Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease

About the Award

The Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease (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. 


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 is a highly competitive award program that provides $500,000 over a period of five years to support accomplished 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, stimulating higher risk research projects that hold potential for significantly advancing understanding of how infectious diseases work and how health is maintained.

Application Process

The competition will employ a two-stage process. Preproposals will be reviewed and full proposal invitations will be sent by September 14, 2015.

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 form.

It is strongly recommended that potential applicants review the Request for Proposals prior to accessing the eligibility questionnaire.


For a full explanation of the eligibility requirements, view the Request for Proposals here.


View the Frequently Asked Questions page.

If your question is not answered after reviewing the FAQs, email with "2016 PATH" as the subject line.


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.

As a supplement to direct conversations with the program officer, BWF staff will hold three conference calls between June and July 2015 for applicants relatively new to preparing faculty-level grants and for interested administrators.  These calls will both disseminate general information and reinforce the message that calling program staff individually with questions is a good thing to do.

The conference call time and dates are:

  • Dates:  June 10, June 24, and July 1
  • Time: 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time
  • Dial in number for all calls:  1-800-311-9406
  • Passcode for all calls: BWF