Research Communication from VPDoR for Chairs and Directors - October 10, 2023

Dear Chairs and Directors, 

This is my inaugural chairs’ and directors’ letter as VPDoR. I have just completed my first month. Thank you for the warm welcome!

I have already heard from many of you that this monthly letter, which Kam Moler began during the pandemic, has proved to be a helpful way to stay abreast of noteworthy news and developments in our research community. I plan to continue it.

What have I been doing during my first month? I have spent a good deal of time moving around campus, meeting with the leadership and researchers in VPDOR’s independent institutes, labs, and centers, as well as the staff in our administrative units. This tour has been inspiring; seeing up close the breadth and depth of research and training activities continually reminds me of what is so special about Stanford.  

In this letter, I offer updates on two recently launched Institute director searches and several organizational and senior staff changes within VPDoR. As always, feel free to share this information with your faculty and teams.  

Stanford Bio-X & SIEPR Director Searches

After 16 years at the helm, Carla Shatz has decided that this academic year will be her last as the Catherine Holman Johnson Director of Bio-X. There is also a forthcoming leadership change at the Stanford Institute for Economic and Policy Research (SIEPR), where Mark Duggan will step down from being the Trione Director of SIEPR after more than eight years of service. There will be opportunities in the coming year to celebrate the extraordinary leadership contributions of Carla and Mark. 

In the meantime, searches for their successors have begun. Markus Covert, Chair of the Department of Bioengineering, is chairing the Bio-X director search committee. Jon Levin, Dean of the GSB, and Greg Rosston, Senior Fellow at SIEPR, are co-chairing the SIEPR director search committee. Both search committees have begun soliciting ideas and candidate suggestions. I encourage you to share input—either with the committee chairs directly or via the links below. 

Organizational Changes within VPDoR

Following a months-long assessment that began under Kam, I have recently made several senior staffing and organizational changes in VPDoR’s Office of Research Policy and Integrity. The changes are designed to position VDPoR to best meet the evolving needs of our community. 

Expansion of VPDoR’s COI/COC/ICOI responsibilities: The School of Medicine’s leadership has asked VPDoR to assume responsibility for its conflict of interest and commitment (COI/COC) management activities. (Stanford policy enables schools to choose to delegate in this way.) This shift will mean significant increases in the responsibilities of VPDoR’s COI/COC team. In addition, pending changes to the University’s institutional conflict of interest (ICOI) policies are expected to increase our responsibilities in that area.

Creation of Chief Research Conflict Officer position and expansion of COI/COC capabilities: To absorb the increased workload associated with VPDoR’s expanded responsibilities, Cindy Kiel has agreed to serve in the role of Chief Research Conflict Officer in VPDoR. Cindy's wealth of experience and national credibility in the field make her ideal. 

New Associate Vice Provost: We have launched a search for a new Associate Vice Provost for Research Policy and Integrity to succeed Cindy. This role will oversee all of our research policy and integrity units (global engagement and export control, research data governance, responsible conduct of research training, the expanded COI/COC/ICOI program, and case investigation support services). The position information is posted here, and I encourage you to circulate the opportunity to anyone who may be interested. 

Finally, I want to thank the many people–in VPDoR and across campus who have been helping bring me up to speed in my new role. I am very grateful for their patience and dedication. 

Until next month, I welcome your suggestions and ideas for future topics for discussion. 


David Studdert 
Vice Provost and Dean of Research