Strategic innovation fund overview

What types of projects are eligible for innovation funds?

Innovation funds may be used for a wide variety of projects including: launching new academic programs, developing new interdisciplinary research clusters, building community and industry partnerships, supporting entrepreneurial student ventures such as new business start-ups, or funding ideas that will help the university operate more effectively or efficiently. Projects are expected to advance one or more of the goals of Marquette’s strategic plan, Beyond Boundaries. Innovation can include adaptation of existing strategies to support Marquette in new ways as well as development of brand new ideas. Projects that are interdisciplinary and which have the potential for community partnership or impact are encouraged.

I submitted last year but my proposal was not funded. Should I submit again?

There were many excellent proposals submitted that could not be funded. Please consider submitting again.

What were key elements of a successful proposal?

Many of the successful proposals were interdisciplinary, with participation from multiple areas of the university or with community partners. Successful proposals had clear articulation of the innovation that would come about from the project. Since proposals are read by many people with different backgrounds (Innovation Council and the University Leadership Council), writing for a general audience interested in understanding the impact of your project, rather than all of the technical details, is critical.

Will all funded projects be expected to generate new revenue for the university?

We anticipate that some projects may result in new revenue streams or savings for the university, providing a means of funding for future projects, but this is not a requirement for every project.

What are the criteria for funding?

Proposals will be evaluated based on the potential impact on achieving the goals of the strategic plan and support of university mission, level of innovation, and potential for success. Impact on Marquette, as well as the broader community, will also be considered. Interdisciplinary projects and proposals that develop community partnerships are encouraged but other ideas are also welcome.

Is there an advantage for projects that support multiple themes of the strategic plan?

While we expect that some projects may cut across multiple themes in the strategic plan, there will be no specific advantage for doing so – the quality of how a project impacts moving the plan forward is more important than the number of themes it may touch.

How much money can we ask for?

Project budgets should be based on the needs of the project. Final budget allocations will be determined based on the quality of the final proposals and availability of funds – there are no set minimum or maximum levels for funding requests.

How can alumni or community members get involved?

Projects require a current Marquette student, faculty or staff member as the lead but partnerships are encouraged. Student-led projects require a faculty or staff co-sponsor.

I will not be at Marquette next semester – how can I participate?

We are encouraging students who are graduating or others who anticipate not being at Marquette next fall to join or create teams that have someone who is going to still be at Marquette. Alumni and other community partners are able to participate in projects but there needs to be a Marquette person taking the lead role.

Can students or faculty from other universities be on a team?

Yes, but there needs to be a Marquette person taking the lead role in submitting the pre-proposal (and final proposal).

When will funds actually be available?

We are planning on funds being available at the start of the new fiscal year, July 1.

How much commitment is required for an initiative?

That depends on the scope of the project. What do you need to do to get your new idea launched?

We have a company or are looking to start one – should we apply for Strategic Innovation Funds?

You may apply to the Strategic Innovation Fund but should also consider new opportunities that were announced this fall. The Dorm Fund will support undergraduate-led businesses. The Marquette Enterprise Seed Fund will support faculty, staff or student businesses.

Other questions?

Contact us