Flash Grant Frequently Asked Questions

Return to the Flash Grant webpage.

  • What is the definition of “disruptive technology” for the Flash Grants?

    Disruptive life sciences technologies are those that may significantly alter the way a market or industry functions, how a product is developed or sold, or how a disease is treated. Disruptive technologies may also displace or render previous products, methods, and business model obsolete.

  • What is the definition of “translational research phase” of development for the Flash Grants?
    The translational research phase of development for life science technologies is the one immediately following the conclusion of the basic research phase (the “how does it work” phase of research) as it enters the earliest stages of product development (the “what is the product/market/route towards commercialization” phase). The translational research phase of development takes laboratory bench-scale research findings and brings them through to the in vivo or clinical trial stage of development.

  • Can you give some examples of Flash Grant projects?

    Examples of Flash Grant projects include:

    • Core facility fees or instrumentation usage fees
    • Proof-of-concept and feasibility studies for disruptive technologies/discoveries
    • Compound screening against a validated target; access to compound libraries
    • Prototype development
    • Scale-up pilot studies
    • Optimization studies
    • Algorithm development and validation
    • Precision feed ingredient studies
    • Plant-based products influenced by environmental growing conditions
    • Quality assurance of genetic or biostimulant agricultural measures
  • Can commercial/business development projects be funded with a Flash grant?
    Commercial/business development activities can be conducted as part of a Flash grant, but cannot be the sole activities proposed and undertaken with Flash grant funding. Commercial/business data to be gathered may include voice of customer outreach, IP landscaping, market and competitor data, reimbursement strategies, regulatory approval strategies, etc.

  • I have a great idea for a Flash Grant, but it does not fit into the topic of the RFP for this cycle. May I submit it anyway?
    No, all proposals submitted during each cycle must align to the RFP topic and guidelines for the cycle in which it is submitted.  Note that a future Flash cycle may be a more appropriate fit for your idea and that open (non-RFP) Flash cycles are sometimes scheduled.  Announcements of upcoming cycles are posted to the Flash Grant web page. 

  • I can’t do the project without salary for myself/collaborator/post-doc/tech. The guidelines state that salary is not allowable. Is there any way to request salary?
    For most cycles, salary for any personnel with a position at the university/non-profit institution is not allowable. Exceptions are made on a per-cycle basis, such as when the topic is fully to mostly computer or digital projects and the only costs associated with the project are personnel time. 


    The guidelines change for each cycle and differences in allowable and unallowable budget items will be shown in the Budget Guidelines section. You must use the correct set of guidelines for each cycle of the Flash Grant program.

  • Who should I contact if I think my topic for a Flash Grant fits the RFP, but I am not sure?
    Please contact Deborah De by email. Her contact information can be found on the Flash Grant website www.ncbiotech.org/flash or on the last page of the Flash Grant guidelines. Make sure to send a brief description of the technology with your message. 

  • I forgot to get an account in the online submission portal. Is there any way to submit my proposal by email or mail?
    No, you must have an account on the NCBiotech Funding Portal to submit proposals for the Flash Grant program, or any grant program at NCBiotech. Instructions can be found here.

  • When will I hear if I get a Flash Grant award?
    Notification of awards are typically made 90-120 days following the submission deadline.

  • I am working with a company on the topic for the Flash Grant RFP. Am I eligible to apply for a Flash Grant
    Companies and individuals are not eligible to apply for Flash Grants. Only universities and non-profit research institutions are eligible to apply.


    Additionally, any intellectual property (patents/patent applications/copyright/ trademarks, etc) must be held by the university or non-profit institution and cannot be licensed, optioned, or obligated at the time of proposal submission. At the time of submission, the Principal Investigator (PI) must hold a full-time, tenure-track, or tenured faculty appointment,or an appointment as full-time research faculty with a dedicated independent lab at the applicant institution.