SPROUT Program

Applications Open to I-Corps

Submit by October 10

Applications are open for the Brandeis Innovation I-Corps program. This National Science Foundation-funded program prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the university laboratory, and accelerates the economic and societal benefits of NSF-funded, basic-research projects that are ready to move toward commercialization. Teams that successfully complete our I-Corps program are automatically entered into the Spring SPROUT program at a higher level. Applications are due October 10. Apply here.

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), is designed to encourage and support entrepreneurial activity within the Brandeis community for students (graduate and undergraduate), postdocs, faculty and staff in the Division of Science.  The awards are intended to help bring your research and entrepreneurial ambitions to life. 

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 2017 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

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.

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