Amazon Catalyst Research Funding

Application deadline:   Ongoing

UW has collaborated with Amazon to launch Amazon Catalyst, a program to fund bold, disruptive, globally-impactful research projects proposed by members of the UW community by providing grants directly to students, faculty and staff. Through this collaboration, UW and Amazon hope to nurture and develop the local entrepreneurial ecosystem for all people in the greater Seattle area.

The opportunity

Amazon Catalyst’s goal is to help people develop solutions to key problems faced in the world today. Problems can be diverse, from computer security, to immigration, to climate change. Because issues like these are complex, solutions will come from many different fields and many different perspectives. Therefore, the grants are open to all disciplines, including the humanities, arts, social sciences, medicine, law, engineering, etc., and to all members of the UW community, including professors, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdocs, nurses, librarians, staff members, and others. We want to enable people with a passion for invention to take an unconventional approach to a problem and develop that big idea.

Grants will be awarded for projects that take place over a period of several months to up to two years, and will range from $10,000 to $100,000 each with no overhead costs (100% of awarded funding goes to the applicants). Successful applicants will be called “Amazon Catalyst Fellows.” There are specific rules about the management of intellectual property developed from Amazon Catalyst projects (see the FAQ for more detail). Projects that show success in the grant period may have the option for follow-on support through continued collaboration with Amazon.

Eligibility

The Amazon Catalyst program is open to *all* current members of the University of Washington community. This includes current students, faculty, and staff at the University of Washington, UW Bothell and UW Tacoma. Note that not all members of teams affiliated with a project are required to have University of Washington affiliation, but the lead member of the team (who will receive the funding and will be responsible for its use) must be a current student, faculty member, or staff member.

Awards are not limited to community members in the sciences and engineering – projects in the humanities, social sciences, arts, and virtually any discipline inside or outside the university will be considered. Projects do NOT need to have any correlation with Amazon or Amazon’s businesses so feel free to dream big about whatever it is that is your passion!

Proposals are reviewed in a three-step process: (i) an evaluation of the application by a member of the Amazon Catalyst organization, (ii) an in-person meeting with one or more members of the Amazon Catalyst Evaluation Committee to discuss the project in detail, and (iii) a final selection by vote of the Committee. If offered a grant through the program, awardees will be required to sign a contract with the University of Washington, describing the grant and associated terms.

We want you to think BIG! While there are no set guidelines, preference will be given to bold, creative, and fun projects that address clearly articulated problems with initial milestones that can be achieved in the time frame and budget of a grant. No prior data is needed – early stage projects are fine.

Application timeline

You can apply whenever you feel inspired! Innovation doesn’t need to fit fiscal or academic year requirements. We accept applications on a rolling basis throughout the year. There is no call for proposals, and no deadlines.

For complete information about this opportunity, see: https://catalyst.amazon.com/

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