Baquerizo Grant - Go BIG

Baquerizo Innovation Grant

The Baquerizo family generously provided funding to challenge Duke students to pursue ambitious applications of technology

Each year, up to $20,000 is awarded to engineering-led teams who aim to go BIG. Award amounts vary.

The Baquerizo Innovation Grant (BIG) program seeks proposals for a new product or service that could have a highly positive and transformative impact on people’s lives.

BIG grants:

  • Are open to undergraduate and graduate students
  • Last one year
  • Support prototyping and testing

Program details »

How to Apply »

Important 2020 Dates

  • January 20: BIG grant application opens
  • October 4: Application deadline (extended)
  • October 5-9: Finalists notified
  • October 15: Finalist recorded presentations to the Review Committee
  • Late October: Grant awards announced

How to Apply

Applicants submit:

  • Resumes for each team member
  • A research proposal, up to 5 pages
  • A Letter of Support from a team mentor

Apply Now


Sam Fox

"BIG offers significant funding—helping a project progress to a stage where it's ready for investment."


2019 Winners


Uses 3D printing and energy absorption technologies to produce custom-fitting devices aimed at improving player safety in high-contact sports. Led by Kevin Gehsmann, Clark Bulleit and Tim Skapek.

How 3D printing saved Duke's football season »


Developing a device dubbed “remedy” to raise sleep awareness in centers of care to prevent adverse outcomes associated with sleep deprivation. Led by Robin Maganti, Kamyar Yazdani, Abhi Jadhav and Alice Chung.

How BIG Works

Grant funds may be directed toward prototyping and testing.

Each team must include a full-time student leader and a senior technical mentor. No funds are available to support the technical mentor. While many technical mentors will be faculty members, participants from industry are welcome.

All funded teams agree to return to Duke in the fall following the award to present their work publicly. Duke  students will have the opportunity to continue their research during the school year, and re-apply for the next BIG award.


Each team must include:

  • Full-time undergraduate and graduate students
  • A leader who is an active Pratt School of Engineering student
  • At least one technical mentor

Application Review Criteria

  • Problem being addressed
  • Technology-driven solution
  • Technological innovation or breakthrough
  • Technological feasibility and associated risk
  • Value of the solution
  • Approach
  • Strength of the team
  • Status and plan
  • Technical mentor's letter of support