Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is the Bakar Fellows Program?

What are the benefits for faculty participating in the Bakar Fellows Program?

What are the expectations of the Bakar Fellows?

Who is eligible to apply?

When is the application deadline?

How do faculty apply for the Bakar Fellows Program?

How are the Bakar Fellows selected?

When does support start? And how can it be used?

Which campus unit administers the Bakar Fellows Program? 

Who are the members of the Bakar Fellows Advisory Board?
 

 


What is the Bakar Fellows Program?

The Bakar Fellows Program enhances UC Berkeley’s impact on the California economy by catalyzing the translation of basic scientific discoveries and engineering innovation to practical benefit. More specifically, the Bakar Fellows Program supports early-stage and commercially promising research by UC Berkeley faculty and their research groups. The Bakar Fellows Program comprises a strong network that assists researchers in introducing their discoveries and innovations to the market. Cal ranks as the top university for serial founders, second for VC-backed start-ups and second for women-led, VC-backed start-ups (Pitchbook), and is one of America’s most entrepreneurial universities (Forbes).

 

What are the benefits for faculty participating in the Bakar Fellows Program?

Through a competitive application process, faculty members are selected as Bakar Fellows and awarded discretionary research support. Faculty Fellows join a UC Berkeley ecosystem that includes faculty, post-docs, students, staff and alumni. The strong network and numerous entrepreneurial resources at UC Berkeley assist researchers in introducing discoveries to the market. Bakar Fellows benefit from work space in UC Berkeley’s Skydeck, a university incubator-accelerator in downtown Berkeley, interaction with the Haas School of Business and its Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, engagement with the School of Engineering’s Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership, and customized interactions with the Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Research Alliances (IPIRA). The Bakar Fellows harness UC Berkeley’s PI-entrepreneur and alumni networks to facilitate connections to relevant financial and founder communities in their specific domains.

 

What are the expectations of the Bakar Fellows?

The Bakar Spark Fund is designed to accelerate PI-led UC Berkeley research to tangible, positive societal impact through commercialization. Bakar Faculty Fellows are not expected to commercialize research outcomes during the 2-year Spark Fund period, but are expected to move closer to commercialization through milestones established by each PI.  Tangible evidence of commercialization of Spark Fund supported research makes alumni eligible for the Bakar Innovation Incentive Prize.  The one-time, up to $300K prize is designed to be a discretionary fund to assist the Fellow with ‘pivoting’ to new research directions upon commercialization of previous research results. During the Spark Fund period, Faculty Fellows will be invited to Bakar Fellows community events, engage with the Advisory Board, submit annual updates on progress towards goals, and may change the direction of their research as necessitated by scientific discovery, access to funding, market conditions etc. Only major changes in direction should be coordinated in advance with the Bakar Program Advisory Board.

 

Who is eligible to apply?

UC Berkeley academic senate faculty who conduct research in the fields of Engineering, Computer Science, Chemistry, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences or multidisciplinary work in these disciplines are eligible to apply. The topic of the proposed research determines eligibility, not the home department of the applicant.

 

When is the application deadline?

The application cycle is annual, with initial applications due in early spring. For spring 2018 the application deadline is Tuesday, February 27.

 

How do faculty apply for the Bakar Fellows Program?

The application requires a brief summary of the proposed research project, a statement of how the research will make a key difference once introduced to the commercial marketplace, anticipated milestones for introducing the research to the market and an outline of how support from the Bakar Fellows Program will enhance their research. To apply, please fill out the Bakar Fellows Program Application

 

How are the Bakar Fellows selected?

The Fellows are selected for their excellence and high potential for making a lasting economic impact. More specific selection criteria include the following:

  • The research must be novel and capable of yielding practical benefit to society within a reasonable timeframe.
  • The goal of the Bakar Fellows Program is to catalyze the commercialization of innovative research results. Examples of desirable outcomes of this program may include the filing of a patent application, licensing of intellectual property rights, new industry partnerships and/or the creation of a new company. Please describe how your proposed project could potentially lead to one or more of these outcomes.
  • Applicants should provide specific milestones that will allow the Advisory Board assess progress towards goals.
  • Proposals should demonstrate the benefit that the research will gain from support through the Bakar Fellows Program. Additional existing and pending sources of funding, matching grants and gifts-in-kind should be included.

The selection process involves two committees: (a) an ad hoc Selection Committee and (b) the standing Program Advisory Committee, which is comprised of both academic and industry members.

 

When does support start? And how can it be used?

Funds are available at the beginning of the fiscal year in July.  Funds are for discretionary use by the faculty fellow. They cannot be used to support faculty salaries or pay for capital improvements. No overhead is assessed on the awards. 

 

Which campus unit administers the Bakar Fellows Program?

The Bakar Fellows Program is managed by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.