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The Partnership

The annual grant from the Coulter-Drexel Translational Research Partnership program sponsors collaborative translational research projects led by teams of engineers and scientists in partnership with clinical faculty. The mission of this program is to develop health care solutions that address unmet or poorly met clinical needs and lead to improvements in patient health care. 

The Grants

The goal of this program is to support collaborative research that addresses unmet clinical needs and leads to improvements in health care by accelerating the transfer of healthcare innovations from academia to the marketplace. Success is measured through licensing of the underlying intellectual property, raising risk capital, clearance of regulatory bodies, and commercial availability of the product. Since 2006, the average award from the Coulter program has been $100,000, with a range of $40,000-$230,000 per year of funding. Projects that meet technical and commercial milestones during the first year of funding are eligible to apply for a second year of funding.


Each proposal must include two co-principal investigators: a faculty member who is actively developing the technology solution, and a clinical faculty member whose job responsibilities include direct contact with patients or patient data. Clinical faculty members may have appointments in a wide variety of areas, including medicine, surgery, nursing and health professions, and social work. Proposals are evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Significant unmet or underserved clinical need
  • Scientific merit, and substantial improvement over current solutions or standard clinical practice
  • Strength and nature of the clinical collaboration
  • Reasonable and achievable milestones
  • Intellectual property position
  • High probability of attracting follow-on funding, within 2-3 years of the Coulter award

Award Process

The Coulter application process takes place in three stages over approximately six months, and is a highly interactive process between the faculty, Coulter program staff, Tech Commercialization team of Drexel Ventures, and our industry advisers. Faculty are required to meet with the Coulter Program Director prior to submitting a pre-proposal. Pre-proposals are reviewed by a subset of the members of the Coulter Oversight Committee, and faculty are then invited to submit a full proposal detailing the applicable market for the technology and likely commercialization plan. A subset of those submitting full proposals will be invited to submit a detailed research plan and budget for final consideration by the Oversight Committee. Award announcements are made in early June with funding starting July 1st.