Stanford Research Development Office

VPDoR Research Seed Grant Programs

The Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research (VPDoR) is pleased to launch a series of research seed grants, which aim to support Stanford researchers prepare for competitive extramural funding.

This is not a complete list of the internal funding opportunities available. Stanford Faculty with PI eligibility are encouraged to visit the Stanford Seed Funding website to view additional programs across the university.

VPDoR Managed Internal Funding Programs

Propel Grants (Open)

The program launched on September 8, 2022, and provides $5,000 or up to $50,000 grants to support the final stages of external submission activities to Stanford-led teams.

The Small Propel Grant applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, every other Wednesday.

The next Large Propel Grant internal application deadline is April 2, 2024.

Apply for up to $50,000

Apply for up to $5,000

International Research Exploration Seed Grant (Open)

The program is made possible by the Steven and Roberta Denning International Research Fund and provides awards of up to $25,000 to help faculty expand their international network of researchers through early-stage research projects.

The 2024/25 cycle is due May 13, 2024. This program runs on an annual basis.

View the request for applications and the application form.

Research on Racial Equity and Justice Seed Grant (Closed)

The program launched on November 5, 2021 and provides awards of $10k-$50k to help Stanford researchers position themselves well for larger, extramural funding opportunities.

Internal proposals were due December 6, 2021 through the Stanford Seed Funding platform.

Stanford-SLAC Small Planning Grants - Pilot (Closed)

The program launched on October 4, 2021 and provides awards of $5,000  to stimulate joint Stanford and SLAC research collaborations that lead to large-scale extramural funding.

For the purpose of controlling this pilot experiment,  the target audience for this round of the program as those people/teams who had expressed interest in the Aug 27, 2021, Joint Stanford-SLAC EFRC Kick-off and Collaboration Workshop (or related materials).

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to apply?

In general, All Stanford Faculty with principal investigator (PI) eligibility may apply (i.e., members of the University's Academic Council or UML faculty).

Please review each program announcement and following the instructions as detailed in the call for applications.

How is a team defined?

A team constitutes at least one Stanford PI and one or more collaborators from outside of their department. Please refer to the specific program details if there are additional guidelines for team composition. 

How do I submit my application?

Applications should be submitted through the Stanford Seed Funding website. 

Can members of my lab apply on my behalf?

No. The applicant must be the lead PI. Applications submitted through Stanford Seed Funding by other personnel (grad students, postdocs, etc.) will not be reviewed.

May I submit multiple applications to the same grant program?

No. Principal Investigators may submit only one application as the lead PI per cycle, per VPDoR-managed internal grant program.

May I apply to more than one VPDoR managed program?


Awardees may apply for future funding; however, applications will only be considered for those teams who have proven to be good stewards of previous VPDoR-funded awards.

Recipients with active awards must want until the cycle after their final report submission before they can apply to any other VPDoR-managed internal grant program.

Do applications need to be submitted to OSR/RMG for review?

No. Proposed budgets do not need to be routed through OSR/RMG for internally-funded research seed grants.

Is there a budget template available?

The Office of Research Administration has resources to help you build successful budgets and budget justifications available here.

How do I know which costs are allowable for internal funds?

Please review the Stanford Purchasing Policies and Guidelines and contact your department finance, grants manager, or research administrator if you have questions regarding allowable expenses.

PIs are advised to contact Global Business Services if international payments are intended and to review the Fingate topics on Inviting and Paying Foreign Visitors and Proper Use of Funds.

Note that all applicable university fees apply. Award funds may be used to cover these expenses (e.g., Fees for Visiting Student Researchers, shared facility hourly rates, dedicated computing resources on Sherlock, Oak monthly storage, etc.).

Do I need IRB approval prior to submitting the grant application?

If your project involves use of human subjects and you do not have an active protocol, you will need to create a new protocol before the seed grant can be awarded. (Do I need an IRB Submission?).

The Research Compliance Office provides additional information regarding Human Subject Research determinations.

How does VPDoR evaluate and select applications?

Applications are first reviewed by VPDoR staff to confirm:

  1. The applicant/PI meets the eligibility requirements;
  2. All application materials have been submitted;
  3. All eligibility criteria are satisfied; and
  4. The proposed project is responsive to and aligned with the program purpose.

If interest exceeds the number of possible awards, we will convene a review committee composed of both former recipients and peers selected ad hoc, to evaluate the proposals and recommend projects for funding based on the published review criteria.

In addition, we will aim for a portfolio of awards that is balanced in terms of topic areas and distribution across the university.

My project was awarded but will not be completed within the approved time period. What can I do?

Seed Grant recipients may submit a no-cost extension request if there are delays due to unusual circumstances. VPDoR reserves the right to deny a request that is not well-justified or reasonable.

Requests beyond 12 months from the original end date are not allowed.

Please use this No-Cost Extension Request form at least 30 days prior to the award closeout date.

Whom do I contact if I have additional questions?

We welcome the opportunity to answer questions. Please email us at

VPDoR Seed Grant Awardees

Here you will find information on VPDoR managed seed grant awardees.

Click on the PI photo to learn more about the research that has been funded.

Yiadom Headshot

Maame Yaa “Maya” A. B. Yiadom

SoM/Emergency Medicine

2022 RREJ Award Winner

Donna Zulman Headshot

Donna Zulman

SoM/Primary Care and Population Health

2022 RREJ Award Winner

Follmer Headshot

Sean Follmer

SoE/Mechanical Engineering

2022 RREJ Award Winner

Al-Saber Headshot

Samer Al-Saber

H&S/Theater and Performance Studies

2022 RREJ Award Winner

Clair Headshot

Matthew Clair


2022 RREJ Award Winner

Carmichael Headshot

Susan Carmichael

SoM/Pediatrics - Neonatology

2022 RREJ Award Winner

Gorelick Headshot

Steven Gorelick

SDSS/Earth System Science

2022 IRE Award Winner

Lee Headshot

Carolyn Lee


2022 IRE Award Winner

Solano-Flores Headshot

Guillermo Solano-Flores

Graduate School of Education

2022 IRE Award Winner

Palaniappan Headshot

Latha Palaniappan

SoM/Cardiovascular Medicine

2022 IRE Award Winner

Borko Headshot

Hilda Borko

Graduate School of Education

2022 IRE Award Winner

Hoyt Headshot

Alison Hoyt

SDSS/Earth System Science

2022 IRE Award Winner

Asad Asad headshot

Asad L. Asad


2023 IRE Award Winner

Darmstadt Headshot

Gary Darmstadt

SoM/Pediatrics - Neonatology

2023 IRE Award Winner

Sperling Headshot

Erik Sperling

SDSS/Geological Sciences

2023 IRE Award Winner

Kate Maher headshot

Kate Maher

SDSS/Earth System Science

2023 IRE Award Winner

Algee Hewitt headshot

Mark Algee Hewitt


2023 IRE Award Winner