A goal of the Broad Institute is to make it possible for investigators to undertake new projects and explore new scientific directions. However, these new directions are often difficult to fund by traditional mechanisms because they can be viewed as too risky or require preliminary data to justify. Scientific Projects to Accelerate Research and Collaboration (SPARC) was therefore created as a mechanism to strategically invest discretionary resources in relatively small projects that catalyze the creation of new scientific directions, new scientific communities, or new technologies and capabilities. Proposals are rapidly reviewed by the SPARC committee, chaired by Todd Golub, and awarded on a quarterly basis.

Please see here for additional internal funding mechanisms.


The overall goal of the SPARC program is to catalyze new research directions. This may take many forms, including

  • Creating new capabilities of broad interest to the Broad community, such as new experimental or analytical approaches or novel technologies
  • Bringing together new communities and collaborations across the Broad to tackle important problems 
  • Generating scientific resources (data or reagents) of broad interest to the Broad community
  • Pursuing transformative science that addresses major hurdles for a specific field

Successful SPARC proposals typically benefit the Broad scientific community and not just a single laboratory (although the work is often done in a single lab). In addition, the intention is to fund projects that could not be readily funded by other mechanisms because they would be viewed as too risky or lacking in preliminary data.


All Institute Members, Associate Members, Institute Scientists and Staff Scientists with PI status are allowed to apply for SPARC funding.

Staff Scientists without PI status can apply for PI status for a particular SPARC proposal submission, but this process must be initiated and completed prior to consideration of the proposal by the SPARC committee. For more information regarding eligibility, please contact the Office for Sponsored Research (sponsoredresearch@broadinstitute.org)

Postdoctoral fellows and associates are not eligible to submit proposals.

Submitting a SPARC Proposal

Applicants, especially if they are new to the process, are strongly encouraged to discuss potential SPARC ideas with John Doench (an Institute Scientist on the SPARC committee, jdoench@broadinstitute.org) or another member of the SPARC committee prior to beginning the process of preparing an application. Likewise, the proposal should be discussed with relevant Platform and Program leadership if there are substantial scientific synergies or resource needs. 

Completed applications should be sent to sparcproposals@broadinstitute.org by the deadlines listed below.

Application Deadlines and Review

Applications are reviewed on a quarterly basis, with review and notification typically occurring within one month of the application deadline. Since deadlines are frequent, it is better to submit a well-considered proposal at a later deadline than a rushed proposal at a sooner deadline.

Proposals are due by the close of business on the 15th of the month; if the 15th falls on a weekend or holiday, they are due on the next business day:

Upcoming deadlines:
April 16, 2024 (Tuesday)
July 15, 2024 (Monday)
October 15, 2024 (Tuesday)