Coulter Translational Partnership

Accelerating The Development of Promising Bioengineering Research

Since 2006, the Duke-Coulter Translational Partnership has supported collaborative research that addresses unmet clinical needs and leads to improvements in health care and to commercial products.

Examples of desirable outcomes include inventions, patents, improved diagnosis and treatment of disease, follow-on funding (e.g., grants, SBIR, angel investment) commercial products, licenses, commercial partnerships and/or start-up companies.

Duke-Coulter Translational Partnership infographic

What is the Duke/Coulter Partnership?

Duke BME was one of nine BME programs to receive a partnership award in 2005 from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation to support collaborative translational research projects that involve co-investigators from the Duke University Department of Biomedical Engineering and a clinical department in the Duke University Health System.

During the first 10 years of this partnership, $8 million has been awarded to 39 supported projects, yielding $489 million in follow-on funding and 13 licences to industry.


Each year, we have a call for proposals. Each translational research proposal must have at least one individual whose primary or secondary appointment is in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and at least one clinical investigator. The research must relate directly to applications in health care, and the objectives of the project should include an outcome that will benefit patients. Evaluation of each proposal will be on the basis of scientific merit, potential health care impact and significance, experience of the investigators, the potential for commercialization or translation to patient care and for successfully obtaining further support.  

Each year we typically award three to five grants. Award amounts vary based upon amount requested and budget evaluation of the Oversight Committee. Typically, we have about $700,000 per year for awards.

the 2017-2018 Grant Cycle

Important Information


  • March 9: Proposals due
  • March 9 - April 14: Review of proposals and selection for oral presentations
  • May: Oral presentations and selection of grant recipients
  • May: Announce winners
  • September 1: Launch projects¬†
  • December 1: First quarterly report due
  • March 1: Second quarterly report due
  • February: Project update presentation to the Oversight Committee