Research Communication from VPDoR for Chairs and Directors - September 12, 2022

Dear Chairs and Directors:

We hope your transition into the fall quarter is productive as we welcome new and returning students and promote stronger collaborations across all teams. Read on to find out about Propel Grants to enhance external proposal competitiveness; an initiative in synthetic biology and sustainability; the upcoming visit of the association for the accreditation of human research protection programs; and external funding opportunities. As always, feel free to share this email with others who may be interested and to send suggestions for topics of interest. 

Propel Grants: $50,000 and $5,000 to enhance external proposal competitiveness

Our new Research Development Office has launched Propel Grants to support Stanford-led research teams across all disciplines clear the final hurdles to submit the best possible proposal for external funding. Throughout the year, research collaborations can apply for $50,000 or $5,000 grants to support the final stages of activities. 

Learn more and apply at the Propel Grants website


Initiative in Synthetic Biology and Sustainability

The Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability and School of Medicine have announced a planning process to identify research opportunities that bring together and advance synthetic biology and sustainability. Interested faculty and researchers are invited to share brief descriptions of ways synthetic biology might contribute to sustainability. Your ideas will be grouped into themes and serve as the basis for organizing a symposium during the Fall quarter. From this process, a Request For Proposals (RFP) will be opened for applications, with the aim of funding the most exciting projects in 2023. 

For those interested in submitting your ideas, please share up to three ideas by September 30th via this survey. Your submission should be one paragraph per idea highlighting the essence of your idea and what you hope it might achieve. Future calls on other areas related to synthetic biology may follow.  


Upcoming Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP) Visit - October 20 and 21, 2022

Stanford University is seeking reaccreditation from the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP). The Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) of the Stanford Research Compliance Office (RCO), which reports to Kam as the Institution Official (IO), will lead outreach and coordination for the virtual site visit on October 20 & 21, 2022. 

If you conduct human subjects research, or may do so in the future, AAHRPP may ask to interview you. We encourage you and your teams to become familiar with the resources available on the RCO AAHRPP webpage. If you have questions, please contact Kathy McClelland or Tani Prestage in RCO.


Funding opportunities spotlight 

Read on for three spotlighted sponsored research funding opportunities. The Research Development Office curates a longer list, available here

NEH Collaborative Research (20221130-RZ) supports groups of two or more scholars (in a single field of study or cross disciplines) to increase humanistic knowledge through convenings, manuscript preparation for collaborative publications, and the creation of scholarly digital projects. Projects must pursue significant research questions and lead to a tangible interpretive product. Collaboration with scholars working in the natural or social sciences are encouraged, but projects must focus on humanistic content and employ humanistic methods. Awards up to $250,000, depending on funding category. Proposals due to NEH by 11/30/22. 


NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program: Instrument Acquisition or Development (NSF 18-513) serves to increase access to multi-user scientific and engineering instrumentation through the acquisition or development of a research instrument that is, in general, too costly and/or not appropriate for support through other NSF programs. Awards of $0.1M-4M from NSF with 30% cost share required. LIMITED SUBMISSION: Internal applications due 10/03/22; internal LOI to receive updates as needed. Selected proposals due to NSF 01/19/2023. MRI info by RDO here


NSF Building Synthetic Microbial Communities for Biology, Mitigating Climate Change, Sustainability, and Biotechnology (Synthetic Communities) (NSF 22-607) to support proposals that: use synthetic microbial communities; align with one or more of the three themes: (1) defining the mechanisms or underlying rules that drive the formation, maintenance or evolution of synthetic microbial communities; (2) using synthetic microbial communities to address a fundamental biological question; and/or (3) assembling and analyzing synthetic communities for a biotechnology or bio-economy application; address the social, ethical, and/or biosafety/biosecurity implications; address reproducibility and replicability. Awards potentially around $1M/year. Applications due to NSF by 10/03/22. 


Thank you for all that you do. Whether you conduct research, support research and researchers, or all three, we are grateful to work with you. 

Stay safe and be well, 

Kam Moler, Vice Provost and Dean of Research 

David Studdert, Senior Associate Vice Provost for Research

The mission of the Office of VPDoR is to provide guidance and support to facilitate, nurture, and safeguard a thriving research ecosystem. As always, we welcome your suggestions of issues we should consider and topics we should cover in the Chair’s Letter. Please share your feedback at this link or contact Lucy Okumu, director of communications in VPDoR.