IT Strategy & Services

Who We Are

The IT Strategy & Services team is a close-knit group of product managers and technology professionals; we use service design and product principles to build innovative solutions for the office of the Vice Provost & Dean of Research’s flagship web properties, and look across DoR and Stanford units to provide technology-based solutions that further the University’s research mission.

Our core suite of web sites includes DoResearch, Stanford Seed Funding, and Stanford On and Off Campus Learning Opportunities (SOLO). These sites offer a wealth of interactive resources, including the Research Policy Handbook (RPH) and a host of research funding opportunities across Stanford.

In addition to our web leadership, we engage in collaborative campus-wide initiatives in critical practice areas related to research. These include open science and data sharing, FAIR principles, persistent identifiers, storage and data management projects, and information security / university IT partnerships that accelerate university research capabilities via policy, integrations, and development initiatives.

Our Team

Professional Portrait of Tain Barzso

Tain Barzso
Director of IT Strategy & Services
Tain's Stanford Profile

Professional Photo of Laraib Baig

Laraib Baig
Senior Product Manager
Laraib's Stanford Profile

Professional Photo of Karen Chang

Karen Chang
Product Manager
Karen's Stanford Profile

Our Products

Stanford Seed Funding Home Page

Seed Funding

Stanford offers a bounty of internal funding opportunities to fund your research or other academic activities such as teaching and community engagement.

SOLO Home Page

Stanford On & off-Campus Learning Opportunities

Stanford offers a bounty of Experiential Learning Opportunities (ELOs) for undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdocs to get fieldwork experience, travel the world, and apply classroom learning to real world challenges.

DoResearch Home Page


DoResearch is the flagship website for the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research. It is part of a Dean of Research initiative to reduce the administrative burden incurred by researchers, and to make it as simple as possible to do research at Stanford.

Design Principles

People first, always

Human-centered Service Design is at the heart of what we do, and we always have researchers in mind when we design and build experiences for them.  Service Design practices help us focus not only on the researcher, but also the service provider experience. Sometimes, we can create the most value for Stanford by focusing on what staff need as well.

Be agile & adaptable

Every member of the ITSS team is an agile practitioner. Beyond our scrum credentials, we seek to embrace the core agile principle of “Inspect & Adapt” and always bring that to our projects. We always consider whether the highest value deliverables are the same as when we started the project (hint: often not!) We think in user stories, are driven by team commitment, and always strive to deliver value for Stanford. Every sprint.

Build things that matter

See principle #1 above.  Building things is hard and expensive. When we go all in and build something from scratch with open source software, we need to be sure that we are building something that matters to researchers, and to the University.  There is a reason why we bring a “product” mentality to our web projects: product ownership includes being the keeper of the vision, a laser focus on our users’ needs, and trust & continuity.


Open source, open access, open science. In ITSS, we tend to wear our hearts (and our code) on our sleeves. Release early, release often. Share widely. Play nice with others. There is more than one way to give back to the community, and we are always looking for ways to do that.

Think bigger … No, bigger than that!

Why solve a small problem when we can take a step, see the bigger problem, and go after that?! Bring us your windmills, we have a perfectly good open source lance right over here… where did I put that? There is a creative, generative tension between this principle and #2 above. Scrum teaches us to break down epics into small, digestible pieces, and to not overcommit the team so that we can credibly achieve what we say we will.  We balance our pragmatic project management techniques with a dreamer’s willingness to consider the bigger picture.  

Don’t ask people to be less awesome than they are

This is how we make diversity and inclusion more than a platitude. In ITSS, we know that our differences make us stronger, and more interesting. Appreciating differences is too low a bar, we need to embrace them.  Everyone should feel like they can be their true, authentic selves at work. If they don’t, they won’t tell you (!) so you have to work proactively to make an environment where this can be true.

Contact Us



408 Panama Mall
Stanford, CA  94305