Tuesday, May 23

UCLA Centennial Campaign to fund life sciences innovation projects


The UCLA life sciences division announced Wednesday it will fund three research projects using money raised through the Centennial Campaign.

Two student winners will each receive $10,000 and one faculty winner will receive $75,000 to pursue research ideas that have the potential to lead to scientific discoveries in the life sciences, according to an email sent to the department.

The life sciences division held a meeting Wednesday to encourage students to apply to the Innovation Fund, an award funded by the department’s Centennial Campaign efforts for applicants with the most entrepreneurial research ideas. The fund is intended to be an investment in research ideas that have not yet gathered enough data to attract more significant funding.

The Centennial Campaign is a university-wide effort to raise $4.2 billion. The life sciences division has raised about $23,000, 13 percent of its $175,000 goal, since July.

Victoria Sork, dean of the life sciences division, said the division aims to use funds from the campaign will go to improve faculty retention, purchase new equipment, maintain research facilities and provide financial support for students.

Ellen Beck, senior director of life sciences development, said a committee comprised of faculty members and individuals from different commercial industries will choose the recipients. She added the division is still soliciting donations for the fund.

Sork said she thinks donors are interested in contributing to projects like the Innovation Fund that can profit the university in the future.

“The point of the Innovation Fund is to stimulate more faculty to think about the parts of their research that could lead to new discoveries,” Sork said.

The fund is also intended to encourage ideas that can be patented and lead to commercial products, she added.

“As our intellectual ideas lead to other work, we need to make sure that if anyone makes money, then it’s the people who invented them and the places that supported their work,” she said.

Beck said the application will be finalized in December. Completed applications will be due in January 2016.

Compiled by Catherine Liberty Feliciano, Bruin senior staff.

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