Call for applications - SPARK Melbourne 2020

Applications are now OPEN for the 2020 SPARK Melbourne program and close on Mon 24th Feb at 5 pm.

To download the SPARK Melbourne application form, please click here. Please submit all completed applications and any queries to

Vision of SPARK Melbourne

SPARK Melbourne is a program designed to accelerate research translation for patient benefit. The program provides education, mentoring and funding for translational research in therapeutics, diagnostics and medical devices at the University of Melbourne (UoM).

SPARK Melbourne is largely based on the highly successful SPARK Stanford program that originated at the Stanford University Medical School in 2006.

For more information on SPARK, please visit: and

Criteria for project selection

Projects will be selected according to the following criteria:

  1. Addresses an unmet clinical need of significance to human health
  2. High likelihood for implementation into clinical practice
  3. Includes a novel approach with potential to file IP or already has IP
  4. Potential to achieve proof of concept to increase the likelihood of forming a spin-out, developing IP or licensing opportunities, developing clinical trial prospects or achieving grant success related to translational research (e.g. NHMRC Development Grants, ARC Linkage Grants) within a 2 year period


Applications may be submitted by both full-time or part-time academic research staff at the University of Melbourne. Staff from affiliated medical research institutes are eligible if they hold a joint appointment with the University of Melbourne. Short-listed projects will be invited to pitch their projects to a panel of judges.

Seed Funding

Successful projects will receive milestone-based funding of up to $50 K annually (for two years), together with coaching and support from academic and industry mentors. If the funding milestones are not achieved, the remainder of the funding will return to the SPARK program for redistribution to other projects.


Researchers who are selected into the program and receive seed funding will be required to attend monthly SPARK meetings and education events with their peers and experts from academia and industry. In addition, the teams will meet with their allocated mentor team at least monthly.