Spark Grants

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


The WiSys Spark Grant Program has been designed to help innovators advance their knowledge and technology to commercialization. The grant provides awards of $500 - $10,000/project to faculty or academic staff, towards implementation and completion of short-term projects.

WiSys Spark Grants are intended to support early-stage research projects and scholarly activities. Proposed projects must be designed to help demonstrate the impact potential of a new concept, technology, or scholarly work. Projects must demonstrate a need for additional development support that would be required for an innovation to achieve real-world impact. Preference will be given to projects where applicants have demonstrated some progress beyond the initial discovery, idea, or concept.

Program Details

  • Eligible projects will be funded for $500 - $10,000/project proposal. Limit of one award per investigator per academic year. There is no limit to the number of awards that can be granted to a single campus.
  • Principal investigators (PI) must have a current position with a UW regional campus as faculty or staff. While students cannot be PIs, student-led projects can be funded through this grant, but a faculty mentor must be willing to assume the roles and responsibilities of the PI.
  • Funds can be used for supplies and expenses (S&E) as well as salary for undergraduate student workers; salary for faculty should not represent more than 50% of the requested budget. Fringe benefits will be included from the GPR fringe benefit pool at the time of award and should not be included in the budget. Indirect costs are not allowed under this funding opportunity. Applicants are encouraged to minimize faculty salaries and maximize the amount of funding available for project implementation. Applicants should direct the majority of the budget to student stipends and S&E. Funding for travel to scientific conferences is limited to 10% of the budget. Publications costs are not allowed.
  • Applicants must follow each campus’ internal grant submission and approval process and use the WiSys Spark Grant application through Submittable (link provided below) for their project proposal. The project narrative should not exceed three pages in length.
  • To be eligible for a WiSys Spark Grant, applicants must submit an Invention Disclosure Report (IDR) and agree to assign their intellectual property (IP) rights to WiSys if funded. All applications must be accompanied by an Invention Disclosure Report, 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 IP potential, development timeline, market need, potential for impact, suitability of the PI/team, and evidence of project feasibility.
  • Any significant modifications to the project scope and deliverables must receive prior approval from WiSys before changes are implemented.
  • Projects receiving awards during the fall semester must be completed by May 31, 2024. Projects receiving awards during the spring semester must be completed by August 31, 2024. Final reports must be submitted within 4 weeks after the project completion deadline.
  • No-cost extensions for projects will only be granted under extenuating circumstances, and such requests must be submitted through WiSys’ online form at least 6 weeks prior to project end date.

Interested in submitting?

Submission deadlines:

Both the fall and spring deadlines have closed for this year. Thank you for your submissions.

Work with your campus grants contact to finalize and submit your Spark Grant proposal. Applicants are required to submit their application materials and corresponding Invention Disclosure Form at the following link: All forms required for submission are available for download here as well as within the Submittable platform.

For questions about the WiSys Spark Grant Program or the submission platform, please email [email protected].