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) plays a key role in the grant selection process. SAB members, who represent diverse perspectives from the student community, review and make finalist recommendations on 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:
Grantees commit to:
Grantees receive monetary stipends at the start of the grant cycle, as requested in their grant proposals. You can request subsequent funding later in the grant cycle, if your initial stipend is lower than the funding limit ($2000 for Ignite projects and $500 for Spark projects). Stipends are disbursed in the form of department awards from the UC Berkeley Financial Aid & Scholarships Office. Please inquire if you have questions about how receiving a grant would affect your financial aid package or taxes.
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 from staff and sponsored Maker Passes.
Winners of Ignite grants will also receive support to develop audio/visual documentation of their work.
Applicant eligibility: Applicants can apply as individuals or in teams of up to five members. Everyone on the applicant team must be an active UC Berkeley student and present on campus during the grant cycle. Both undergraduate and graduate students, from all departments and programs, are eligible.
Project eligibility: All projects must make use of the Maker Pass program. Beyond that, we welcome a wide range of projects at the intersection of design and technology innovation, reflecting the diversity of talents and interests in the Jacobs community.
Selection criteria: The Jacobs Student Advisory Board and leadership will look for applicants and projects that align with the Jacobs mission and values; make meaningful use of Maker Pass resources; balance innovation and ambition with feasibility; and have potential for high impact on an identified design/technological challenge.
Important dates and events for the fall 2018 grant cycle are as follow:
The application for the fall 2018 cohort is now closed; sign up to receive an alert when the spring 2019 application opens in October. The application form requests basic information about your project and then ask you to upload a detailed proposal. Proposals must follow the formatting and content guidelines below:
Read about the fall 2018 cohort here. To receive announcements about the Innovation Catalysts program, including information about applications for the next cohort, sign up to receive alerts. Contact Amy Dinh, student services & programs manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions.