Spark Grants

The WiSys Spark Grant Program advances small-scale, proof-of-concept research projects


The WiSys Spark Grant Program is designed to help faculty advance their knowledge and technology to commercialization. The fund provides awards of $500-$10,000 per project to faculty, academic staff, or students towards implementation and completion of short-term projects.

WiSys Spark Grants are intended to support research projects where preliminary findings exist, and is designed to demonstrate the commercial potential of a new concept, technology or invention and to highlight the need for and type of additional development support that would be required to take the technology closer to the marketplace.

Preference will be given to projects where applications have demonstrated some progress beyond the initial discovery, idea or concept (See the scoring rubric).

For more information about the WiSys Spark Grant Program, email [email protected].

Program Details

  • Eligible projects will be funded for $500 to $10,000 per project proposal. The maximum award per project is $10,000. Limit of one award per investigator per call. Funding levels available vary campus to campus.

  • Funds can be used for supplies and expenses as well as salary for undergraduate student workers (excluding fringe benefits); salary for faculty will be considered but should not represent more than 50% of the requested budget. Salary for student workers is not allowed for student projects. Funding for travel to scientific conferences and publications costs is not allowed. 
  • Applicants must follow each campus’ internal grant submission and approval process and use the WiSys Spark Grant application form provided below for their project proposal. Project proposals should not exceed three pages in length. 
  • To be eligible for a WiSys Spark Grant, applicants must submit a new invention disclosure describing their technology and agree to assign their intellectual property rights to WiSys if funded. All applications must be accompanied by an Invention Disclosure Form, Cover Page signed by your institution’s authorized signatory, Project Narrative Form and Budget Page; All forms are available here
  • Proposals will be scored based upon intellectual property (IP) potential (based on an initial IP assessment of the proposed invention described in the corresponding Invention Disclosure), development timeline, unmet need/target market, suitability of the PI/team, evidence of project feasibility and/or preliminary data and value for money.
  • A final report must be submitted not later than six weeks after the completion date of the project. A WiSys team member will be in touch regarding reporting requirements. If a final report is not submitted, this may prevent the applicant's eligibility for other funding programs offered by WiSys and/or their home campus. 

Interested in submitting?

Work with your campus contact

  • UW-Eau Claire
    Deadline: Jan. 22, 2021
    Awards Announced: Feb. 5, 2021
    Start Date: Feb. 15, 2021
    End Date: Aug. 31, 2021
    Contact: Catherine Chan
  • UW-Green Bay
    Deadline: Dec. 14, 2020
    Awards Announced: Dec. 31, 2020  
    Start Date: Jan. 1, 2021
    End Date: Aug. 31, 2021
    Campus Contact: Roger Wareham
  • UW-La Crosse
    Deadline: Feb. 1, 2021
    Awards Announced: Feb. 15, 2021
    Start Date: April 1, 2021
    End Date: Aug. 31, 2021
    Contact: Melissa Nielsen
  • UW Oshkosh
    Deadline: March 1, 2021
    Awards Announced: March 19, 2021
    Start Date: May 1, 2021
    End Date: Aug, 31, 2021
    Contact: Leah Mann
  • UW-Parkside
    Deadline: Nov. 30, 2020
    Awards Announced: TBA
    Start Date: Dec. 1, 2020
    End Date: Aug. 31, 2021 
    Contact: Tina Radley
  • UW-Platteville
    Deadline: Feb. 24, 2021
    Awards Announced: March 12, 2021
    Start Date: April 1, 2021
    End Date: Aug. 31, 2021
    Contact: Will Hoyer
  • UW-River Falls
    Deadline: Jan. 11, 2021
    Awards Announced: Jan. 25, 2021
    Start Date: Feb. 1, 2021
    End Date: Aug. 31, 2021
    Contact: Molly Van Wagner
  • UW-Stevens Point
    Deadline: Nov. 6, 2020
    Awards Announced: Dec. 4, 2020
    Start Date: Jan. 4, 2021
    End Date: Aug. 31, 2021
    Contact: Katie Jore
  • UW-Stout
    Deadline: Feb. 15, 2021
    Awards Announced: TBA
    Start Date: TBA
    End Date: TBA
    Contact: Seth Langreck
  • UW-Superior
    Deadline: Jan. 15, 2021
    Awards Announced: Jan. 29, 2021  
    Start Date: Feb. 8, 2021
    End Date: Aug. 31, 2021
    Contact: Julie O’Leary
  • UW-Whitewater
    Deadline: Feb. 12, 2021
    Awards Announced: March 5, 2021
    Start Date: April 1, 2021
    End Date: Aug. 31, 2021
    Contact: Carl Fox

Submit to WiSys

WiSys has partnered with Submittable, an online grants management platform, for the submission of WiSys Spark Grant applications.

Applicants are asked to submit their application materials and corresponding Invention Disclosure Form at the following link:  All forms are available for download here as well as within the Submittable platform. 

For questions about this platform or the submission process, please contact [email protected]