How to Apply - Signatures Innovation Fellows

Signatures Innovation Fellows Program application

The Signatures Innovation Fellows Program is no longer accepting new applications. The program supported four successful cohorts from 2015/16 - 2018/19. 

The cohorts were selected on the basis of the application guidelines included below. Please contact with any additional questions you may have.

Proposal Guidelines

Abstract: Please summarize and explain your proposed project in a way that is accessible to a lay-audience (150 words or less).

Timeline: Please complete this timeline template highlighting your main goals and major milestones.*

Proposal: Your 5-page proposal should demonstrate how your proposed project is novel and how you would use the Signatures Innovation Fellows award to catalyze the commercialization of your 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 the creation of a new company.

Please describe how your proposed project could potentially lead to one or more of these outcomes.

Your proposal should contain the following elements:

  • Please provide a brief summary of your overall timeline.
  • What is the key insight behind this project? What problem are you solving?
  • Why will this become commercially valuable? What is the value proposition? How do you think about the “Total Addressable Market?”
  • Why is your lab/team uniquely qualified to commercialize this approach/technology?
  • What are the biggest challenges this project faces?
  • Imagine you are in front of a venture capitalist two years from now seeking funding for a new company. What do you hope to highlight as your accomplishments? What is the vision you hope to be selling? What IP will you own?
  • How will you use the support from the Signatures Innovation Fellows Program? Please describe additional existing and pending sources of funding, matching grants and gifts-in-kind relevant to your project.

CV: Please upload your CV. Be sure to call out any special qualifications you may have that uniquely qualify you for this project.

Letter of recommendation/Letter of interest: If you are a postdoctoral fellow or graduate student, please upload a letter from a UC Berkeley faculty member recommending you and your proposed project for this award. If you are a faculty member, please submit a letter of interest from the postdoctoral fellow and/or graduate student with whom you expect to work on this project.

*Note that if you are accepted to the program, you may adjust the timeline/milestones and budget that you laid out in your original proposal at later stages. We expect that your original plans might change due to new advances in science and technology, changes in the marketplace, competitive landscape etc. etc. However, you will be asked to provide an updated timeline on an annual basis so that the review committee can understand and track your progress.