Baquerizo Innovation Grant >go BIG

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Baquerizo Innovation Grant

$20,000 in annual grants to challenge ambitious Duke Engineering undergrads

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

Each year, up to $20,000 is awarded to undergraduate-led teams who aim to go BIG.

The Baquerizo Innovation Grant program seeks proposals that could have high positive and transformative impacts on people’s lives.

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2019 BIG 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.

Sam Fox

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


How BIG Works

Grant funds may be directed toward prototyping, testing, and student summer stipends.

Each team must include an undergraduate 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 undergraduate 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 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

Important 2020 Dates

  • February—Application period
  • March—Finalists are notified
  • Mid-April—Finalist presentations to the Review Committee
  • Late April—Grant awards announced

Contact Us

Email the BIG team at