Research Grant Program

  • Each year the Batten Institute solicits grant proposals from faculty members of the University of Virginia who conduct rigorous and relevant research about entrepreneurship and innovation. Their research results in high-impact intellectual outputs consistent with the missions of the Darden School and the University of Virginia.

    Proposals for the Batten Institute research grant program are reviewed by a committee that includes members of Darden’s Research and Course Development Committee and Batten Institute leadership. Researchers may use the grants — $10,000, on average — to cover research-related expenses such as data collection, research assistance, and travel. Grant recipients are expected to produce papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals, as well as conference presentations and books for both scholarly and business practitioner audiences.

    Proposal Deadline for the 2019-20 academic year: 1 May 2019
    Please submit your proposal using this Qualtrics Form

    For more details about the current grant cycle, please see the Request For Proposals (pdf), Sample Submission No. 1 (pdf) and Sample Submission No. 2 (pdf).

    2018–19 Grant Recipients

    Edward D. Hess 
    Professor of Business Administration and Batten Executive-in-Residence

    Optimizing Human Innovation in the Smart Machine Age
    This project will synthesize the best learnings from ancient Eastern and Western philosophies and the latest science on how technology will transform how every organization is managed and operated. Technology will become integrated into every area of business. Human beings will be needed to do those tasks that technology won’t be able to do well. The consensus view is that at least for the near term those tasks will be higher order complex thinking—critical, creative, and innovative—and high emotional engagement with other humans in the delivery of services.

    Morela Hernandez 
    Associate Professor of Business Administration 
    and
    Courtney L. McCluney 
    Post-doctoral Fellow

    Building Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Emerging Economies  
    The aim of this project is to build research on how institutional resources enable marginalized entrepreneurs to develop and flourish in resource-constrained environments. The research will rely on a mixed methods study observing how Black women develop social and cultural resources through participation in incubators and accelerators. 

    Tami Kim and Lalin Anik 
    Assistant Professors of Business Administration

    Keeping Consumers in Check Through Feedback
    Co-investigator: Shruti Koley (Post-Doc, Darden School of Business). In attempts to motivate consumers to be well-behaved consumers, many companies are beginning to implement a new business strategy: giving them feedback, for example customer ratings on EBay. This research explores when and why this strategy may succeed or backfire.

    Kenneth C. Lichtendahl Jr.
    Eleanor F. and Phillip G. Rust Professorship of Business Administration

    Dueling Crowdsourcing Contests
    Co-investigators: Sanjiv Erat (Associate Professor, University of California at San Diego) and Konstantinos I. Stouras, (Senior Researcher, Darden School of Business and Assistant Professor, University College Dublin, Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School). Solvers’ participation and effort decisions in a crowdsourcing innovation contest are not only affected by its own design, but they also depend on the design of any competing contests that run in parallel. We study how a firm should allocate its limited budget to elicit innovation in the presence of competition by other firms with potentially larger budgets.

    Jeanne Liedtka 
    United Technologies Corporation Professor of Business Administration

    Continuation of Design Thinking work including Social Technology
    This research project will lead to a new book, The Social Technology of Design Thinking

    Bobby Parmar
    Associate Professor of Business Administration  
    and 
    Anusha Ramesh
    Ph.D. Candidate

    Entrepreneurship as Opportunities for Exit
    Co-investigator: Sankaran Venkataraman (MasterCard Professor of Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Research). This project seeks to understand the idea of exiting a current situation to engage in entrepreneurship in the light of many other available choices. To do so, this project examine the decisions and choices that individuals make when they are dissatisfied with their current situation and how entrepreneurship as an exit option changes individuals’ decisions to remain in their current situation. 

    Ting Xu
    Assistant Professor of Business Administration

    How do Entrepreneurs Choose Crowdfunding Contracts?
    Co-investigator: Song Ma (Assistant Professor of Finance, Yale School of Management). This project examines the contracting problem between entrepreneurs in crowdfunding. Its findings will inform recent debate about the regulation of crowdfunding and security design. It will also guide financial decision by entrepreneurs, investors, and funding portals. Our research will shed light on theories in entrepreneurial finance and financial contracting.

    Frederico Ciliberto 
    Associate Professor of Economics, College of Arts & Sciences, University of Virginia

    Market for Ideas in the Pharmaceutical Industry
    Co-investigators: Gaurab Aryal (Assistant Professor, UVA College of Arts and Sciences, Economics Dept.) and Ekaterina Khmelnitskaya (Doctoral Candidate, UVA College of Arts and Sciences, Economics Dept.). This project will directly examine the process of innovation in the pharmaceutical industry with the focus on the flow of inventions from startups to incumbent firms. A large portion of the project will be studying exit strategies of small entrepreneurial firms. The project will result in better understanding of the market for ideas, which is an important component of the entrepreneurial environment in the industry.


    2017-18 Grant Recipients
    2016-17 Grant Recipients
    2015-16 Grant Recipients
    2014-15 Grant Recipients
    2013–14 Grant Recipients