What are Bridging Funds? 

The Graduate School provides supplemental funds to cover university health insurance costs for the recognition of outstanding students who successfully compete for selective national or international fellowships.

Who is eligible?

All criteria must be met to be eligible:

  • Student recipient applied directly for the award and is the named recipient of the award. Training grants and fellowships awarded to faculty PI are not eligible for Bridging Funds.
  • Award is from a selective competition that is external to the University of Minnesota
  • Award stipend is administered through the University of Minnesota and not paid directly to the student recipient.
  • Award tenure is for at least one academic year (9 months).
  • Combined value of award benefits (stipend, tuition, and/or health insurance only) is equal to at least U.S. $15,000. Fellowship benefits such as student fees, travel, research grants, or other benefits are not included in the qualifying minimum calculation

Students with 50% assistantships are not eligible since the assistantship already covers full health insurance.

Recipients of the following external fellowships are automatically provided tuition and health insurance benefits by the Graduate School Fellowship Office for the 2022-23 academic and calendar year: NSF GRFP, Ford Foundation, GEM, and Smithsonian Fellowships. There is no need to complete a request for recipients of these awards.

How Do I Apply?

  • DGS or designated program staff will complete a Bridging Funds Request. The request also requires an upload of the external award letter detailing the terms and conditions of the external award.
  • Maximum request amount: $6,900 (health insurance coverage for full calendar year)*
  • Funding is limited and awarded on a first come, first serve basis. Requests for full calendar year funding (fall 2022, spring 2023, and summer 2023) will be accepted July 15 - August 15, 2022. If funding remains then requests for spring 2023 and summer 2023 health insurance will be accepted November 15 - December 15, 2022.
  • Requests for reimbursement or backdating of health insurance coverage will not be accepted.

Further Information 

For questions about the application or conditions for receipt of bridging funds, please contact the Graduate School Fellowship Office

*estimated amount; official maximum request amount will be updated once 2022-23 GAHP rates are published.