Manning/IALS Innovation Awards (LOI-June 3, 2019)

Info Session
Letter of Intent


Call for Applications

UMass Applied Proof-of-Concept (POC) Seed Fund Program

 Open to ALL IALS Faculty and ALL UMass Amherst associated Startup/Pre-Startup Ventures


UMass Amherst invites applications for the UMass Amherst ‘Proof-of-Concept’ (POC) Seed Fund Program. These awards are to advance translational and applied R&D efforts from faculty groups, pre-startup companies, and individuals affiliated with UMass Amherst through the development of (1) spin-out/startup companies or (2) significant extramural translational research funding.

The objective is to support ongoing development of discoveries, new knowledge, and inventions originating from UMass Amherst research successes towards translational research funding and product candidate status. Manning/IALS Innovation Award applications are open to researchers and entrepreneurs from the UMass Amherst community.

Download the Call for Applications for complete details.

Important Dates

May 17, 2019 at 9 am, May 21, 2019 at 11 am and May 28, 2019 at 3 pm:  Attend a required Information Session in LSL S330. This is a prerequisite for submitting a one-page Letters of Intent. Register here.
June 3, 2019 - Deadline to submit one-page Letters of Intent. Download the template.
June 10, 2019 - Applicants will be notified if invited to submit a full application for review
July 10, 2019 - Completed applications must be submitted, details can be found in the Call for Applications.
August 2019 - Award decisions will be made, with funding starting as early as needed following awards decisions.  

Key Points

Eligibility: Applicants must be permanent full-time UMass Amherst faculty, or Co-Founders/Leadership Team Members of a Start-up company with sponsorship of such a faculty member.

Funding: Up to $100,000 of direct funding based on milestones. Grant duration is for 12 months.

Purpose: To advance translational and applied R&D efforts from faculty groups, pre-startup/startup venture teams, and individual PI’s, consistent with the campus strategic plan.  

Selection Criteria: Full applications will be reviewed for the potential to advance a research idea/project or startup/pre-startup venture from basic research toward application to real-world problems. Details can be found in the Call for Applications.

About the Awards: POC seed funding will support “high-potential” and “applied” projects to increase the number and quality of campus translational projects ready to receive follow-on federal, state, and private funding (Angel Investors, Venture Capital etc). The awards are intended to allow the hiring of a research staff scientist, postdoctoral fellow, or graduate student, and associated lab expenses for approximately one year.  All awards are milestone-driven.  Applicants reaching agreed-to milestones are eligible to apply for a second year of funding, and in exceptional circumstances a third year of funding.  In addition, POC seed fund award teams will receive training and mentorship, on a range of topics designed to help them reach their milestones.

Post-Award Requirements:

  • Progress Reports: Manning/IALS awardees will be expected to submit progress reports highlighting successes, issues, and progress towards interim milestones. These reports will be in the form of short (10 min) presentations to members of the internal/external grant review board.
  • Training: Teams receiving funding for their startup or pre-startup ventures will be required to attend several 1-hour workshops focused on building knowledge of and capacity for the business aspects of research-driven new ventures.

Letters of Intent

Letters of Intent must be submitted by June 3, 2019. They will be reviewed for the potential to advance a research idea/project or a startup/pre-startup from basic research toward application to real-world problems, significant extramural funding, and/or follow-on investments. Letters will be used as the basis for inviting full applications. Letters should be no more than one page and describe:

  • The current team
  • Unmet needs to be addressed and project objectives
  • Technical approach and milestones supporting project objectives
  • Preliminary data/results/IP strategy, if any
  • Plans for extramural funding or follow-on investments

Download the Letter of Intent template.

Submit Letters of Intent (use form below) between May 17 and June 3 (after you have attended an info session - Register here).

Manning IALS-Letter of Intent Submission Form

Files must be less than 2 MB.
Allowed file types: pdf doc docx.


This is a new program. We expect there will be questions. Please contact with questions.