Duke Incubation Fund [Duke Internal Funding -- for Duke Faculty, Post-docs, Grad Students only]

Funding Agency:
Duke University

The Duke Incubation Fund (the “Fund”) was formed to support idea-stage projects at Duke University with potential commercial prospects. The Fund will make a number of awards each year to support novel ideas, applied research, potential products, nascent services and creative projects that if successful, will lead to new opportunities in the market. To receive funding, projects must demonstrate a potential path to subsequent financial support, new company formation, licensing, not-for-profit partnering or other channels to enable translation.

The Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative, which administers the Fund, is interested in innovative projects that could lead to new products or services that will have a positive impact on society, including:

  • Demonstrating the feasibility of an idea or innovation for a commercial or social venture
  • Developing a working software or device prototype
  • Obtaining supporting evidence or proof-of-concept for new ideas
  • Developing new applications or markets for a technology under development
  • Creative projects that might lead to professionally produced content

Applications are welcome from all fields of inquiry. At least one member of any team must be from Duke.

Deadline: Apr. 12, 2020; Oct. 16, 2020

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Proposals may be submitted by Duke faculty (tenure and non-tenure track), graduate students, post-docs, and medical residents and fellows with approval of the appropriate mentor or unit coordinator.

Individuals may submit more than one proposal, but are only eligible to receive one award per cycle. Promising projects that are not selected will be encouraged to reapply.

Funds may be spent within Duke or within a start-up company formed to commercialize the innovation. For projects without a company, one team member must establish a project-specific cost object (WBS Fund) within their department to accept award. No funds can be distributed directly to individuals.



Amount Description

Each award will consist of up to $20,000 (direct costs only). Preference will be given to applications with high potential for significant advancement. Funds may be spent within Duke or within a start-up company formed to commercialize the innovation.

Funding Type



Grad/Prof Students
Post Doctoral Fellows


Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

October 16, 2020