Shark Tank

Do you have an idea that might help us learn something new or make a difference in the world? Come pitch your idea at our Global Research Shark Tank to receive up to $25,000 in research funding. First round of applications due Friday, December 6. 

{{youtube:medium:left|Skp8l-2jG18, Global Research Shark Tank Highlights}}Each year students have the opportunity to partner with other students, faculty, staff, and alums to share their ideas and win money to make them a reality. Past examples of student projects include the tracking of Chinese investments and a survey of agriculture microinsurance in Kenya.

Application details below. Please send any additional questions to [[dmtrichler,David Trichler]].


Round 1: Concept Note (Friday, December 6 by 11:59pm)

Student teams submit the first round application (found here) by Friday, December 6. Team submissions should be made via the link here. 

The application has two parts. The first is describing the research idea (relating to a global challenge or issue), and the second is a letter of support from a faculty member or external mentor. The topics to be addressed in the application are below:

Research Concept (up to two pages, single-spaced):

  • What is your research question, and how will you answer it (e.g. what international problem are you addressing)?
  • What new knowledge will you create (e.g. what is your deliverable, why is this unique)?
  • What policy practitioner(s) would use this work, and how would it be useful to them (e.g. why is this valuable)?

Faculty / Mentor Support (up to one page, single-spaced):

  • How does this project fit with your research interests?
  • Please assess the students’ ability to complete this project if they receive funding.
  • If the project is funded, how will you support the students to ensure that they successfully complete the project?

Round 2: Semi-Finals (Friday, January 24 from 7:00 to 9:30pm)

8 to 10 teams will be selected for the Semi-Final round, and they will be notified by no later than December 20. The Semi-Final pitch will occur the first week students return to campus, on Friday, January 24. There will be an optional pre-pitch practice on Wednesday, January 22 with Institute staff to provide feedback prior to the Semi-Final pitch. 

During the Semi-Final round teams will pitch to a group of 3 to 5 faculty members. For the pitch, teams will prepare the following:

  • 5-minute pitch (with slides), followed by 10-minute Q&A.
  • Concept note, to include any revisions to the round 1 submission
  • An appendix to the concept note that includes a) a project timeline for proposed activities undertaken for spring, summer, and fall semesters and b) a budget to complete the activities. 

Round 3: Finals (Saturday, February 8 from 3:00 to 4:30pm)

4 to 5 teams will be selected for the Final round, to take place on the Saturday of W&M’s Charter Day weekend. For the pitch, teams will prepare the following:

  • 5-minute pitch (with slides) | 10-minute Q&A, based on suggested adjustments from round 2 judges
  • Updated concept note, based on suggested adjustments from round 2 judges.