SPROUT Updates

Deadlines and Dates:  

Preliminary Applications Due - Monday, March 7, 2016 by 5 PM EST

Final Applications Due - Thursday, April 21, 2016 by 5 PM EST

Presentation Slides Due - Monday, May 2, 2016 by 10:00 AM

Final Presentations - Tuesday, May 3, 2016, 3-6 PM


Previously Funded Projects

SPROUT Program

Welcome! Here you will find important details about the Brandeis SPROUT Program. This initiative, funded by the Provost’s Office and the Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) through its Brandeis University Virtual Incubator Program, is designed to encourage and support entrepreneurial activity within the Brandeis community for students (graduate and undergraduate), postdocs, faculty and staff.  The awards are intended to help bring your research and entrepreneurial ambitions to life. 

6th Annual SPROUT Program

Application Process

The SPROUT application process has three parts: 1) preliminary application, 2) full application and 3) final pitch.  After the preliminary applications are reviewed, selected participants are invited to continue the application process.  These applicants are coached and mentored (individually and in group sessions) throughout the entire process.  Final pitches are given to a panel of advisors including entrepreneurs, investors, and industry professionals. For an overview of the process click here.

The Preliminary Application deadline has passed.  Teams moving on to the final application round should be aware of the following training dates and deadlines:

April 19, 2016 - 4-6 PM: Pitch training with Stuart Paap, Part 2, Abelson 126

April 19, 2016 - 6:15 PM:  Follow up conference call with Stuart

April 21, 2016:  Final applications due at 5 PM EST

May 2, 2016:  Presentation slides due at 10:00 AM EST

May 3, 2016 - 3-6 PM:  Final presentations and judging; teams will be notified of their time slot several days prior to their presentation.  Board of Trustees Room, Bernstein-Marcus.

More about SPROUT

Who May Apply

Undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, faculty and staff from any Brandeis department or school are eligible to apply for the SPROUT Program. Please note that at least one team member must be a Brandeis affiliate.

Eligible Research 

The SPROUT Program at Brandeis will provide pilot funding for innovative scientific projects within the Division of Science that require bench research, lab space, and/or lab equipment. The projects should further have a positive impact. Applicants will be judged and awards of varying amounts will be presented to winning teams based on the specific needs of the respective projects. Some examples of SPROUT projects would be the development of an enzyme, a drug or compound, a new material, and alternative fuel sources.

Grant Amounts 

At least $100,000 in SPROUT funds will be distributed during the Spring 2016 Award Round.  The amount of funding will be commensurate with the scope of the project. Smaller budgets are encouraged.  The key is to match your budget request to the funding you need to get your idea off the ground.

Intellectual Property

Awards will be governed by the Brandeis University Intellectual Property Policy.  Please contact Melissa Blackman (otl@brandeis.edu) with specific questions.

Evaluation Criteria

SPROUT Program Final Proposals will be judged by a panel of independent, outside advisors. Applications will be judged using the following criteria:

  • Overall quality of proposed research plan
  • Potential commercial importance of the proposed project;
  • Competence, balance and completeness of entrepreneurial team;
  • Possibility of attracting future development funding to advance the proposed project;
  • Degree of innovation and novelty in the proposed project
  • Potential for commercially significant inventions, copyrights and patents;
  • Probability of achieving proposed goal with the award resources and in the time proposed. 

For more information about the past SPROUT Programs, click the links below:

2011 SPROUT Program Winners

2012 SPROUT Program Winners

2013 SPROUT Program Winners

2014 SPROUT Program Winners