Research News

Limited Submission Opportunity: VentureWell Course & Program Grants–Fall 2022

Applications due Sept. 19

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

Vanderbilt University may submit only one proposal to the fall 2022 VentureWell Course & Program Grants.

VentureWell Course and Program (C&P) Grants of up to $30,000 are awarded to U.S. higher education institutions to support curriculum to grow and expand the entrepreneurial ecosystem to engage students in science and technology (S&T) innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E). Ideally, C&P grant funding should act as a catalyst for increased entrepreneurial activity and help faculty and universities leverage other opportunities to launch and/or grow their I&E ecosystems. Overhead/indirect costs are not allowed.

C&P grants may be used to strengthen existing curricular programs or to build new, pedagogically inclusive courses and programs that engage student teams in developing and pursuing scalable solutions to real-world needs through S&T I&E. The end goal is to support diverse groups of faculty, staff and students in collaborating to develop novel inventions and technologies that have positive environmental and social impact.

Activities supported by C&P grants should lead to effective courses and programs that are sustained by the institution, lead to the formation of student teams by leveraging experiential learning practices, and expand opportunities for learning across S&T I&E.

C&P grant proposals may include plans to create or improve an individual course, course sequence, minor, major, certificate program or other co- and extracurricular programs that are directly tied to and support I&E-focused curriculum. S&T focus areas may include, but are not limited to:

  • 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
  • Technologies that address 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 (see Appendix for more information and definitions). 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. As threats to our planet posed by human activity have intensified, VentureWell has advanced its organizational commitment to sustainability and has made social and environmental impact a priority on all faculty grants, as well as prioritized curricular efforts that encourage student innovation and entrepreneurship that integrates environmental and social sustainability.

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.

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 Sept. 19, 2022.

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