Research Communication from VPDoR for Chairs and Directors - June 21, 2022

Dear Chairs and Directors: 

As we leave another inspirational academic year, we would like to express our gratitude for your leadership and partnership. A hearty congratulations to all graduates – and to their advisors, mentors, and champions. 

As always, we encourage you to share the updates in this letter with faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate students who may find the information and links helpful.


Faculty Senate approves changes to conflicts of interest and conflict of commitment policies

On June 2, 2022, the Faculty Senate voted to approve a set of changes to the conflict of interest and conflict of commitment policies set forth in the Research Policy Handbook.  The changes define key terms in the existing policies, better align Stanford practices with new federal requirements, and clarify disclosure expectations and management roles and responsibilities. The Office of Research Policy and Integrity, led by Associate Vice Provost Cindy Kiel, will now begin an implementation process, working in consultation with Deans, faculty COI leaders in the schools, staff COI directors, and other stakeholders. The implementation steps include updates and improvements to the online OPACS system.


Sustaining Research at Stanford Project 

At a recent meeting of the Stanford Board of Trustees’ Committee on Finance, we shared an update on VPDoR’s ongoing “sustaining research” project. This project arose from the President’s post-pandemic working group, which examined priorities for the University’s recovery. 

The project aims to develop strategies to address the challenges of supporting research across campus. As the costs of research continue to rise, our sponsored research funding from federal and private sources has slowed in some areas. An initial phase of the sustaining research project analyzed trends in our federal funding, including the volume of submitted proposals and success rates, and compared Stanford’s activity to that of our peer universities. A second phase of the project is exploring incentives and barriers faculty face in deciding whether to pursue sponsored research. Conversations with faculty are continuing, and we will be sharing some preliminary ideas with Deans and department chairs in the months ahead.


Stanford Report article on Shared Research Platforms

In case you missed it, the article  “Investment in Shared Research Platforms catalyzes discovery and accelerates solutions" was recently published in the Stanford Report. Thank you to Professors Jennifer Dionne, Georgios “Yiorgo” Skiniotis, Srabanti Chowdhury, Nigam Shah, and Russell Poldrack for participating in this good news story for the academic and research community.


Funding opportunities spotlight 

Below are three prominent sponsored research funding opportunities to spotlight this month. A longer list curated by the Research Development Office (RDO; proposal development and editing support) is available here

The Public Humanities Projects program (20220810-BP-BR-GE-GG-GI), part of the National Endowment for the Humanities, provides support for projects that bring ideas and insights of the humanities to life for general audiences (e.g., in-person exhibitions and historic site interpretations, discussions, and other scholar- or staff-led programs). This call is for projects that engage humanities scholarship to analyze significant themes in disciplines such as history, literature, ethics, and art history. Awards: planning up to $75k over 2 years; implementation up to $400k over 4 years. Applications due to NEH by 08/10/22. 


NSF CCI: Centers for Chemical Innovation (NSF 22-596) supports research centers focused on major, long-term fundamental chemical research challenges, including Advanced Manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence, Biotechnology, Climate Research and Sustainability, Clean Energy and Quantum Information Science. CCIs are intended to be agile structures that can respond rapidly to new opportunities, and there is a heavy emphasis on impacts, including innovation, education, broadening participation, and informal science communication. Awards: Phase I up to $1.8M for 3 years; Phase II (for FY20 Phase I awardees only) up to $4M/year for 5 years. Phase I required preliminary proposal due to NSF by 08/10/22. 


NSF/NIGMS Initiative to Support Research at the Interface of Biological and Mathematical Sciences (NSF 22-600). This initiative will support fundamental research in mathematics and statistics that is necessary to answer questions in the biological and biomedical sciences (i.e., research at the interface between mathematical and life sciences). This program is designed to catalyze new collaborations, as well as to support innovative activities by existing teams. Awards: Track 1 total budget up to $600k for 3 years; Track 2 total budget up to $1.2M for  3-4 years. Applications due to NSF by 09/19/22. 


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Stay safe and be well, 

David and Serena 


David Studdert, Acting Vice Provost of Research; Professor of Health Policy and of Law   

Serena Rao, Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Operations, Vice Provost and Dean of Research


The mission of the Office of the VIce Provost and Dean of Research is to provide guidance and support to facilitate, nurture, and safeguard a thriving research ecosystem. If you have suggestions for updates or topics for the upcoming Chair’s Letter, please submit them to