Regents’ Innovator Leave of Absence

How the Regents’ Innovator Leave of Absence Nomination process works

The title of Regents’ Innovator may be granted by the Board of Regents to outstanding full- time tenured faculty to allow time away from their full-time faculty duties to focus on beginning or growing companies that commercialize a faculty member’s research, consistent with Board of Regents’ policies, including but not limited to institutional policies and practices for intellectual property. For more information, visit the Board of Regents’ Policy Manual.

A Regents’ Innovator title shall be granted by the BOR for an initial period pf three years. Consideration of the renewal of the tile for a second three-year period shall be given by the BOR upon recommendation of the President, Chancellor, and the BOR Committee on Academic Affairs.

Faculty members with the title of Regents’ Innovator are eligible for an unpaid leave of absence, or partial or joint appointment with their current and other institutions. A condition of the unpaid leave of absence includes the execution of an agreement between the faculty member and the Institute, signed by both the faculty member and the President.

Process and Package Contents for Regents’ Innovator Leave of Absence

  1. Nominee’s current CV with specific emphasis on accomplished and anticipated commercialization and entrepreneurial activities. GT format for CV recommended but not required. (provided by nominee to school chair)
  2. One paragraph biographical sketch (provided by nominee to school chair)
  3. Summary of accomplishments no more than three pages where the faculty member describes how he/she satisfies the specific criteria for the Regents’ Innovator leave as listed below (provided by the nominee to the school chair)
    • Startup is based on research that must have yielded IP that is GT owned, without IP rights commitments to any industry or other non-federal funding sponsors.
    • Evidence of strong effort towards the development of the startup. Examples of such evidence include (but are not restricted to) at least three months prior engagement with staff of GT commercialization units such as VentureLab, Biolocity, ATDC, etc., on the development of their startup.
    • Evidence of market research and relevance, and startup viability. Examples of such evidence include (but are not restricted to) prior participation in faculty workshops focused on entrepreneurship run by GT personnel or in cohorts of relevant NSF/NIH/DOD/DOE ICorps programs.Preference for candidates who have raised some initial funding from the Georgia Research Alliance.
    • Preference for candidates who have secured Series A or later venture funding. 
  4. Nomination letter from the school chair to the dean (provided by school chair). The School Chair may engage a faculty committee, such as the School RPT committee, to evaluate applications.
  5. Leave of Absence form
  6. Dean’s letter of recommendation to the Provost

To apply for a Regents’ Innovator leave, a faculty member should submit the materials listed above at least four months in advance of the leave start date to the Office of Faculty Affairs via a GT-TRACS package, tagging OSP in a note for review and selecting Orgs 609 and 600 as approvers. Submitted materials will be shared with a designee of the EVPR for evaluation.

Decisions for Regents’ Leave of Absence Nominations

Once the materials have been received and have undergone review, Faculty Affairs will notify the School and the College of the request status. Note that the Regents Innovator leave is contingent upon the Chancellor, BOR Committee on Academic Affairs, and BOR’s approval. Furthermore, BOR policy requires at the execution of an agreement between the faculty member and Georgia Tech, signed by both the faculty member and the President. This agreement will be executed after approval of the Regents’ Innovator leave.