Funding - Innovation Accelerator Pilot Program

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SPADA - Stanford Predictives and Diagnostics Accelerator

Request For Proposals

In keeping with its core mission, Spectrum offers grants for accelerating clinical and translational research in biomedical and health-related areas.

The Stanford CTSA/Spectrum Pilot Grant Program has two major goals:

  • to stimulate innovative clinical and translational research and
  • to encourage collaborative, transdisciplinary work.

The primary expectation is that these early-stage translational projects will lead to additional research, external support, information dissemination and most important, will develop into longer-term, comprehensive projects. We encourage transdisciplinary collaborations, but this is not a requirement for funding.

SPADA Overview

SPADA, the Stanford Predictives and Diagnostics Accelerator, assists interdisciplinary innovations in research, development, and deployment of technologies that improve human health through disease prediction and/or diagnosis. The defined scope of SPADA includes projects with a goal of diagnosing and/or predicting the onset, course, worsening, or complications of disease, and prolonging health.

Pilot Grants for SPADA projects must have the objective of translating discoveries into novel Predictives and Diagnostics products that address unmet medical needs. Emphasis will be placed on technologies that have the potential to advance rapidly into clinical care through commercialization or other pathways.
Proposals should specifically address any or all of the following, as much as feasible:

  • size and scope of unmet need
  • drawbacks of current options
  • regulatory pathway
  • intellectual property landscape and freedom to operate


Some examples include prototype device development and investigator-initiated pilot clinical studies.

SPADA Advisors:  

Name Company Position/Role
Ted Driscoll Claremont Creek Ventures Digital Healthcare Lead, Partner
Alex deWinter
GE Healthymagination Director

Dave Forster

AorTx & Phoenix Biomedical Founder

David Hanzel

Naked Biome Former President & COO
Brad Young
Addison Field CEO
Marc Salit Stanford University Consulting Professor, Bioengineering
Sara Munro Stanford University/NIST Bioengineer
Steve Quake
Stanford University Professor of Bioengineering
John Boothroyd Stanford University Prof. Microbiology and Immunology
Steve Lovett Palo Alto VA Chief of Psychology Department
Darlene Solomon Agilent Technologies Sr. Vice President and CTO

Amount and Period of Funding


Typical grants will range between $15,000 and $50,000 for one year and must be completed in that timeframe. All unexpended funds will be forfeited if not spent within the 12-month award period. We encourage investigators to consider submitting requests less than the $50,000 maximum, as this will increase the probability of being funded and will enable us to award more grants.


Open to Stanford faculty with PI eligibility (with UTL, MCL, NTLR faculty appointments.)
Clinical Educator (CE) faculty, clinical instructors, instructors, graduate students and post-doctoral scholars (clinical and non-clinical) are required to include a PI-eligible faculty member as co-PI on the application.

Proposal Deadline

The Spectrum Innovation Accelerator Pilot Program is postponed. We will post updated information and send announcements when dates are established.

Application Instructions

Proposal Submission

  •  Proposal Submission:
    • Applicants must choose a primary program area (i.e., SPADA, SPARK, Biodesign, and Population Health Sciences) for the project and may apply to another area if the project meets criteria for both programs.
    • Please communicate with program staff if it is unclear which program area is the best fit.
    • Projects will be awarded only one Spectrum Pilot Grant per annual grant cycle.


  • Page specifications
    • 8.5 x 11” page size
    • At least 0.75” margins on all sides
    • At least 10-point font size
  • Save your documents as PDFs to upload to Qualtrics (online submission)

Applications Must Include The Following Information:

  • A cover sheet that includes:
    • Title of proposal
    • PI name title, email and department
    • Mentor name (if applicable)
    • Co-investigator names, departments and emails
    • Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) disclosure (yes/no) and docket number, if relevant.
    • Amount of funding requested
  • Body of proposal (3-page limit, at least 10-point font):

    • Description of proposed product
    • Underlying technology
    • Clinical indication and brief scope of market
    • Comparison to effectiveness and cost of current standard of care
    • Preliminary assessment of regulatory pathway, freedom to operate, IP landscape
    • Translational objectives that will be achieved with the funding
    • Development plan, including timeline and plans for funding post-award
    • Intellectual property status
    • Preliminary data (if any)
  • Budget (not part of page limit)

    • Allowable expenditures include: investigator’s salary, research personnel salaries, travel (if project-related) and project supplies.
    • Unallowable expenditures include: capital equipment costing more than $5,000, intellectual property services, and food are unallowable expenses.
    • Do not include indirect cost expenses.
  • Bios of all relevant staff involved in the project. (One paragraph maximum each person; not part of page limit.)
  • Note:
    • Figures and tables must be included within the body of the proposal.
    • References may be included and are not part of the page limit.
    • Do not include appendices to the proposal.
    • Applications that do not comply with the requirements will not be considered for review.

Award Process

Proposals will be evaluated by a committee of independent faculty and external reviewers, and awards will be based on individual selection criteria and scoring systems. In general, reviewers will select applications for consideration as finalists that have made convincing arguments that the investigator(s) is proposing a bold idea or approach that can have a major translational impact in translational research.

  • Finalists may be invited for oral presentations.
  • Awardees will be notified.