Marquette Strategic Innovation Fund

Marquette Strategic Innovation Fund

To encourage innovation and entrepreneurship at Marquette, the strategic innovation fund was created with approximately $4.5 million in initial funds to invest in new ideas, initiatives and programs that support and advance the goals and priorities outlined in the university’s strategic plan, Beyond Boundaries.

Similar to a venture capital fund, the university will provide seed funding — and risks and failures are accepted and expected. 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, or funding ideas that will help the university operate more effectively.

To be successful, it is important to share these new ideas and initiatives with multiple constituencies, celebrate successes and learn from failures. To that end, Marquette will use social media, open forums, internal and external formal and social events, and newsletters and publications to invite proposals, encourage cross-campus collaboration and share the outcomes of the funded initiatives and programs.

Process and Timeline

Process and Timeline

Step 1
Individuals or teams (faculty, staff and students are all eligible) develop innovative ideas that support one or more themes of Beyond Boundaries, the university’s strategic plan.

Step 2
Short pre-proposals are submitted to the new University Innovation Council for review; the Innovation Council will review and provide feedback. Pre-proposals are required for participation in this year’s competition. There will be no selection of proposals to continue to the final submission – any pre-proposal that is submitted will be eligible to continue to step 3.

Step 3
Applicants revise and refine proposals, as appropriate. Small requests (< $5,000) will continue to short application format; major requests will require more detail. All final proposals will require budget and signature pages. Templates for final submission materials will be made available by February 2015. The Innovation Council and University Financial Planning and Review Committee will review and provide feedback to University leadership.

Further review will include the University Leadership Council; the president and provost will give the final review. The president will announce the awards.

Step 4
Final budgets and milestones will be established. Annual reports will be reviewed by the University Innovation Council and posted on the Marquette Innovation website.

Updated Timeline
Revised December 3, 2014
  • October 2014 – Innovation Council established
  • November 2014 – Council finalizes application templates and reviews criteria
  • December 4, 2014 – Pre-proposal applications made available
  • February 6, 2015 – One-page proposals due by 5 p.m.
  • Mid-February 2015 – Feedback returned
  • March 27, 2015 – Final proposals due
  • April and May 2015 – Review
  • June 1, 2015 – Awards announced
  • July 1, 2015 – Awards begin


The following are generally expected funding guidelines for the strategic innovation fund:

  • Advance one or more of the themes in the university’s strategic plan, Beyond Boundaries
  • Demonstrate innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Align with institutional capacity
  • Represent a cross-campus collaborative effort, as appropriate to the project
  • Have the potential to become financially sustainable if the project is expected to continue beyond the funding period
  • Provide a set of realistic goals that can be achieved within a defined time period
  • Outline for pre-proposals:
    • Contact information for primary person on the project *
    • Project title (100 character limit) *
    • Project summary (1000 character limit) *
    • Project description (5000 character limit)
    • Relationship to Marquette’s mission and themes of the strategic plan (1000 character limit)
    • Team information
    • Anticipated budget, timeline, and other resources (1000 character limit)
    • Research compliance check

* The title, project summary and primary contact person’s email address will be made public on the Innovation website in order to facilitate collaboration.

Quick Links

Quick Links

Deadline: Friday, Mar. 27, 4:30 p.m.

Explore more than 275 project ideas submitted by faculty, staff and students this year

Learn how you can support innovation and entrepreneurship at Marquette.

Approved by Marquette’s Board of Trustees in May 2013, Beyond Boundaries: Setting the Course for Marquette’s Future builds on the bold spirit that has always blessed Marquette University.

Additional details about the process, criteria, submitted proposals and annual project outcome reports will be added as they are available. Please send questions about the fund to

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important Reminder – Please acknowledge the NIH when publishing papers, patents, projects, and presentations resulting from the use of CTSI resources by including the NIH Funding Acknowledgement.


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