Every semester, students bring a wide range of innovative projects to life at Jacobs Hall and throughout Berkeley’s vibrant design ecosystem. The Jacobs Institute Innovation Catalysts, made possible by the Eustace-Kwan Family Foundation, is a new student grant program that provides an avenue for these ambitious student innovators to unlock further potential in their projects.
Berkeley students are invited to propose projects that they aim to develop over the course of a semester. Selected grantees will work on their projects with the support of resources from the Jacobs Institute and CITRIS Invention Lab, and as part of a cohort of fellow student innovators.
Reflecting a focus on shared investment within the institute’s student design community, the Jacobs Institute Student Advisory Board (SAB) will play a key role in the grant selection process. SAB members, who represent diverse perspectives from the student community, will review and make recommendations on all grant submissions.
The Innovation Catalysts are awarded on a biannual basis, in January and September; several grants will be awarded during each grant cycle.
Two types of grants are offered in the Innovation Catalysts program:
The grantees in each grant cycle will form a cohort, with members serving as peers and resources for each other. In addition to the grant stipends, grantees will receive support from the Maker Pass ecosystem at Jacobs Hall and the CITRIS Invention Lab, including advising and mentorship from staff and access to fabrication equipment in both spaces (all UC Berkeley affiliate grantees receive complimentary Maker Passes during the grant cycle). Winners of Ignite grants will also receive support to develop audio/visual documentation of their work.
Grantees commit to:
Applicant eligibility: Applicants can apply as individuals or in teams of up to five members. A majority of the applicant team must be comprised of UC Berkeley students during the grant cycle. Both undergraduate and graduate students, from all departments and programs, are eligible.
Project selection criteria: The Innovation Catalysts will support a wide range of projects, reflecting the diversity of talents and interests in the Jacobs student community. That being said, the Jacobs Student Advisory Board and leadership team will especially look for projects that have the potential for high impact, align with the Jacobs mission and values, could benefit from the resources at Jacobs Hall and the CITRIS Invention Lab, and have well-written proposals.
Important dates and events for the inaugural spring 2018 grant cycle are as follow:
Submit your project proposal via this link by the application deadline of December 20, 2017. The form will request basic information about your project and then ask you to upload a detailed proposal. You can modify your application until the application deadline.
The proposal should follow the general formatting and content guidelines below:
Information sessions for the Innovation Catalysts program, which will address the program structure and provide advice on writing proposals, will be held on: