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Université de Bordeaux
Cluster of excellence

Selection criteria

Evaluation criteria

Projects must meet 3 general criteria:

  • Target an unmet medical need
  • Use a novel approach
  • Have the potential to advance within 2 years to a licensing agreement, a clinical trial stage or a stage of maturity allowing to obtain funding for industrial development or commericalization

Particular attention will be paid to projects addressing public health issues or involving vulnerable populations.

A special attention will be given to:

  • The current stage and future developments
  • Preliminary data
  • Work plan

Also, the intellectual property situation, the regulatory context, the market potential and the project risk analysis will be evaluated.


From the time the application is submitted, and during all stages of development, the project must involve a leader or co-leader who is working in a research unit whose trustee is the University of Bordeaux.

Students are encouraged to submit projects, and the submission must be in collaboration with a co-leader who is a permanent researcher working in a research unit whose trustee is the University of Bordeaux.

Clinicians who have no links with a research unit are invited to submit a project with a co-leader.


Financial budget

  • A winning project may receive up to €50,000 per year, for a maximum of 2 years. The financial budget awarded and the duration of funding depend on the project
  • The budget is managed by the University of Bordeaux

Deliverables and reporting

  • Project leaders meet their mentor at least once a month. They must participate actively in seminars, in the monthly meetings with the community of project leaders and experts, and in SPARK Bordeaux events
  • Funding is subject to deliverables. The Selection Committee evaluates the deliverables with the project leader, based on the submitted application describing the stages of development, the milestones, and the estimated budget for each stage. If it is determined that the deliverables cannot be provided, funding will stop
  • In the context of the regular meetings with the community of project leaders and experts (the SPARKees community), the project leader will present project progress reports, according to a predefined format
  • At the end of the first year, the project leader will provide an activity report in a predefined format. Based on the report and the deliverables, the Selection Committee will decide whether funding for the second year should be made available

Eligible expenditure

  • The budget will cover operating expenses
  • Human resources expenses might be exceptionally eligible, if the project justifies them
  • Up to €5,000 can be used to finance the purchase of equipment (N.B. support for the project leader will include information on sources of funding for equipment)

The SPARK program is financially supported by the University of Bordeaux within the framework of the Excellence Initiative (state funding - “Investments for the Future” program).

Intellectual property

The general rules for managing the intellectual property of the work financed by SPARK Bordeaux are identical to those prevailing in the research units affiliated to the University of Bordeaux. If necessary, a specific contract between the parties involved may be drawn up prior to its launch.


All communication materials relating to a granted project must follow communication rules defined by the SPARK Bordeaux program.

A project description may be displayed on the SPARK Bordeaux website.