Innovator Award Program

Program ObjectiveInnovator Award Icon

The Innovator Award Program was created in 2017 to catalyze collaborative research for innovation and discovery within ISB. This internal program is designed to support novel research ideas that cut across disciplines and research groups. Through this program, highly motivated researchers within ISB will have an opportunity to apply for a one-year funding award that will support high-risk, high-reward projects. For an overview of the program, view the program flyer.

Program Details

  • Projects must cut across research disciplines with significant participation from at least two faculty groups.
  • The funding duration for this award is one year.
  • We will fund up to three innovative projects, with a cap of $50,000 (budgets up to $65,000 will be considered with a strong justification).

Program Sponsor



The Innovator Award Program is made possible by funding from the Washington Research Foundation and a generous gift from Roger Perlmutter.

Eligible Applicant

Any individual, except faculty members, currently performing research at ISB with the skills, knowledge and resources to carry out the proposed work is eligible to develop a proposal for consideration; however, the named Lead Investigator (LI) must be an ISB employee. Applicants developing an education-focused proposal must partner with the ISB Education team (Logan Center or Systems Education Experiences).

Application and Review Process

We are soliciting scientific research-focused as well as education-focused Innovator proposals from ISB employees. All applications must clearly define significant contributions from at least two different faculty groups. Please refer to Key Dates below. Each proposal will be reviewed by three faculty members. Similar to the NIH application process, the following criteria will be considered and rated:  Overall Impact, Significance, Innovation, Approach.

Key Dates

  • January 9: Q3 reports due (2022-2023 Innovators)
  • January 10: Q&A Session (2023-2024 Innovators)
  • TBD: Grant-writing Workshop (2023-2024 Innovators)
  • February 3: Letters of Intent due (2023-2024 Innovators)
  • February 28: Administrative Components deadline (2023-2024 Innovators)
  • March 1: Q3 Progress Reports due (2022-2023 Innovators)
  • March 3: Complete Applications deadline (2023-2024 Innovators)
  • March 6-28: Faculty reviews & in-person pitches (2023-2024 Innovators)
  • March 29: Awardees announced (2023-2024 Innovators)
  • April 3: Q4 progress reports due (2022-2023 Innovators)
  • April 4: Kick-off presentations (2023-2024 Innovators)
  • TBD: Final presentations (2022-2023 Innovators)
  • June 1: Q4/Final Reports due (2022-2023 Innovators)
  • June 13:  Final Presentations (2022-2023 Innovators)
  • August 1: Q1 Reports due (2023-2024 Innovators)
  • November 1: Q2 Reports due (2023-2024 Innovators)
  • November 14: Mid-Award Presentations (2023-2024 Innovators)