Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease

Please note:  We are aware that the contents of the pre-proposal application state a July 29 deadline, however, July 31 is the deadline.

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.

From this year forward, microbiome-related proposals must be infectious disease focused to compete well in this program.

PATH is a highly competitive award program that provides $500,000 over a period of five years. 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, 2020. 

All applicants will be required to complete a web-based questionnaire assessing their eligibility to apply for this program.  If eligibility are met, applicants will automatically directed to the web-based pre-proposal application.

It is strongly recommended that potential applicants review the Request for Pre-proposal document before accessing the eligibility questionnaire.


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

Dial-in number for all calls:  1-800-247-5110 or 1-334-260-0508
Passcode for all calls:  BWF

  • July 20 at 5:30 p.m. (eastern)

View the Frequently Asked Questions page.

If your question is not answered after reviewing the FAQs, email with "2021 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 senior program officer, Victoria McGovern, Ph.D., can be reached at or 919-991-5112.