The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Manning/IALS Innovation Grants



2022 Manning/IALS Innovation Grants

Full Applications due June 30.


Call for Full Applications

The UMass 2022 Manning/IALS Seed Grants. These grants are part of the Manning/IALS Innovation Program, which is  designed to help advance UMass Amherst translational and applied R&D through the development of startup companies or the out-licensing of UMass IP.

Resources for Proposal Development

We’re here to help you with your proposal!  Here are the training and resources that we are offering to help support project teams this cycle.



Invited Applications must be submitted by Thursday, June 30, 2022. Submissions 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. This is further defined as:

  • Identification of and commitment to achieving translational milestones
  • A realistic plan to advance the research/technology towards establishment/development of a spinout/startup that can attract follow-on funding/resourcing from investors/agencies and/or significant sales 
  • The proposal should address the key elements of a commercialization plan including:
  • Describing product candidates
  • The unmet need
  • A differentiation plan
  • An intellectual property plan
  • Progress towards forming a spinout/startup team, including external advisers and potential spinout/startup co-founders/founders
  • Resource needs to support development into a self-sufficient enterprise.

Application Structure and Format

Each application contains the following (7 pages MAX, not counting budget/and appendixes):

  • Executive summary: project title, team members, and abstract. For startup companies this will also include the key elements of a commercialization plan by briefly describing product candidates, the unmet need met, a differentiation plan, an IP plan, progress towards assembling a startup/spinout team, and resource needs to support development into a self-sufficient enterprise (1-page max).
  • Statement of Work: High-level objectives; Project Plan including timeline, interim milestones/deliverables and final milestones/deliverables (up to 3 pages)
  • Progress to Date/Preliminary Data: (up to 2 pages, inclusive of any figures)
  • Intellectual Property Status/Strategy: (up to 1 page)
  • Budget: must contain the major budget categories, named personnel or timeline for hiring if these are TBD, and a brief justification for each category (up to 1 page)
  • Appendix A - Other Support: List other funding by source, grant number, amount start/stop dates, and a summary sentence on specific aims (up to 2 pages, up to date NIH or NSF current and pending forms are acceptable)
  • Appendix B - Biosketches: Provide bios for Faculty PI, Research Team Members, Advisors, and/or other/potential startup co-founds (up to 2 pages for each team member, up to date NIH or NSF current and pending forms are acceptable)
  • Appendix C - Bibliography: (up to 2 pages)
  • Appendix D - Intellectual Property: List all relevant invention disclosures, provisional patents, patents pending, patents grants and the technology licensing officer at the UMass Amherst TTO with whom you work.
  • Appendix E - Up to 3 letters of support (optional): (1 page each)
  • Appendix F - Pitch Deck: (Up to 12 slides) Provide a non-confidential pitch deck, containing some or all of the following topics: 
  1. Problem: The unmet market need you plan to address first
  2. Solution: Product concept to be based on your technology and value proposition to customers/users
  3. Technology (foundation for the product(s) you propose to build) 
  4. Evidence that your product will work 
  5. Why is your solution better than those that currently exist? (differentiation)
  6. Evidence that customers will buy 
  7. Intellectual property plan (IP you have now and additional IP you intend to create)  
  8. Progress to date (with respect to business as well as R&D)
  9. Team (founders, their expertise and roles) 
  10. Startup and/or licensing plan
  11. How you anticipate that investors or licensing partners will achieve a return? 
  12. Beyond Manning IALS funding, what future resources will be needed to advance toward commercialization?

Confidentiality: In anticipation of external reviewers, do not include any confidential information in the proposal. If you believe inclusion of confidential information is critical to your application, email to discuss.

Budget Guidelines: Manning/IALS Innovation Grants are catalytic funds, designed to help de-risk early stage UMass-based technologies and commercialization efforts over 12 months. Project budgets will be reviewed for budget appropriateness, alignment and fit with the overall mission of the Manning/IALS Innovation Program, and compliance with the spending guidelines of UMass Amherst and the Manning/IALS program.  If awarded, the proper fiscal management of the Manning/IALS grant is the responsibility of the Lead PI.

Up to $100,000 direct costs may be requested. There is no indirect cost associated with the award. Allowable expenses include:

  • Research staff scientist, postdoctoral fellow, or graduate student support.  Graduate student support should not include tuition costs.
  • Research faculty salary to cover percent effort towards startup/commercialization efforts (in lieu of graduate student or postdoc salary)
  • Laboratory supplies and consumable materials
  • UMA Core facilities usage and Collaboratory space rental
  • Grant writer/consultant support (e.g., SBIR/STTRs)
  •  Graphic design, web development, and marketing communications
  • Other expenses will be considered on as case by case basis

Funding for faculty salary (with the exception of research faculty salary) and capital equipment are not allowable expenses.

Formatting: Proposals must be submitted as a single File formatted to print on letter (8 ½” X 11”) paper with >0.5” margins in Calibri or Arial 11 or 12 point font, single spaces, with a blank line between each paragraph and left alignment.

Proposals should be submitted electronically as a PDF using a file naming convention of PI LastName_FirstName_YYYY_MM (i.e. Smith_Mary_2022_06).

After review of the Letters of Intent, link to submit full applications will be provided to invited projects.

Selection Criteria: 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 on six major criteria:

  • Soundness & Technical Merit
  • Project Milestones & Timeline
  • Translational & Commercial Potential
  • IP Strategy
  • Commercialization Plan
  • PI & Research Team Strength & Commitment
  • Budget Appropriateness per Guidelines

How to Submit your Full Proposal on Kuali Build

When you are invited to submit a full proposal, you will receive two (2) auto-generated responses from Kuali Build to your Letter of Intent submission:

  1. A notification email which contains the Manning/IALS team’s feedback for your LOI, as well as, information on how to sign up for office hours.
    1. Some teams will be required to sign up for office hours so that we can discuss our feedback with you directly. Instructions and availability for signing up for office hours are listed above.
  2. An email with the subject heading “Your APPROVAL is required: Manning/IALS Innovation Program: Seed Grant Application – Submit Full Application”. 
    1. Click the button for “Begin Review”. This will take you to the application form where your full application PDF can be uploaded for submission.
    2. You can also access your application by using this link:
    3. Please follow the proposal guidelines on our website:
    4. Deadline to submit full applications is by June 30 @ 9:00 a.m.

Post-Award Requirements

  • Submission of all post-award reporting will be managed using the Manning/IALS Kuali Build form. 
  • Funded Projects for this year’s cycle are expected to begin in October 2022. Funds will be made available to awarded project PIs, with the expectation that funds will be expended by October 2023.
  • Progress Updates. Funded projects are expected to submit 2 brief and 2 detailed update reports scheduled on a quarterly basis.  Brief updates will consist of a budget update, and a brief survey related to progress made for your projects.  Full reports are written reports, with detailed progress updates towards the project’s translational milestones.
    • 3-month brief check-in
    • 6-month full progress report
    • 9-month brief check-in
    • Final progress report
  • No-cost Extension.  Projects may apply for one no-cost extension of up to six months beyond the initial 12-month project period.  Written requests with justifications (template will be provided) must be submitted by no later than August 31, 2023.

Grant Terms & Conditions:  We recommend that all PIs applying for the Manning/IALS Innovations Grants review the full terms and conditions.

Invited Full Applications are due Thursday, June 30 at 9 a.m.


Significant funding for this opportunity comes from a gift by the Manning Family Foundation and from the Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS) Seed Fund Program. Recipients of Manning funds will be designated Manning/IALS Innovation Fellows.

Administration of the Manning/IALS Innovation Awards is managed through IALS with oversight from the IALS Executive Committee - Deans of College of Natural Sciences, College of Engineering, School of Public Health & Health Sciences, Elaine Marieb College of Nursing, Manning College of Information & Computer Sciences, the Vice Chancellor of Research and Engagement, and the Provost.  Contact us at