Professional Services for Inventors

Overview and Program Goals

Lemelson Foundation logo

Funded by a pilot grant from the Lemelson Foundation, the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation is launching a Professional Services for Inventors grant program. This grant mechanism provides support to inventors for the types of professional services needed to successfully launch a new invention-based company, including grant writers for SBIR submission, web development, pitch coaching, legal counsel, accounting advice, or business intelligence research.

Download Request For Proposals
AY 2021-22 Deadlines:
  • Application deadline: Beginning January 10, 2022 - Rolling
    • Applications will be accepted until funds are fully committed. Applications will be reviewed on the 1st and 15th of each month.  Expedited application review may be requested.
  • Required Completion Date: December 15, 2022 (all funds must be spent by this date)

Eligibility

  • UO tenure-track faculty : All tenure-track faculty members are eligible to apply. 
  • UO non-tenure track faculty: Non-tenure-track faculty who hold a full-time appointment (.75+ FTE) that includes substantial research responsibilities, have been employed by the university for at least three years at the time of application, and will hold a UO appointment during the academic year of the research award may also apply.
  • All UO applicants must have an innovation disclosure submitted to IPS prior to application. 
  • Applicants external to UO are eligible to apply if they meet the following criteria:
    • Have launched a research-oriented start-up in the greater Eugene area.
    • Preference will be given to participants/graduates of the Women’s Innovation Network (WIN), or current/prior participants of  ID8 and EUG LaunchPad.
NOTE: In order to support economic development that is more fully equitable, the Professional Services for Inventors grant seeks applications from individuals that come from populations that are historically underrepresented in invention-based entrepreneurship. We will prioritize applications from UO faculty who launched spin-out companies from their UO-based innovations, participants/graduates of the Women’s Innovation Network (WIN), or current/prior participants of ID8 and EUG LaunchPad. Ideal applicants will contribute matching funds from their research funds to support to the proposed activities. Applicants and award recipients may apply to this program more than once.

Budget and Use of Funds

Amount:  Grants up to $5,000

Length of project: Funds must be used between January 15-December 15, 2022

Allowable costs:

  • Funds may be used to pay service providers who specialize in grant writing for SBIR submission, web development, pitch coaching, legal counsel, accounting advice, or business intelligence research.

Ineligible costs:

  • Replacing or funding tenure-line faculty salary during the academic year
  • Instructional release/course buyouts
  • Construction or facility renovation
  • Curriculum development or career development
  • Dissertation research costs

Application Components

  1. Application Form: Basic Information: Please complete the form’s text boxes. (Note: the form cannot be saved part way through).
  2. Proposal Documents: (single-spaced text, Times New Roman font in 11 point or larger, and 1” margins).
        1. Project Narrative: Up to 3 pages (we anticipate most applications will be ~1.5 pages); please use the template provided in the RFP.
        2. CV/Resume for applicant. If applicant is not the lead executive for the start-up business, please also provide the CV of the company CEO.
  3. Optional demographic survey: The OVPRI is committed to creating an environment that fosters sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and racial and ethnic backgrounds present in our community. The application form includes a section to disclose demographic information aimed at assessing the success of our activities towards this goal. Response to these questions is entirely optional and is not considered in award decisions. This information will not be seen by the review committee, but used by OVPRI leadership to ensure our internal granting programs are inclusive and equitable and serve diverse populations at UO. Each PI who feels comfortable doing so, should fill out the survey form.
Submission Instructions
  1. Complete all components of the application and combine them into a single PDF in the order listed above, with each component on its own page. Save with the naming convention [Contact PI Last Name]_FY 22 Inventor application.
  2. Fill out the basic information on the online application form.
  3. Upload the complete PDF.
  4. Submit form.
  5. Complete the demographic survey (optional).

Review Process and Criteria

Research Development Services will conduct an initial review to ensure that proposals are in compliance with all guidelines. Proposals deemed non-compliant will not be reviewed further. The Mentor Network Catalyst (Dana Siebert-University of Oregon), Senior Director of Industry Partnerships, Associate Vice President for Innovation, and the Director of Strategic Research Initiatives will review proposals for funding and make recommendations to Cassandra Moseley, Vice President for Research and Innovation (interim), who makes the final funding decisions.  

Proposals will be reviewed based on:

  1. Feasibility of the design and mission of the start-up company
  2. Suitability of project team, and contracted services, to conduct the proposed work
  3. Well-identified and appropriate timeline and objectives
  4. Justification of the need for professional services to order to achieve company objectives
  5. Likelihood of professional services to significantly advance company goals in measurable ways

Reporting

A final report is required and due to Research Development Services no later than one month (30 days) after the conclusion of the applicant’s project period. RDS will supply awardees a link to the final report form in the last quarter of their project.

Successful applicants agree to provide any long-term follow-up success story (i.e, SBIR grant is awarded, VC funding received as a result of pitch coaching or business intelligence, etc.) and other annual information as requested by Onward Eugene for aggregation (under confidentiality) as part of efforts to document economic development in Oregon.


Questions about the program, application, or submission process may be directed to Research Development Services, rds@uoregon.edu.