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The Victor C. Alvarez Spark Innovation Award is open to all undergraduate and graduate Tulane University students that are pursuing a social venture idea.

Apply to the Alvarez Award


Applications accepted throughout the academic year on November 15, 2023 and March 15, 2024.



Students are eligible for up to $2,500 per academic year over the course of their studies to move their ideas forward.

About the Alvarez Spark Innovation Award

The Victor C. Alvarez Spark Innovation Award is open to all undergraduate and graduate Tulane University students that are pursuing a social venture idea. Students are eligible for up to $2,500 per academic year to move their ideas forward. Students must be able to articulate how the funding will help them reach their next growth milestone. Examples may include:

  • Determining the appropriate legal structure for your venture
  • Printing and testing marketing materials
  • Buying supplies to prototype a product
  • Testing a service you aim to offer

Student learning is a critical part of the award process.

  • All awardees must demonstrate their ability to learn from data and feedback, both in failure and success.
  • All students who receive an Alvarez Spark Innovation Award must complete a form and a series of blog posts to demonstrate the impact of their award.
  • Additionally, awardees must have at least one mentor, who is a faculty member, staff, or community member, depending on the proposed project’s needs.


To be eligible for a Victor C. Alvarez Spark Innovation Fund Award, you must meet these requirements:

  • Be an undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in classes part-time or full-time at the time of application
  • Be in good standing with Tulane University
  • Have completed all of the application requirements

Citizenship status does not affect eligibility for Taylor funding. Questions regarding applying to Taylor funding as an undocumented student can be directed to For more information for resources for undocumented students and students with Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA), visit

Proposal Requirements

The full application requires the components described below. Links include examples, resources, or templates to use while developing your proposal:

  1. A one-page resume for all official team members
  2. One reference from a faculty, staff, or community member that is mentoring the applicant during this process.
  3. A 2-3 page proposal that includes the following:
    1. Problem Landscape: What is the issue you are looking to understand? What is its history and what are the forces (ie. social, economic, corporate, environmental, cultural and political, etc) maintaining the status quo? Who is affected by it? What is the size and scope of the issue?
    2. Solutions Landscape: Who is already trying to solve this problem? What are they doing? What efforts have been tried or are being tried? What has worked, what hasn’t? Are any of these efforts linked to one another? What networks & resources exist? What has happened in the past, and what could happen in the future? What is missing from the solutions landscape?
    3. Opportunities and Levers for Change: Explain your idea and provide a description of the specific part of your idea you would like to test. Include a timeline for completing the project, a description of how you plan to capture and share your results and process, including any failures or successes.
  4. An itemized budget & funding request using the Taylor Award Budget Worksheet
  5. Acknowledgement of the Student Contract
  6. Completed financial document
    • To receive the award, domestic applicants must have a W-9 form completed as an individual or legal entity.
    • In order to process the payment for international/undocumented/DACAmented students, the required forms to be provided by you are as follows:
      • a completed W-8BEN;
      • your GLACIER Tax Summary Report which can be requested from the International Tax Office at

Application Deadline & Selection Process

2023 – 2024 Application Deadlines

  • November 15, 2023. 
  • March 15, 2024. 

All applications are due at 11:59 PM CT on the date of deadlines in order to guarantee review and selection.

  • Students that submit the application on time will be notified of funding decisions within 3 weeks of submission deadline.
  • Taylor Center staff, faculty, and colleagues will review all application materials and make awards based on criteria established in the award description.
  • We reserve the right to accept or deny candidates based on the award criteria.


Congratulations on your award!

Your next steps are to:

  1. Post 1-2 blogs about your experience on Taylor Hub and 3 photos to Instagram. Follow these instructions to write and post your blog.
  2. Attend the Taylor Student Showcase in the spring semester.


  • Interested in applying or learning more about Taylor Center Funding opportunities?
  • Email
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