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Program Description

Bridge Faculty Fellows(BFF) Program Description for Cohort 3: 2023-2024


WVU’s Bridge Initiative for Science and Technology Policy, Leadership, and Communications translates the work of WVU researchers to policymakers to fulfill WVU’s mission as West Virginia’s R1 Land Grant University. The Bridge program encompasses several activities including the development of policymaker guides, policy briefs, science and technology notes, a graduate student science & technology policy fellowship program, and the Bridge Faculty Fellows program.

The goal of the Bridge Faculty Fellows Program is to enhance the ability of WVU faculty to translate their research to West Virginia policymakers and the public.

The Bridge Faculty Fellows Program is offered under the Bridge Initiative with support from the Provost’s Office. Leadership for this program is provided by Dr. Joan Centrella, Director of the Bridge Initiative in S&T Policy, Leadership, and Communications, with support from the Bridge team.

Why Participate?

Participating in this program will help faculty to:

●       understand the science and technology policy arena and learn how their work can make a difference to          policymakers,

●      increase the broader impacts of their work to benefit society,

●      stimulate and advance new ideas for research, innovation, and funding,

●      bring new perspectives into their teaching and mentoring roles, to develop and empower the next generation.

Education, training, and mentoring is provided by Dr. Deborah Stine, Founder of the Science & Technology Policy Academy, who has extensive experience in science and technology policy including at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; the Congressional Research Service; the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy; and Carnegie Mellon University.

Testimonials from the first and second cohorts of Bridge Faculty fellows are provided here.

Thematic Focus

Each year, the program has a thematic focus.  For the 2023-2024 cohort, the theme is: 

Health and Health Care for West Virginians, including all health sciences, social determinants of health, and public health.  Social determinants of health include: Economic Stability, Education Access and Quality, Health Care Access and Quality, Neighborhood and Built Environment, Social and Community Context.


The program is open to WVU tenure- and non-tenure track faculty members on the Morgantown, Beckley, and Keyser campuses regardless of rank, including Teaching, Research, Extension and Clinical Professors.

Program Description

●      Program Activities:

○      Upon acceptance into the program, BFFs discuss with the Bridge team their proposal for a new or existing research with the potential to impact each year’s thematic focus.

○      BFFs will then participate in a summer educational program that will teach them the fundamentals of science & technology policy analysis.  During the academic year, they will meet every other week as they develop the content for their written

○      product (typically a 1 two-sided page policy brief) that will serve the core for their engagement with policymakers.

○      BFFs will then develop a dissemination plan for that engagement.

○      Private coaching is available on request.

●      Schedule: The 2023-2024 cohort of Bridge Fellows should be prepared to start working with the group beginning in June 2023.  The date for the initial orientation will be determined based on the schedule of the selected BFFs. While the initial orientation may be in person or virtual, the remaining sessions will all be virtual

●      Support: Each Fellow will receive support to connect their research to the science and technology policy sphere. This support includes:

○      a $5000 grant that can be used for expenses that will allow them to participate in the program, including summer salary, student stipends, research and conference travel, and the like

○      workshops and other activities to help them gain a deeper understanding of the S&T policy arena

○      collaboration with Bridge team members in translating the results of their research and innovation into potential policy options

○      experience in communicating with policymakers

○      opportunities for their student(s) to work with the Bridge team on policy aspects relating to their research

●      Commitment: This program is intended for faculty who want to learn how to connect their research expertise with the policy arena. To accomplish this:

○      The Fellows will participate in 2 – 3 workshops in the first part of June 2023, to learn the basics of policy analysis and engagement.

○      Starting in June 2023, the Fellows will meet as a group with the Bridge leadership to discuss and refine their ideas and report progress. The meetings will typically be held every two weeks and will continue through the academic year.

○      The full cohort will meet every two weeks to share ideas, engage in additional learning activities, and

○      The fellows will also give input to the Bridge Initiative Director for bringing research across campus to bear on S&T policy.

○      These meetings may be held virtually or in person.

●      Student Participation: Faculty are encouraged to include their students in this program; however, students cannot substitute for faculty at the regular meetings of the BFFs.  Personal attendance by the faculty fellows is required.

●      Timeframe: Each Fellow will serve for one year, starting in June 2023.

Application Process

Interested faculty should submit the following to by 11:59 pm on Thursday, May 4, 2023:

●      A statement of interest in participating in the Bridge Faculty Fellows Program, with the following information (total of 2 pages maximum):

○      What do you work on in your research?

○      In what general policy areas of health, broadly defined above, do you think your research could make an impact?

○      Describe some initial ideas that could link your research to S&T policy in these areas, and that you would consider developing during this program.

○      Would you like to involve any students working in your research area in this program? If so, briefly describe.

○      Tell us about any experience you may have in science and technology policy (note that prior experience is not necessary).

●      A notional budget (less than half a page) describing ideas for how to use the $5000 grant.

●      A current curriculum vitae or resume.

Combine these application documents into a single PDF file and email them to by 11:59 pm on Thursday, May 4, 2023.

Selection Process

The applications will be reviewed by a selection committee consisting of the Bridge team leadership and Advisory Board

Selection Criteria

  • Application’s alignment with the spirit and goals of the Bridge Initiative, including faculty research activity and the potential for impacting S&T policy in the focus areas of sustainability or health science. Opportunities for student participation area welcome, but not required.
  • Faculty member’s interest in and commitment to the program goals.
  • Faculty member’s ability to work with the cohort, including participating in workshops. 

Applicants will be notified of their status by Friday, May 12, 2023.

Any questions?

Please contact Moriah Taft at