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SPARK Submission Guidelines

Letter of Intent (LOI) Instructions

  • Your LOI must be no longer than two pages  (12-pt font and 1” margins). Please include the following information:
    • Project overview
      • 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
      • 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?)
      • 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.)
      • 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)

LOIs should be uploaded as a single PDF to the Quest Portal by the LOI due date.



Full Proposal Submission Instructions

Elements to include in the full application are as follows:

  1. A one-paragraph abstract (type or copy/paste into a form on Quest.
  2. Project plan document (five page maximum, 12-pt font and 1” margins), including
    1. Description of the innovation: Describe in more detail the product or technology idea.
    2. 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.
    3. Preliminary evidence: Summarize any preliminary data available.
    4. Proposed experiments with project milestones: Outline the proposed experimental approaches with milestones and timelines.
    5. 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)?
    6. 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.
  3. Biosketches/CVs: Please include brief biosketches/CVs (formatted as appropriate for your field) for all PIs/Co-PIs.  Include your most recent publications or those most relevant to the work proposed.  Also include current/pending support from external sponsors and UConn sources (including start-up funding). This may be appended to the end of the CV/biosketch or integrated within it, if your discipline’s format already provides space for current/pending.  Biosketches/CVs may be uploaded as one PDF or as separate PDF documents.
  4. Budget: Provide a preliminary budget estimate and proposed use of funds using the Internal Funding 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. The budget spreadsheet should be converted to PDF format prior to upload.

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 their proposal documents the Quest Portal by the full application due date

SPARK Full Proposal Budget Guidelines

  • Budgets submitted as part of a Full Proposal must use the Internal Funding 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.