June 3, 2019: Updates and Suggestions

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Date: June 3, 2019

From: The ADVANCE Grant Program team

To: All participating Michigan University technology transfer offices

Subject: Updates and Suggestions

The ADVANCE Grant had a successful first award cycle for MEDC funding. The ADVANCE Proof-of-Concept Grant program received $1,000,000 of funds to award in the time period April 1, 2017 – March 31, 2019. Awardees will complete their projects by March 31, 2020.

The ADVANCE Grant Program’s second funding cycle for $500,000 started April 1, 2019 and goes through March 31, 2020 for commitment of funds and through March 31, 2021 for completion of the projects.

MSU has been reviewing new proposals for the second funding cycle and currently we have three proposals at the reviewers, four proposals ready to go to reviewers and several proposals in process. We will keep the TTO’s informed of the availability of funding for new proposals.

The ADVANCE Grant Advisory Team met on May 21, 2019. The following updates and suggestions come from that meeting:

  1. ensure the proposal’s scope of work is for early stage funding. Greater care is needed to avoid overlap of ADVANCE and MTRAC awards with ADVANCE coming first. The ADVANCE grant should be completed prior to the start of the MTRAC grant;
  2. coach proposals down closer to $20-$25,000 ($40,000 - $50,000 total project costs) to help spread available funds over more projects;
  3. define milestones that once successfully completed can lead to a follow-on funding including MTRAC;
  4. limit travel expenses to $3,000-$5,000 and ensure they are necessary to the project. Details should be provided in the proposal (what, where, why and when). Anything over $5,000 may need prior approval from MEDC (through MSU Program Manager).
  5. limit No Cost Extensions – if approved they will be limited to no more than three months due to extenuating circumstances;
  6. set proposal start dates need to be at least two months out from the date of the proposal submission to MSU. Make sure the project period you are suggesting is long enough for the milestones in the project to be successfully completed. Suggested project periods are 6 to 12 months.

Thanks again for your participation in this important translational research program. If you have any questions, please contact me at, msugrant@msu.edu or 517-884-1605.


Ann C. Spalding

ADVANCE Grant Program Manager

cc: Denise Graves

Richard Chylla

Brad Shaw