Research News

Limited Submission Opportunity: VentureWell Course and Program Grants spring 2022 cycle

Applications due March 10

These instructions are for VU investigators. VUMC investigators should contact for more information.

Vanderbilt University may submit two proposals for the spring 2022 cycle of VentureWell Course and Program Grants.

VentureWell Course and Program Grants of up to $30,000 are awarded to faculty or staff at U.S. higher education institutions to support curriculum that engages students in science and technology innovation and entrepreneurship. Overhead/indirect costs are not allowed.

Course and Program Grants may be used to strengthen existing curricular programs or to build new, inclusive courses and programs that engage student teams in developing and pursuing scalable solutions to real-world needs through science and technology innovation and entrepreneurship. The end goal is to support diverse groups of faculty, staff and students in collaborating to develop novel inventions and technologies that have positive social and environmental impact.

Activities supported by Course and Program Grants should lead to effective courses and programs that are sustained by the institution, lead to the formation of student teams (ideally involved with the VentureWell E-Team Program), and expand opportunities for learning across science and technology innovation and entrepreneurship at the parent institution.

Course or program focus areas may include, but are not limited to, one of the following areas:

  • general (science- and technology-based) entrepreneurship;
  • sustainable technology (new materials, clean tech, green energy and chemistry innovation);
  • climate change solutions (technology to mitigate and/or adapt to climate change), especially technologies that support communities most impacted by climate change;
  • biomedical and health care innovation; and
  • technology that addresses poverty alleviation and basic human needs.

Commitment to sustainability and advancing equity

Environmental and social sustainability has long been a core tenet of VentureWell’s work. As threats to our planet posed by human activity have intensified, VentureWell has elevated the promotion of sustainable design and technology throughout their organization and programs. To advance VentureWell’s organizational commitment to sustainability, they have made social and environmental impact a priority on ALL faculty grants. In addition to the spring faculty grant cycle being focused on sustainable design, the broader fall C&P grant cycle also prioritizes curricular efforts that encourage student I&E that integrate environmental and social sustainability. C&P grants are intended to support the curricular efforts of faculty and student innovators in the creation of novel technologies and ventures that will help to solve humanity’s most pressing environmental and social challenges.

Solving today’s complex social and environmental problems requires diverse perspectives and focused efforts to dismantle the systemic barriers that have limited access to science and technology innovation and entrepreneurship. To advance VentureWell’s organizational commitment to advancing equity, they have made diversity, equity and inclusion a priority on ALL faculty grants. Successful VentureWell C&P grantees must make clear how funding will increase access and broaden the participation of traditionally underrepresented, underestimated and under-resourced groups, specifically those who identify as Black, Latinx and Indigenous; women from all backgrounds; individuals who identify as coming from low-income backgrounds; and others who are marginalized due to racism, sexism, classism and/or other forms of marginalization (URGs). VentureWell especially encourages faculty and staff applicants from URGs or from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), including Tribal Colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions, etc., and other institutions that demonstrate clear support for students from URGs in S&T I&E.

Successful course and program grant proposals will:

  • Create or strengthen courses or programsthat engage student teams in developing novel technology innovations with the end goal of pursuing scalable solutions to real-world needs with social and/or environmental impact.
  • Provide students with a meaningful experience, including opportunities for experiential learning and the formation of student teams that may be eligible to apply to VentureWell’s E-Team program.
  • Set the stage for sustained institutional change. Schools that are just beginning to grow their I&E ecosystems are also encouraged to apply and should describe the funded course or program as part of a larger plan for entrepreneurial ecosystem development.
  • Articulate a plan for broadening participation among underrepresented groups (URGs).Proposals must provide a clear and specific plan to articulate how the course or program will increase participation of students and faculty from URGs in science and technology innovation and entrepreneurship.

See the guidelines for more information.

Internal application process

Interested faculty should visit to submit an application for the internal LSO competition and to find additional information about the opportunity.  The deadline for the internal competition is March 10, 2022.

Any questions about this opportunity or the LSO process may be directed to