Applications for Cyclotron Road Cohort Four are now open. Read on below for everything you need to know to apply. Applications are due by 5pm PST on Tuesday, October 31st.

How to apply

  1. Now—Review the application timeline, eligibility criteria, application materials, and FAQ on this page
  2. Now—Register using the form below if you intend to apply
  3. After registering—We will send you the application submission instructions and share a recorded webinar for applicants by email
  4. By 5pm PST on October 31st—Submit a simple five page application using the instructions provided when you registered

Application timeline

  • Applications open October 2nd – 31st, 2017
  • Initial application review November 1st – 30th, 2017

Applications are reviewed by the Cyclotron Road team as well as scientific and industry subject matter experts

  • Phone interviews December 4th – 15th, 2017

Based on initial review, selected applicants will be invited to conduct a brief phone screen with the Cyclotron Road team.

  • Finalist interviews Week of January 29th, 2018

Finalists will be invited to visit Berkeley Lab to tour facilities, connect with potential collaborators, and present for our team and Leadership Council.

  • Cohort selected Mid February, 2018
  • Cohort starts at Cyclotron Road May 1st, 2018

Exact start date is flexible based on the needs of each individual participant.

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What you get

Participants selected for Cohort Four will receive:*

  • A two year fellowship—Includes a personal living stipend ranging from $80,000 to $110,000/year depending on experience, along with full individual health insurance, and up to $20,000/year travel allowance.
  • Lab access and research funding—Unencumbered access and $100,000 in seed research funding at Berkeley Lab, with the potential to also access UC Berkeley as part of our pilot partnership
  • Mentorship, education, and networking—Intensive mentorship and education from our program team and exposure to a wide range of leaders from academia, industry, government, and finance.

*All support is subject to performance and availability of funds.

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Eligibility criteria

Innovators may apply as individuals or as the technical leader of an existing team or small business.

For acceptance into the program, applicants:

  • Must be the technical leader(s) of their effort, with Ph.D. or equivalent experience in a technical field.
  • Must be working to advance a hard tech concept based on an innovation in the physical or biological sciences, or related engineering disciplines.
  • Applicants that have raised more than $2,000,000 in debt or equity funding from non-governmental sources within three years prior to program acceptance are ineligible.
  • Strong preference for applicants that have raised less than $500,000 to date.
  • Strong preference for applicants who have not previously founded a hard tech company.

If an effort has two technical leads, both individuals should apply in a single application so long as they are considered full leaders/founders with decision-making authority.  

Applicants are not required to have an incorporated entity in order to apply; however, selected participants will be required to establish an appropriate legal entity for their project if selected to receive support from the program.

Track specific requirements:

Applicants must choose a primary sponsor and impact track for their application. We select fellows in part based on their ability to advance our sponsor’s mission, so choose the track that most strongly aligns with the impact of your technology if it were deployed at scale.

Advanced
Manufacturing
Clean
Power
Electronics
Sponsor
DOE Advanced Manufacturing Office State of California Energy Commission DARPA Microsystems Technology Office
Mission
Catalyze research, development and adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies and practices to drive U.S. economic competitiveness and energy productivity. [Ref.] Support investments in clean energy technologies that promote greater electricity reliability, lower costs, and increased safety for ratepayers in the state of California. [Ref.] Ensure far-reaching improvements in electronics performance beyond the limits of traditional scaling by supporting research and development in microelectronic architectures, design, and materials and integration. [Ref.]
Number of available slots
Up to five teams Up to five teams Up to two teams
Additional eligibility requirements
U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident None U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
Specific technologies of interest include
  • Critical Materials
  • Direct Thermal Energy Conversion Materials, Devices, and Systems
  • Wide Bandgap Semiconductors for Power Electronics
  • Materials for Harsh Service Conditions
  • Advanced Materials Manufacturing
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Composite Materials
  • Roll-to-Roll Processing
  • Process Intensification
  • Process Heating
  • Smart Manufacturing: Advanced Sensors, Controls, Platforms and Modeling for Manufacturing (ASCPMM)
  • Waste Heat Recovery Systems
  • Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Systems
  • Sustainable Manufacturing
  • Solar photovoltaics
  • Wind energy
  • Biogas
  • Energy harvesting
  • Microgrid controllers
  • Superconductors
  • Materials for high-voltage transmission
  • Electric vehicle charging
  • Grid-scale energy storage
  • Forecasting technologies
  • Sensors
  • Customer side energy storage
  • Energy efficiency
  • Water efficiency
  • Demand response & demand control technologies
  • Industrial electrification
  • Application specific integrated circuit (ASIC)
  • System-on-Chip (SoC)
  • Hardware accelerators
  • Circuit design tools
  • Heterogeneous integration
  • Mixed-signal integrated circuits
  • Novel materials
  • Three-dimensional chips
  • Novel computer architectures
  • Semiconductor processing and fabrication
  • Machine learning
  • Data intensive-algorithms
  • Printed circuit boards (PCB)
  • System-in-package (SiP)
  • Physical design

Application materials

Applications should consist of a single PDF document containing the following information:

  • You (one page)—A one page resume for the technical leader(s) applying for the fellowship (up to two per application)
  • Your vision (two pages)—Describe the technology concept you want to pursue. Use the Heilmeier catechism as a guide for what’s most relevant. Please also comment on the potential for impact on the sponsor’s mission area for your primary application track.
  • Why Cyclotron Road? (one page)—What most attracts you to Cyclotron Road? Why would this be the ideal home for you and your project (vs. alternative paths)? Which people or facilities at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley would be particularly valuable in supporting your work?
  • What else? (one page)—An extra page. Your call.

Formatting requirements: 

Render and submit a single PDF that precisely follows the page guidance above. For example, "one page" means precisely a single page with no spill over.

To ensure maximum protection of your information, please mark all pages of your application with the footer “Confidential and Proprietary – Exempt from Disclosure”

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Frequently asked questions

Do you take any equity in the projects?

No. Cyclotron Road is a fellowship program that supports people, first and foremost. We have a nonprofit mission to help you find the optimal path for your project to go to market, regardless of the specific business model. That said, many of our innovators find other ways to give back to the hard tech community.

What are your selection criteria? 

Our primary selection filter will be based on your individual strengths as a potential Cyclotron Road fellow. We are looking for entrepreneurial technical leaders who have the drive and ability to build a transformative technology and lead a team in its development. We also work to ensure that the initial project concept is technically sound, reasonably differentiated, and addresses a well-framed problem with potential for significant long-term impact on the mission of the sponsoring agency for each application track.

I’m eligible for more than one application track based on the criteria, how do I choose?

We recommend you begin by reviewing the sponsoring agency’s mission and technologies of interest for each application track in the table above. Choose the track that best aligns with your vision for the long-term impact of your technology if wildly successful.

How are my chances of being selected affected by my choice of  mission track? 

We select fellows in part based on their ability to advance our sponsor’s mission, so we recommend choosing the track that most strongly aligns with the impact of your technology if it could be deployed at scale. If no spots are available in your primary track, we will consider your application for funding in the other tracks by default, unless you specifically opt out of that consideration.

Do I/we have to be incorporated to apply?  

Applicants are not required to have an incorporated entity in order to apply; however, selected participants will be required to establish an appropriate legal entity for their project if selected to receive support from the program.

What if I ultimately decide that a startup is not right for me or my technology? 

That's ok. We believe that housing your effort within an incorporated entity provides the best structure to support you as an entrepreneurial innovator. That said, our goal from day one is to support you in finding the best path to drive your technology concept toward impact in the marketplace. That can take many forms, from high-growth venture to licensing or early acquisition. Or you may realize that the idea has a fatal flaw you didn't expect. In any case, our primary goal is your personal success and with it the impact of your idea, regardless of the form that takes.

Can I participate in the program part-time? 

No. Participants are expected to be “all in” and working on their project full time. As such, you will have to give up any other primary employment affiliation in order to participate in the program. 

Do I have to move to Berkeley? 

Participation in the program requires that you be substantively in-residence at Berkeley Lab. It’s beautiful here, you'll love it.

Some of my team is based outside of Berkeley, do they also need to move?

No. As long as the cohort participant is substantively in residence at Berkeley lab, they can continue to work with collaborators elsewhere.

What if I am already affiliated with Berkeley Lab or The University of California (UC)?

Anyone meeting the stated eligibility requirements is eligible to participate and encouraged to apply. That said, applicants are required to disclose if Berkeley Lab or UC has any financial interest in the applicant’s background IP or company so that potential conflict-of-interest issues can be identified and managed appropriately. 

How will intellectual property (IP) be handled? 

Projects will be supported via a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Berkeley Lab or via our pilot Visiting Entrepreneurial Fellow Agreement (VEF) at UC Berkeley, each of which offers clear IP protection for participants. Those planning to leverage background IP from another institution at Cyclotron Road will be expected to seek and obtain appropriate rights to such IP.

Will my applications materials be kept confidential? 

Your application will be reviewed by scientific and industry experts from within and outside of Berkeley Lab. Based on summary application information, potential reviewers will be asked to recuse themselves from accessing any application that may pose a potential conflict of interest, and any selected reviewers will commit to not disclosing information outside of the formal selection process. We will not share application materials outside of the review process without your express permission. While we encourage you to be as open as possible in your application, we would advise against including any critically sensitive proprietary details. Finally, remember to mark all pages of your application with the footer “Confidential and Proprietary – Exempt from Disclosure”

Where can I address other questions I have about the program? 

A webinar covering details about the application process and program will be made available to registered applicants.

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