The LaunchPad for Diabetes program is an internal translational research fund supporting collaborative research projects proposing innovative solutions for the treatment of Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. The goal of this program is to support/develop translational research projects that address unmet clinical needs and lead to improvements in care of patients with diabetes mellitus.

Examples of desirable outcomes include improved diagnosis and treatment of disease through new medical devices, biomarkers or diagnostics, therapeutic targets and agents, or new clinical adoption of existing tools. Priority will be given to projects with a focus on the creation of new intellectual property, commercial partnerships, or lead to start-up company creation. The LaunchPad program is supported through a generous gift from Paul and Diane Manning.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Permanent, full-time, tenure-track faculty at professorial rank (assistant, associate, full)
  • Each proposal must have at least two co-investigators, one that has a primary or secondary appointment in the School of Medicine and one clinical collaborator (medical doctor, nurse or professional who sees patients).
  • Eligible investigators may submit more than one proposal.
  • Awardees from previous funding cycles are eligible to apply and competitive renewal applications should include a comparison of milestone achieved vs. those planned in the original submission.


Potential applicants must contact: Sharon Krueger to discuss the proposal idea. Final proposal submissions are due by 5pm Wednesday October 20th, 2021 via email to Sharon.

Applications should be submitted as a single PDF. The cover page, budget page, NIH CV’s and relevant current funding from the co-investigators do not count towards the page limit. Use Arial font 11-12 point size.

The LaunchPad Review Board will review the final proposal submissions and select projects for a November Zoom presentation. Funding will start shortly after projects are selected.

Budget Information:

Eligible budget items include salary support for project personnel, supplies, minor equipment items, prototyping expenses, imaging time and travel directly associated with the research activity. Funds cannot be requested or used for F&A costs, administrative support or tuition.

Types of Grants ($800K total funding available):

  • One year of funding, eligible for renewal, budget limit $100K, proposal limited to 6 pages
  • Two years of funding, may be eligible for renewal, budget limit $175K total, proposal limited to 8 pages



Award recipients are required to submit short written quarterly reports and a final report. All funded projects will give a mid-year oral presentation to the Review Board. Project update meetings will be held between the funded project PI’s and LaunchPad program director.

Key Elements of the Proposal:

Cover Page: (not included in page limit)

Must contain the project title, names of the investigators, amount requested, and summary of the novelty and significance of the proposed work, and the approval and signature of the department chair.

Project Plan: clinical need, research and commercialization milestones and commercialization strategy:

Overall plan discusses the clinical problem, current standard of care, market size, competitors in the area, impact of proposed research on patient care, research and commercialization milestones, commercialization strategy and follow-on funding plan.

  • Describe the unmet clinical issues that are being addressed by the proposed research along with the potential market size, current standard of care and current competitors. Discuss the impact of positive outcomes from the research on clinical care, treatment, diagnosis and your envisioned product/solution.
  • Realistic quarterly milestones for the research plan and commercialization plan. List specific research AND commercialization milestones and the plan for achieving each milestone. Include the experiments to be performed to achieve each milestone; provide supporting preliminary data or progress-to-date as appropriate.
  • Include IRB and/or ACUC status for project if relevant.
  • Current intellectual property status, commercialization strategy to advance the technology into the market and/or clinical adoption, include the FDA plan if relevant.
  • Gantt chart with quarterly milestones.
  • Plan for follow-on funding after LaunchPad award expires.
  • Potential next research steps

Proposal Supporting Documents (not included in page limit)

  • Budget page (use any format)
  • NIH CV’s of each investigator
  • List only relevant current funding and relevant pending proposals for each investigator

Review Criteria: Evaluation of each proposal will be on the basis of scientific merit, potential health care impact and significance, experience of the investigators, and the potential for commercialization



Contact: Sharon Krueger (