related to malaria, tuberculosis, and AIDs is appropriate for this program. BWF particularly encourages human health-relevant applications from veterinary scientists.
  • BWF encourages submissions focusing on climate change and its impact on the pathogenosis of infectious disease and human health.

The support allocated for research is under the control of the awardee and may be used flexibly for items such as equipment, consumable supplies, travel to scientific meetings, and salaries for laboratory personnel working with the awardee.

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  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The ideal candidate is an accomplished investigator at the mid-to-late assistant professor level with an established record of independent research in a tenure-track position or its well-supported equivalent in non-tenure offering departments.

Applications must be approved and signed by an official responsible for sponsored programs (generally from the grants office, office of research, or office of sponsored programs) at a degree-granting institution. Candidates will generally have a Ph.D. and/or a clinical doctorate (M.D., D.V.M., etc.).
- Candidates must have an established record of independent research.
- Citizens and non-citizen permanent and temporary residents of the U.S. and Canada who are legally qualified to work in the U.S. or Canada are eligible. Candidates who are temporary U.S. residents must hold a valid U.S. visa (J-1, H1B, F-1 or O-1 visas). Temporary Canadian residents must hold a valid Canadian visa (Study Permit, C-43, C44, C-10, or C-20 work permits/visas).
- Candidates who will be promoted to Associate Professor by November 13, 2022 are not eligible to apply.
- Candidates who have completed a Burroughs Wellcome Fund career development award (CAMS or CASI) are encouraged to apply but must contact BWF before writing the pre-proposal. Having had BWF travel, career guidance for trainees, preterm birth, regulatory science, or PDEP grants does not impact PATH support.

Important Notes:
- The PATH award can only be made to accredited, degree-granting institutions in the U.S. or Canada. An Internal Revenue Service determination letter of the institution’s non-profit status may be requested by BWF staff if one is not on file in the office.
- BWF strongly encourages applications from women and underrepresented minorities.

The PATH award may not be used to pay student tuition.

Pre-Application Information:

Key Dates:
- Pre-proposal applications due July 14, 2022 by 2:00 pm Eastern Time
- Invitation to submit a full proposal October 7, 2022
- Full proposal due November 15, 2022 by 2:00 pm Eastern Time
- Finalist interviews April 17-19, 2023
- Notice of award May 24, 2023
- Award start date July 1, 2023
- Award end date June 30, 2028

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the program officer directly about their planned proposal, their competitiveness for the award, or other questions.

Only pre-proposals submitted through BWF’s online application website IGAM will be accepted.

Applying for this award is a two-stage process:
1. Pre-proposals. Interested candidates who meet the eligibility criteria may submit one online pre-proposal through BWF’s Internet Grant Application Module (IGAM).
2. Full proposals. Submission of full proposals will be by invitation only after review of pre-proposals. By October 7, 2022, those who make it to the next round will be invited to submit a full research proposal. Instructions on how to prepare a full research proposal will be provided by email with the invitation to participate.

An application cannot be submitted until the recommendation letters have been uploaded and attached to the application. Please submit your letter before 2:00 pm EST on the grant deadline, November 15th, 2022. The full proposal application cannot be submitted unless all three recommendation letters are received in advance of the deadline.

Prior approval by BWF is required when, within an award year, purchases of equipment exceed $20,000 or travel costs exceed $8,000.

PATH is a career development award made to a degree-granting institution on behalf of an awardee. Institutions are responsible for disbursing the funds and for maintaining adequate supporting records and receipts of expenditures.

About the PATH Award:

Pre-Proposal Forms and Resources:


Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Size of Grant:

PATH provides $500,000 to support investigators.

Term of Contract:

PATH provides funds over a period of five years:
- Award start date July 1, 2023
- Award end date June 30, 2028

Contact Information:

Online portal:

Eligibility inquiries should be directed in advance to BWF program staff by contacting:

Victoria McGovern, Ph.D., Senior Program Officer

Darcy Lewandowski
Program Associate

Burroughs Wellcome Fund
21 T.W. Alexander Drive
PO Box 13901
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-3901
(919) 991-5100

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