Research Communication from VPDoR for Chairs and Directors - June 7, 2023

Dear Chairs and Directors,

It’s disclosure season! Thank you for supporting annual disclosures in the Outside Professional Activities Certification System (OPACS). Also, many thanks to the teams who keep the OPACS current and functional while finding ways to improve it. Other topics in this email include the upcoming Stanford Research Computing Facility power outage; upcoming funding opportunities (including my personal favorite, Major Research Instrumentation); and links to recent articles on the research ecosystem. What do you think is the most important thing to work on next? Please let us know!

Annual Disclosure of Outside Professional Activities
The Annual Disclosure in the 2022 Outside Professional Activities Certification System (OPACS) has been launched for all faculty and all senior or key research staff on sponsored projects.  This year, due to significant changes to the Conflict of Interest (COI) policy, Stanford requires all faculty and senior or key research staff on sponsored projects to retake COI training.

The annual disclosure requirement in OPACS under Stanford's Policy on Conflict of Commitment and Interest strengthens our research integrity, professional values, and regulatory requirements. As you may recall, in 2022, the Faculty Senate approved changes to the policy for improved clarity and compliance with evolving regulations. Some key changes include: 

  • New training and guidance materials.
  • Expansion of OPACS reporting to include all faculty and senior or key personnel on a sponsored project.
  • Updated definitions on: 
    • Which outside professional activities must be reported;
    • Clarification on which professional services and Stanford responsibilities do not require disclosure; and
    • The types of international activities that must be disclosed.
  • Updates in OPACS to streamline the disclosure process and provide a short form that is to be used for outside activities of short-term, non-recurring, and minimal remuneration.

All individuals who must disclose (either disclose their outside interests or certify that they have no outside interests) have received an email including links to both the new education and to OPACS. If you have any questions, please contact either your School’s COI manager or the VPDoR COI/COC office at

Reminder Stanford Research Computing Facility (SRCF) Outage 2023 -  between June 26, 2023 - July 3, 2023
From the early morning of Monday, June 26, 2023, through the evening of Monday, July 3, 2023, there will be a planned power outage of SRCF to bring up power in the new building safely. During this time, the SRCF building power and generator backup will be shut off to ensure safe access to the infrastructure. The SRCF will also conduct the required SRCF five-year maintenance services, which were last completed in 2018. Sherlock, Carina, Oak, SCG, and ICME platforms will be unavailable for use during the shutdown.

The Stanford Research Computing team will continue to update affected users in the coming months and provide ongoing support. More information can also be found at If you have any questions, please send an email with “SRCF” in the subject line to for more support. 

Funding opportunities spotlight 
Below are three prominent sponsored research funding opportunities. The Stanford Research Development Office (RDO) provides proposal development and editing support and hosts longer, curated lists for major funding opportunities (FOs): FOs for STEM and FOs for HAISS

  • NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program: Instrument Acquisition or Development (NSF 23-519) supports multi-user scientific and engineering instrumentation through acquisition or development. Resulting instruments are, in general, too costly and/or not appropriate for support through other NSF programs. New! 3rd Track on reduction of Helium and no need for cost share. Awards of $0.1M-4M. LIMITED SUBMISSION: Internal applications are due 07/25/23. Selected proposals due to NSF 11/15/2023. MRI info by RDO here

  • NSF CCI: Centers for Chemical Innovation (NSF 23-575) supports developing centers (Phase I) and large, multi-institutional research centers (Phase II) focused on major, long-term fundamental chemical research challenges. CCIs are agile structures that can respond rapidly to emerging opportunities through enhanced collaborations and will produce transformative research, lead to innovation, and attract broad scientific and public interest. Phase I success is required before requesting Phase II funding. Awards for Phase I up to $1.8M for 3 years; Phase II up to $4M per year for 5 years. Pre-proposal due to NSF by 08/10/23. 

  • NEH Public Humanities Projects (20230809-BP-BR-GE-GG-GI) aims to bring the ideas of the humanities to life for general audiences through public programming. Awards support projects that are intended to reach broad and diverse public audiences in non-classroom settings in the United States. Projects should engage with ideas that are accessible to the general public and employ appealing interpretive formats. Awards for Planning: $75,000; Implementation: $400,000 (+ $100,000 for Positions in the Public Humanities). Due to NEH by 8/9/23 

Improving the research ecosystem
I also would like to draw your attention to the recent Stanford Report article on new research investments published last month. As I mentioned in the article, strengthening our research capabilities has been a collective community vision. I’m grateful for the many ways that many of you have worked together over the years to build systems and make strategic investments in people and infrastructure to help all scholars work on their best ideas. I also hope you saw the recent Q&A article with Jennifer Cochran and Jodi Prochaska, new Senior Associate Vice Provosts in the VPDoR. Consider inviting them for a conversation with your department or group to learn more about your area of research and priorities. 

As always, feel free to share the above information with your teams. And send your suggestions!

Stay safe and be well,

Kam Moler
Vice Provost and Dean of Research