University of Southern California USC


We are now accepting applications for the 2014-15 Diploma in Innovation cohort. The application is available here. Please review the guidelines below and download the signature page. The project summary/abstract, proposal narrative and budget should all be uploaded to the application in Word or PDF format. Send questions about the application to

Proposal Guidelines

Signature Page – Each team must submit a signature page signed by the USC Ph.D. student team member(s), the dissertation advisor(s) for each USC Ph.D. student, and the faculty member who will mentor the team.

Project Summary/Abstract – 250 word maximum description of the project which briefly explains the need for and the expected impact of the project.  Include faculty mentor’s name and a brief description of how their expertise or experience is relevant to the project.

Proposal Narrative – 1-2 page narrative that includes the following:

  1. Need: team must identify that a need exists for this type of solution/process/policy/device etc. and must demonstrate how their project will help address that need.
  2. Methods and Timeline: team must demonstrate that their project will conclude in six month’s time, and lay out the specific methods they will employ to complete the project.  If IRB approval will be required, approval must be granted before funds will be allocated.  The expected contributions of each team member should be briefly outlined.

Budget – team must explain how the $2,250 award will be used over the course of a year and justify all anticipated expenses within the context of the proposed project.

Build Your Team

If you have an idea but are not sure how to find collaborators, there are a few resources at USC that might help. The Annenberg Innovation Lab has a forum on their website that allows you to post project ideas and join teams. Check it out here.  If you’re looking for business students to help you with a socially-focused project inquire at the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab.  Other resources for promoting innovation and connecting with like-minded individuals can be found on the Innovation @ USC page.

Review and Awards

Proposals will be reviewed by a committee of faculty appointed by the Office of the Provost.  Decisions will be made by the end of the fall semester.  The Provost intends to award up to 15 grants per year.

  • Contact

    USC Diploma in Innovation
    Grace Ford Salvatori Hall (GFS) 304
    3601 Watt Way
    Los Angeles, CA 90089-1695

    Office hours: M-F 8:30am-5:00pm