• uconn
  • uconn health
Page content relevant to:

SPARK Submission Guidelines

Letter of Intent (LOI) Instructions

Your LOI must be no longer than two pages, including the required cover page. Please include the following information:

  • Page 1 – Cover page with basic project information:
    • Project title
    • PI information (title, department, contact information)
    • Estimated funds requested
    • Other team members (UConn and non-UConn and specific roles
    • Reviewers: Provide names and contact information for at least three reviewers external to UConn/UConn Health qualified to provide unbiased, expert review of your full proposal, if invited to submit (you do not need to contact these individuals in advance). You may also specify up to three individuals (potential competitors, etc.) you would like to exclude from the review process.
  • Page 2 – Project overview (single page, one-side)
    • A brief description of the innovation: 1) description of the innovation; 2) the problem/need it will address and how it will improve upon other solutions (currently available or in development); 3) Current solutions/products and their limitations
    • IP Summary: Please note any existing granted patents, patent applications, or invention disclosures related to this project. Please note any competing patents you are aware of as well.
    • Brief project objectives (specific aims, development goals, etc.)
    • Proposed commercial potential of the innovation (what is the proposed end commercial product, what are its specific applications in the market, what is the estimated market size?)
    • Impact Statement: How will this award advance the innovation to market? (Examples: support patent application, strengthen existing patent application, provide data requested by commercial partner, perform necessary preliminary work for later grant, SBIR/STTR, CBIF, etc. application.)

Suggested resources: Google Patent, BBC Market Reports (available through UConn Library)

Submission of LOI: Please send as single PDF to research@uconn.edu by 9/14/2018 at 9:00 AM (note updated date)


Full Proposal Instructions

Elements to include in the Phase One application are included below. Please note that elements two through seven cannot be more than five pages combined. Applications exceeding this limit will be returned.

  1. Cover Page: Title of the project, Principle Investigator with contact information, team members, and one-paragraph abstract
  2. Description of the innovation: Describe in more detail the product or technology idea.
  3. Background: Provide background on the problem or unmet need the innovation targets. Identify any currently available products/technologies, if applicable, and why they do not satisfy the problem or unmet need. Explain how the proposed innovation is different from or better than those that are already available.
  4. Preliminary evidence: Summarize any preliminary data available.
  5. Proposed experiments with project milestones: Outline the proposed experimental approaches with milestones and timelines.
  6. Commercial Potential: Describe the commercialization landscape of your innovation. What is the estimated market size for your innovation? Who are the current market leaders or competitors, if any? Do you envision licensing this technology to existing companies (if so, who might have interest?) or forming your own company around this technology? What are some challenges to overcome for future commercial success (i.e. funding, pricing, competition, regulatory process, insurance reimbursement)?
  7. Intellectual property (IP): Describe your IP position, realized or planned, and the competitive IP landscape. List you current patent applications or patents pending as well as any granted patents related to this project. For any non-public patent applications, list title only. For public patent applications or granted patents, please list application number or link to Google Patent entry. If you currently have no patent applications, please mention plans for future invention disclosures.
  8. Collaborators: Provide the names of other UConn and/or UConn Health investigators with whom you plan to collaborate, if any. Identify any industry partners you have already approached and their response to your outreach.
  9. Relevant publications: List up to six key publications written by you or others about the proposed product/technology.
  10. Budget: Provide a preliminary budget estimate and proposed use of funds using the SPARK Budget Template. To give reviewers a complete picture of project feasibility, we also ask that any other sources of funding that may be used to further the aims of your SPARK project be identified and the uses of these funds described.

Full Proposals will only be accepted from applicants who have submitted an LOI and received an invitation to proceed with a proposal. Invited applicants should send their proposals as a single PDF to research@uconn.edu by 11/2/2018 at 9 AM (note updated date)


SPARK Full Proposal Budget Guidelines

  • Budgets submitted as part of a Full Proposal must use the SPARK Budget Template
  • Allowable costs: graduate student stipends/summer support, postdoc salaries, Faculty summer fellowships (limited to $3000 per PI, $5000 per award; only available to faculty on less than 12-month appointments with room for summer support), other research assistant salaries, associated fringe costs, instrument use fees, materials and supplies, contractual services (external consultants or fee-for-service providers). Other commercialization-related costs not specified here or in the not-allowed list below should be listed in the budget and justified.
  • Not-allowable costs: faculty salary, large equipment acquisition costs, travel for the purpose of presenting research results, costs related to basic research aims, graduate tuition, any overhead or F&A.
  • Any changes to the budget of an awarded project must be approved in advance by the program director. Requests for rebudgeting can be made to research@uconn.edu.
  • Note: All contractual services and materials and supplies must be procured following University purchasing policies.