Technology Development Fund

This call for proposals is closed.

Proposal timeline for the 2021-2022 academic year:

  • Proposals are due on or before October 30, 2021
  • Awards announced in November 2021

Fund information:

Rice University’s Office of Technology Transfer is pleased to offer seed grants of $25,000 to faculty interested in commercializing their research.

Grants will be awarded to assist researchers with prototype design, scale up efforts, or to develop results that could lead to a patent filing or a licensing opportunity.


  • Full-time faculty and research staff at Rice are eligible to apply.
  • The Technology Development Fund is not intended to support projects at a conceptual stage with little to no supporting research.
  • Proposals should demonstrate commercial applicability and a high probability of transitioning from the bench to the market. Proposals should include a concise statement of how the research being funded can serve an unmet industry or market need.
  • Proposals must have strong potential for sustainability beyond the duration of the seed grant via industry sponsorship, other competitive funding sources or licensing.
  • Proposals should demonstrate the potential for income generation for Rice University through the creation of a significant or steady revenue stream.

Review process:

Proposal reviews will be conducted by a faculty review panel and the Office of Technology Transfer; individuals who are applicants to this fund will not participate on the review panel.

Selection Criteria:

Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  1. The technology transfer potential of the proposal; that is, the degree to which the funds will contribute to the commercial development and eventual market entry of the results of the research program;
  2. The income-generating potential of the technology described;
  3. The likelihood that the project will lead to direct funding from industry or other commercialization support.

How to apply:

Proposals must be submitted using this webform by October 30, 2021 at 11:59pm.

Proposals must include the following in a single PDF document:

  1. A project description (no more than three pages) that would include the following: the scope of the proposal; the relevant market need and size; the commercial potential of the proposal and a probable development timeline for productization, identifying the potential product or products to be created; income-generation potential associated with market entry; any interest expressed in the project by potential industry partners or commercial sponsors; and any relevant patent or technology disclosures on file with the Office of Technology Transfer.
  2. A single-page budget indicating how the requested funds will be expended;
  3. A curriculum vitae for each applicant of no more than three pages per CV.


The Office of Research’s Technology Development Fund is facilitated by Rice’s Office of Technology Transfer. Contact with questions about the fund and/or application process.