Start your passion project with the UConn IDEA grant program 


Do you have an entrepreneurial, research or creative project you’re passionate about and want to pursue? Consider checking out the IDEA grant funded by UConn. On Friday, Oct. 13, the Office of Undergraduate Research hosted a workshop to introduce students to the UConn IDEA Grant Program. 

The IDEA grant is a $5,000 funding award designed to support student-led projects. This grant encourages students’ creativity, entrepreneurship and research endeavors. Regardless of your major or campus location, you may be eligible for this college grant to help kickstart your project. The organization is committed to transparency and assisting students in achieving their endeavors. Notable projects range from “The Swap, Don’t Shop Sustainable Shop at UConn,” created by IDEA Grant recipient Madeline Kizer, an eighth-semester marketing major, to psychology research on adolescents and their relationship to food scarcity and passion projects like film production. 

In order to participate in the program, students are required to meet the following criteria. Firstly, they must remain in good academic standing throughout the duration of the program. Additionally, students who plan to graduate must ensure that their graduation date does not fall earlier than December 2024. They must be a registered student in order to complete a minimum of 140 hours on the IDEA Grant Project.  

Before you submit your proposal, arrange a meeting with Melissa Berkey, the Assistant Director and Program Coordinator. This is a pivotal step that can help you identify the areas where your project might need improvement. The Office of Undergraduate Research wants to ensure that your project holds personal significance and will be accessible to a broader audience. In the workshop, it was mentioned to avoid using jargon and stay away from overly technical language. 

Finally, make sure you fully engage yourself in the project by actively developing skills, pursuing experience and gathering background knowledge. This is what they want to see when evaluating your proposal.  

For those seeking more information, the program’s website offers a breakdown of application requirements, examples of past recipients, evaluation criteria and more. The program aims for transparency and to help as many students as possible. If you require further information, please contact Melissa Berkey at  

Leave a Reply