Applications are now being accepted for the 2017-2018 cycle, and are due by May 4th, 2017 DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MAY 7TH.  To receive updates on the prize, please sign up for our email list

2017/2018 Application Instructions:

After reading our FAQ and the IRI Research Mission, please review and prepare answers for the questions listed below. When you are ready to apply, please submit your responses through our Online Application Form available here. If you have any questions about the application, please contact us at

A professional or academic reference letter, which can be sent directly via email, may be requested later in the application process.

Application Questions:

1. Describe in one paragraph the project you are proposing.

2. Why do you think your project is important?

3. What will be the benefit of your work?

4. What is your approach, and what is different or special about it?

5. Has anyone else attempted this? If so, why is your work unique? If not, why?

6. How does your prior life, academic, or work experiences inform your approach or topic of research? You might find it helpful to address your reply to the IRI Research Mission Statement, available here:

7. Have you done anything in the past that would suggest you possess the qualities necessary to pull this off? What challenges or barriers have you overcome to meet your goals?

Note: You can utilize the $15,000 prize money for anything from research to living expenses. However, you may encounter certain restrictions on the use of funds from the IRI Prize. Please refer to question #12 in our FAQ for information about the prize money and the disbursement of funds through UCLA Financial Aid office:

8. How will this prize impact your ability to complete your proposed project?

Note: Prize recipients will participate in quarterly meet-ups throughout the prize year, including a kick-off event at the beginning of Fall quarter and a final showcase of research work in Spring quarter. In addition, students will submit short monthly updates on their progress.

Applicants to IRI are encouraged to imagine their proposed project in three distinct parts, culminating in a “milestone” at the end of each quarter (Fall, Winter, Spring).

9. What three milestones can you plan for that will demonstrate that you are on target throughout the year?

10. How will you measure your success towards these milestones?

By participating, applicants warrant that the research, through its creation and its submission as an entry, does not infringe upon or violate intellectual property rights held by any third person or party;

If selected, each applicant grants IRI permission to use his/her name, image, likeness or comments for publicity purposes without payment of additional consideration, except where prohibited by law.

When you have prepared your answers, they must be submitted via the Online Application Form available here.