Provost's Proof of Concept Fund

Provost's Proof of Concept Fun


Established in Spring 2023, The Tulane Innovation Institute, in partnership with Provost Robin Forman, has awarded more than a half million dollars to eleven projects as part of the Provost's Proof of Concept Fund (PPOC). PPOC grants support research at Tulane by funding discoveries that will eventually positively impact society.

The PPOC fund is a pathway for early-stage research and technology development that demonstrates a viable market application and the potential for a feasible business model. These grants advancing innovation cover various expenses, from studies and consulting, customer discovery efforts, detailed IP analysis, and prototype development, all aimed at bringing research to life. Up to $50,000 can be awarded to grantees, and the program is available to Tulane faculty, staff, and trainees.

Who Can Apply? 

PPOC is administered twice a year (once per semester). Applications are open for a roughly two-month window each semester. Below is a list of requirements:

  • Applicants must have a connection to the Tulane community (Faculty, Staff, Trainee/Student).
  • The relevant technology must have an invention disclosure filed or in preparation and an identified commercial application.
  • A completed application that includes abstract, milestones, and budget must be submitted. Typical applications for these funds will be prototyping, customer discovery, market application research, animal studies, detailed IP analysis, etc.
  • Detailed project funding budget of $5,000 up to $50,000.
  • Already licensed technologies are not eligible for this award unless the funds will be used for applications of the technology not covered in the license.


Tips to succeed!

Successful PPOC project proposals do not seek to apply POC grant funds for basic research activities. Successful PPOC proposals will describe activities and project milestones relevant to making progress in answering fundamental commercialization questions, such as: Does it work as intended? Do we know who is likely buy it and why? What is our evidence?


Ready to apply?

The Provost's Proof of Concept Spring 2024 application cycle is now closed.

Awards for this cycle will be announced in late April 2024. The Fall 2024 Cycle will reopen in late July.

  • For this round, we aim to fund 3 projects across the Tulane community.
  • Technologies should be at a stage where $50,000 will make a significant contribution towards derisking for commercial application.
  • Already licensed or optioned technologies are not eligible for this award unless the funds will be used for applications of the technology not covered in the option/license.
  • Applications must include customer discovery activities.


Funding Rules and Post-Award Logistics 

  • Faculty salaries are not allowable.  
  • Graduate student, postdoc, and technician salaries are allowable.  
  • No more than 50% of total budget can be spent on equipment purchase.
  • No more than 10% of total budget can be spent on customer discovery travel. Other travel expenses are not allowable.
  • Amendments to proposal/milestones/budget are allowable up to 30 days after awardee receives written notification of project funding. Amendments must be received in writing and meet all submission guidelines. All amendments are subject to a new panel review and Provost approval. Funding for amendment(s) is not guaranteed.
  • Judges may recommend changes to budget or utilize line-item vetoes. 
  • Funds must be utilized in a way consistent with submitted application and intent of the PPOC. Funds usage will be reviewed at quarterly milestone meetings.