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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation 2022

To:Chairs and Administrators, Departments in the Biological and Physical Sciences; Associate Deans for Research; College/School Research Administrators
From:Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Graduate Education
Date:December 13, 2021
Subject:Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation 2022


Deadline for Internal Review:January 25, 2022

Project Description

The mission of the 10th Annual Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation is to recognize and honor Excellence in Biomedical Science conducted by graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

The “dream” project component of the Regeneron Prize application is designed to be a differentiating exercise that allows Regeneron’s Selection Committee to distinguish between applicants who have excellent research records because of their mentors and those who have excellent research records because of their own scientific merits. The research that is proposed is not necessarily meant to be conducted, nor is the prize meant as a funding mechanism for research. The prize is a cash prize to the trainee, and the trainee may use the money in any way he or she wishes. It is a personal prize for the personal use of the awardee.

The “dream” project proposal is a mechanism for evaluating a student’s scientific clarity, elegance, precision, and creativity. There is no need for preliminary data (although it isn’t prohibited), and there is no need for the student to feel limited by time or resources for the research proposed. Novel research ideas and “out of the box” thinking are not only acceptable, but encouraged. The proposal should describe a research project the applicant wishes he/she could conduct (i.e. a “dream” project), and be performable within the fundamental limitations imposed by today’s technologies (e.g. don’t propose cloning Albert Einstein). Finalists may be invited to Regeneron for the onsite competition as the final step in the selection of the Regeneron Prize winners, and they should be prepared to explain and defend aspects of their proposal at that time. The intent of the proposal isn’t to conduct the research, it is to evaluate the applicants’ research prowess.

The only rigid rules for the proposal are:
1) The research proposed must be within the field of biomedicine, broadly defined
2) The proposal must be no more than two single-spaced pages (no smaller than 10-point font)
3) References do not need to be included within the two-page limit, but any figures, etc. should be. Please note that preliminary data is not necessary
4) The proposal should clearly define a specific, experiment or series of experiments, and include a rationale, basic methodology/design (citing literature is fine), and discussion of how the experiment’s results would advance the field

Amount per award: Each winner receives a check for $50,000, which can be used in any way the winner chooses. Finalists are each awarded $5,000. In addition, the home institution of the winners will each receive a $5,000 donation to support the institution’s seminar series. Approximately 8-10 applicants will be selected for finalist status. Finalists may be invited to visit Regeneron for the onsite competition, travel expenses.
Number of awards: One (1) graduate student and one (1) postdoctoral fellow are selected to receive the Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation each year.


The UW may nominate no more than two (2) PhD students and two (2) postdoctoral fellows.


Internal Competition Application Instructions

Applications for Internal Review

To submit your application, attach a single PDF to an email to:

  • Cover page (1 page) including:
    • Name, title, and contact information of the nominee
    • Name, title, and contact information of the nominee’s mentor
    • Project title
    • Category:  Postdoctoral Fellow or Graduate Student
  • Nominee’s full academic CV
  • Nomination letter of no more than 2 pages from nominee’s advisor/mentor
  • Dream Project Proposal of no more than 2 pages providing a description of how the proposed project meets the proposal guidelines

Sponsor Deadlines

Applications are due to Regeneron by March 07, 2022.