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Dear Chairs and Directors, 


As always, you are welcome to share the updates and reminders in this message with faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate students who may find the information and links helpful. 


COVID-19 update

As the COVID pandemic begins to trend in a better direction, employees who remained off-campus during the surge are now returning to the work arrangements they had planned for winter quarter before Omicron disrupted them. Although California’s statewide indoor mask mandate will be lifted on Feb. 16, Santa Clara County announced on Feb. 9 that it will maintain local restrictions until certain conditions are met, likely in a few weeks. Masking protocols will remain in place for now at the main campus, Stanford Redwood City and Hopkins Marine Station.


Field research and travel policy reminder

As field research plans are being made for this summer, we want to remind the community about the Stanford travel booking policy and policy exemptions, and provide an update to the field research policy. 

  1. Check university guidance: Always check Health Alerts for the latest information on the university’s travel guidance during COVID.
  2. Understand the travel booking policyTravel must be booked through a centralized program when faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars and students are booking air fare, hotels, or rental cars for university-sponsored travel. You are not required to book other transportation such as trains through the program. There are instances where faculty, staff, postdocs, and students are not required to use Stanford Travel booking channels – the list of travel booking exemptions can be found here. In particular, remote research travel to destinations that are hard to access or have limited options is exempted. This includes airlines, car rentals and hotels that are not available for booking through Stanford Travel.
  3. Stay safe while traveling: Booking through Stanford Travel automatically sends your reservation to the university’s Travel Registry, which connects to Stanford’s provider of medical, personal, travel and security assistance. In addition, there are processes in place to better support travelers based on feedback from the research community, including the ability to designate specific properties in Egencia as preferred Stanford properties and to remove any properties with unresolved issues.  

If your travel is exempt and is not booked through Stanford Travel, and therefore was not automatically sent to the Travel Registry, ensure that you forward your itinerary confirmation from your Stanford email address to StanfordTravel@itinerary.internationalsos.com so that the university can support you in the event you need it. Please note that the Provost’s International Travel Policy has additional considerations and links to resources and recommends that faculty, staff and graduate students consult with the Office of International Affairs well in advance of their travel dates to obtain advice on how to minimize risks to themselves and to their research.

If you have feedback to improve researchers’ travel experience, please write to vpdordean@stanford.edu. We will have a further discussion on travel policies and challenges at the Committee on Research (C-Res) later this quarter with leadership of Stanford Financial Management Services, who oversee the travel booking programs in support of the university’s travel policy.


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) is available here.


NSF EHR Core Research: Building Capacity in STEM Education Research (ECR: BCSER; NSF 22-548). The Institutes for Methods and Practices (IMP) track funds training and support in the use of cutting-edge methodological techniques and/or research practices to advance participants’ competencies in STEM education research. Individual Investigator Development and Conference tracks also available. IMP awards up to $1,000,000. Due to NSF 3/29/22. 


US EPA Drivers and Environmental Impacts of Energy Transitions in Underserved Communities 

Part of EPA’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, this supports community-engaged research that will address the drivers and environmental impacts of energy transitions in underserved communities. Webinar 2/10/22. Awards up to $1,125,000. Due to EPA 4/28/22. 


NIH S10 Shared Instrumentations grantsHEI (PAR-22-079) and SIG (PAR-22-080) to purchase or upgrade a single item of high-priced, specialized, commercially available instrument or integrated system for shared use by (mostly) NIH-funded projects. Awards up to $2,000,000 (HEI) or $600,000 (SIG). Internal process required: first step by 3/29/22. Due to NIH by 6/1/22. 


Stay safe and be well, 

Tim, David, Serena 


Tim Stearns, Acting Dean of Research; Frank Lee and Carol Hall Professor of Biology and Professor of Genetics


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


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