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Innovator Grants Program

Promoting research and collaborative scholarly projects to advance the academic interests of our faculty and the strategic themes of our department.

The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Innovator Grants Program has replaced the Department’s Small Grant Program which launched in 2015. The Innovator Grants Program is designed to promote research and collaborative scholarly projects advancing the academic interests of our faculty and the strategic themes of the Department with two offerings:

  • Pilot Studies in novel scientific areas that have high potential to lead to competitive grant applications
  • Small Scholarly Projects related to areas including education, clinical care, community and health systems, and professional development.


Since its inaugural year, the Innovation Awards Program has received over 145 applications and has funded 27 pilot studies, 30 small scholarly projects, as well as 2 projects provided with seed grants made possible by a generous donor. In so doing, the Innovation Awards Program has leveraged departmental resources to fund worthy scholarly projects and has paved the way for external funding of ongoing research. The Innovation Awards Program occurs annually, with applications due each November.

Funded Projects by Year

Pilot Studies

  • Michael Ostacher, M.D., M.P.H., M.MSc. (PI), Anish Mitra, M.D., Ph.D., Rachel Gershon, Ph.D.
    Searching for Help: Using Google Adwords for Suicide Prevention
  • Eric Stice, Ph.D. (PI), Cara Bohon, Ph.D.
    Pilot Testing Virtual Delivery of the Body Project Eating Disorder Prevention Program
  • Stephanie Clarke, Ph.D. (PI), Sanno Zack, Ph.D., Michele Berk, Ph.D.
    Safety, Feasibility, and Acceptability of a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Prolonged Exposure Protocol for Adolescents
  • Victoria E. Cosgrove, Ph.D. (PI), Katherine Ort, M.D., Sheri Spunt, M.D.
    Feasibility and Acceptability of a Brief Intervention to Reduce Anxiety and Promote Resilience in Caregivers of Youth with Newly-Diagnosed Cancer
  • Huiqiong Deng, M.D. Ph.D. (PI), Anna Lembke, M.D., Ori-Michael Johanan Benhamou, M.D., M.M.S.
    An electronic chart intervention to improve safety for patients on chronic opioid therapy
  • Karen J. Parker, Ph.D. (PI), Alexander E. Urban, Ph.D., Elena Itskovich, Ph.D.
    Mechanisms of Arginine Vasopressin Signaling in iPSC-derived Neurons
  • Kaustubh Supekar, Ph.D. (PI)
    Neurobiological Markers of Comorbid Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Tamar Green, M.D. (PI)
    Gaining insights: the effects of the RMK gain-of-function mutations on brain development and neurodevelopmental symptoms
  • Timothy C. Durazzo, Ph.D. (PI), Claudia B. Padula, Ph.D.
    Non-invasive combination therapy modulation of emotional salience circuits in Veterans with alcohol use disorder at risk for relapse following treatment

Small Scholarly Projects

  • James Lock, M.D., Ph.D. (PI), Brittany Matheson, Ph.D.
    Acceptability and Feasibility of Utilizing TeleHealth to Deliver Evidence-based Treatments for Eating Disorders in Children and Adolescents
  • Sepideh Bajestan, M.D., Ph.D. (PI), John Barry, M.D., Michel Medina, M.D., Octavio Choi, M.D., Ph.D., Sharon Sha, M.D., Joseph Cooper, M.D.
    The Stanford Psychiatry Initiative for Innovative Neuroimaging Education (SPIINE): Investigating 3-D Virtual Reality Technology
  • Jennifer Keller, Ph.D. (PI), Nancy Morgan, Ph.D.
    Development of the Building Empowerment and Resilience Therapeutic Group for Homeless Women
  • Octavio Choi, M.D., Ph.D. (PI), David Eagleman, Ph.D.
    Insight into the unthinkable: towards an integrated understanding of mass shooters and mass shootings.
  • Sheila Lahijani, M.D. (PI)
    Debriefing Sessions for Trainee Empowerment and a Sense of Belonging
  • Whitney Daniels, M.D. (PI)
    A pilot of ethnically informed cultural consultation for inpatient pediatric medicine and implications towards future digitalization.