Eric and Wendy Schmidt Transformative Technology Fund

Request for Proposals


The Eric and Wendy Schmidt Transformative Technology Fund was established at Princeton in 2009 by Princeton alumnus Eric Schmidt, the former executive chairman of Alphabet, Google's parent company, and his wife, Wendy. The Schmidts created the $25 million endowment fund for the invention, development, and utilization of cutting-edge technology that has the capacity to transform research in the natural sciences and engineering.

The Schmidt Fund is used to support the invention or implementation of entirely new technologies that will have a major impact on a field of research or to develop a piece of equipment or an enabling technology that will change the direction of research in a field. Unlike most endowments, the fund does not need to be spent evenly from year to year. The dean for research has the discretion to recommend that no grants be awarded in years when there are no sufficiently compelling proposals, and to spend down principal as well as income in years when there are many compelling ideas. 

PI Eligibility

Tenured faculty, tenure-track faculty and research staff


Proposal submission deadline: 5:00 P.M. November 2, 2018


Awards totaling approximately $1,000,000 may be made each year on the average, depending on the number and requirements of high-quality proposals received. Funding will normally be spread over one or two years. Smaller payouts, or even no awards will be made in years where the quality is inadequate. Sufficiently compelling proposals could be awarded up to $1,000,000.

Proposal Preparation Instructions

Each proposal should be no longer than five pages, with an additional budget page, and should focus on the research proposed, emphasizing its potential significance and impact. Include an explanation of why the generation or acquisition of the specific technology is ground-breaking and a simple budget containing sufficient detail to be reviewable by the committee.  

Proposers may seek funds for the following kinds of research:

  • Invention of a disruptive new technology having potential major impact on a field of research
  • The development of equipment or an enabling technology that will transform research in a field 

Proposed research that would combine support from this fund and other sources is eligible. In such cases the sources, amounts, and status of other support must be specified. It is essential to emphasize the impact and leverage (“bang for the buck”) that a grant from this fund would provide.

Equipment, materials and supplies, support for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers directly working on the project. Renovation costs are not allowed, nor is salary support for the Principal Investigator or senior researchers. Additionally, these awards are exempt from facilities and administrative costs.

Submission Information

Submit proposals via email to John Ritter, Director, Office of Technology Licensing, Each proposal will receive a prompt acknowledgement as assurance that it has been properly received.

Review Criteria

A peer-review committee will evaluate the proposals. Selection will be based entirely on the overall quality and innovativeness of the proposed research, its significance and its likely impact.   

The committee will forward its recommendations to the President, who will consider them and announce the winner(s).


John Ritter
Director, Office of Technology Licensing
T 609-258-1570

Call for Proposals


5:00 P.M. November 2, 2018


Awards totaling $1,000,000 per year, on the average

Submission and Contact Information

Submit proposals via email to
John Ritter
Director, Office of Technology Licensing
T 609-258-1570