Awards & Honors: Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease (PATH)

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is now accepting applications for the 2018 Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease (PATH) award. The PATH award provides $500,000 over five years to support accomplished investigators at the assistant professor level to study pathogenesis, with a focus on the interplay between human and microbial biology, shedding light on how human and microbial systems are affected by their encounters.

This award is considered Prestigious by the National Research Council (NRC).

Deadline: July 14, 2017 by 4:00pm EDT (pre-proposal)

Program Details

  • The PATH 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.
  • The awards are intended to give recipients the freedom and flexibility to pursue new avenues of inquiry, stimulating higher risk research projects that hold potential for significantly advancing understanding of how infectious diseases work and how health is maintained.


  • The competition will employ a two-stage process. After review of pre-proposals, full proposal invitations will be sent by October 2, 2017.
  • All applicants will be required to complete a web-based questionnaire assessing their eligibility to apply for this award. If eligibility criteria are met, applicants will be automatically directed to the web-based, pre-proposal application.
  • It is strongly recommended that potential applicants review the Request for Proposals before accessing the eligibility questionnaire.

Application Guidelines

A complete pre-proposal consists of fields submitted through the online Internet Grant Application Module (IGAM) application plus a single PDF attachment. The components of the complete pre-proposal are shown below:

  • Applicant Information
  • Applicant Demographics
  • Institutional Information
  • Signing Official Information
  • Proposal Information

Single PDF Attachment

Prepare in advance the following required documents. Combine and order the supporting materials and upload into one (1) PDF file. Templates are provided.  Name the file using this format only: Last Name, First Name PATH 2018 PPL

  1. Cover Sheet
  • Name
  • Academic Rank at time of application
  • Education and training background
  • Project title
  • Keywords
  1. Five critical questions
  • What is your proposed research question? Up to 50 words/~250 characters
  • Why is the work you propose interesting and important? How will it change our understanding of how disease unfolds? Up to 200 words/~1000 characters
  • How will you do it? What is your approach? Up to 200 words/~1000 characters
  • What about your outlook/background/training gives you great insight into this problem? Up to 100 words/~500 characters
  • How is this work innovative and different from that supported by your other external funding? Up to 100 words/~500 characters
  1. Applicant’s Biosketch
  • Using the template provided, list your published works by career stage.
  1. Institutional Certification
  • Using the template provided, have the authorized signing official of the degree-granting institution complete the form including the official’s signature.
  1. Signature Page
  • Using the template provided, complete the form and include the signatures of the applicant and the signing official of the degree-granting institution.


BWF staff will hold conference calls for applicants who have questions about the program:

Date: May 26, 2017
Time: 1:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time
Dial in number for all calls: 800-247-5110
Passcode for all calls:  BWF

Date:  June 15, 2017
Time: 3:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time
Dial in number for all calls: 800-247-5110
Passcode for all calls:  BWF

Dates:  July 5, 2017
Time: 3:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time
Dial in number for all calls: 800-247-5110
Passcode for all calls:  BWF

View the Frequently Asked Questions page.

If your question is not answered after reviewing the FAQs, email with “2018 PATH” as the subject line.

Note: Applicants are always encouraged to contact the program officer directly about their planned proposal, their competitiveness for the award, or other questions.  The program officer, Victoria McGovern, Ph.D., can be reached at or 919-991-5112.