Proof of Product (POP) FAQ
Who can serve as a Principal Investigator?
UCI faculty members who are eligible to serve as Principal Investigators may apply. Note that certain academic appointments can serve as a PI only by exception, which is granted by the Vice Chancellor for Research.
Does each project get $125,000?
No. The dollar amount allocated will vary by proposal. The maximum funding requestis $125,000, but there is no guarantee that you’ll receive that amount, or the entire amount you request. Final decisions on amount of funding per individual proposal will be made by UCI Applied Innovation with input from the reviewers.
Can one PI submit two proposals?
Yes, but an invention disclosure must have been filed by the deadline specified in the RFP for each Round of funding for any proposal to be eligible for funding. Also, the content of the proposals should be substantially different. Contact Applied Innovation for information regarding disclosing and obtaining a UC Case Number for your invention.
How many projects will be funded?
Six to eight projects will be funded in the initial Rounds. There are two cycles of funding per year.
I am preparing my proposal but need assistance. Who should I contact?
You should begin by contacting the licensing officer managing your invention.
Can I purchase a computer/printer?
Funds cannot be used to support faculty or administrative salaries or associated benefits or computer purchases. Budgeting for purchases of equipment is generally discouraged. Any equipment included in the budget must be essential to the development of the project and not available elsewhere at UCI.
The development of my invention will require the use of an outside contractor, for example, to develop a series of formulations for drug delivery. Can funds be used for an outside contractor in a case such as this?
Yes, but all proposed milestones and the corresponding budget should be clearly justified in the proposal. Final decisions on the budget and funding will be made by UCI Applied Innovation based on input from the reviewers.
If an invention is successful and generates revenue, do payments made to inventors change because UCI Applied Innovation funded the project?
The UC Patent Policy governs the calculation and distribution of net revenue to inventors, including projects funded by the POP Grants Program. There is currently no change to payments made to inventors.
If a case is optioned for a specific field of use, is it eligible for a different field?
Yes, but the proposed objectives and milestones should be distinct from the already optioned field of use.
Are animal testing materials and services eligible expenses?
Can animal studies be subcontracted to a large animal research facility?
If the proposed studies are appropriate for further development of the technology, then yes, funds may be used to subcontract out testing in an animal model. For example, we have funded studies specifically directed at formulating a drug for topical delivery. UCI did not have the expertise to develop the multiple formulations for testing and the required step was outsourced. Studies that can be completed collaboratively or otherwise here at UCI are expected to be performed here.
Do I need to spend the award within the 6 month timeframe?
Yes, the funds awarded to selected POP grant proposals must be spent within the 6 month timeframe. In the past, proposals that allocated the majority of the funding toward covering salaries (with the exception of projects that require, for example, a programmer to complete the product) have not been viewed as positively as those that budget primarily for regents, tools, and research studies that will address the proposed objectives. Please be sure to justify the percentage of time, etc.
Should I include references and do they count toward the 8-page limit?
Yes, you may include references you think are relevant, but they count toward your 8-page limit.
Do applicants have to apply through their respective departments?
Completed applications must be submitted directly to POPGrants@uci.edu by the due date specified in the RFP for each Round of funding, with a copy to your Licensing Officer. It is not required that you apply through your department. UCI Applied Innovation will work directly with departments regarding the transfer and use of any funds awarded.
Are all letters of intent invited to submit full proposals?
The LOI’s are more for planning purposes, to have the right number of reviewers with appropriate expertise. All those who submitted LOIs are eligible to send in full proposals.