Academy Innovation Grants Program

The TMA 2023-2024 Innovation Grants Program

The 2023 - 2024 TMA Innovation Grant Application is Now Closed

Applications for next year will open Spring 2024

This program is open to those at Stanford University only. 


The Stanford Medicine Teaching and Mentoring Academy (TMA) promotes excellence in teaching and mentoring by developing, supporting, and recognizing dedicated educators to ensure world-class training for the next generation of physicians, researchers, and educators. The Academy is pleased to once again announce grants—pending budget availability—to fund projects aimed at innovation and improvement in teaching, learning, and mentoring throughout Stanford Medicine. Proposals will be reviewed for their significance (rationale and contribution), expertise to carry out the proposed work, innovation, and approach (e.g., plan, methods for design, implementation, dissemination, and evaluation). 


The Academy encourages educational innovations and educational scholarship projects that will have a lasting impact on education in the School of Medicine at both the UME and GME levels. Innovation could be related to—but is not limited to—simulation models, service learning, case-based or team-based learning, novel instructional delivery approaches, and innovative assessment methods. Educational scholarship projects should demonstrate scientific rigor in conception, design, and evaluation. 

The following elements are always welcome in grant proposals: 

  1. Projects that foster collaboration among departments, disciplines, professions, and/or community partners

  2. Projects that address inclusive learning settings, mitigating bias, increasing access for underrepresented minority group members, or otherwise confronting racial inequities in medical education

  3. Projects that show some consideration of impact and sustainability, meaning that the project will live beyond the grant funding period.

Two types of grants will be considered (please select one in your application):

Teaching and Mentoring Innovation Grant: Teaching and mentoring innovation projects seek to find a new, more effective way to carry out activities directly related to teaching and/or mentoring OR to address a clearly-defined problem in the delivery of teaching or mentoring using a rigorous scientific approach. These projects should illustrate why the identified problem is significant and demonstrate awareness of other efforts in the field to address this problem. Projects might propose a new approach to curriculum design, pedagogy, mentoring, feedback delivery, or assessment, as a few examples. Proposals should clearly address how they will complete the funded portion of the work in the limited (10-month) timeframe of the grant funding period. Please note that the IRB process takes time and must be considered in this timeframe.

Education Research Grant: Education research projects aim to study the implementation and/or outcomes of educational innovations or to support scaling of a pilot study. Education Research proposals should demonstrate sound research design, rigorous methods, appropriate evaluation plan, and a realistic timeline given the limited, 10-month timeframe of the grant funding period. Please note that the IRB process takes time and must be considered in this timeframe. Prior-year grantees who were awarded a Teaching and Mentoring Innovation Grant are encouraged to apply to this fund to extend or build upon those insights and findings. 

Emerging Scholars Grant: We encourage grant proposals in either category (innovation or research) from medical trainees, graduate/postgraduate students, junior faculty, and staff. To this end, a portion of grant funding will be set aside for individuals who are new (or newer) to writing grants. New/Newer to writing grants is defined as never receiving a grant as a PI or having less than $10,000.00 in total grant funding at the time of submission. 


Online application deadline: July 23, 2023, at 11:59 pm via the online proposal available here. Funds for awarded grants will be available on October 1, 2023, and must be expended by July 30, 2024. 


Each proposal is reviewed by three members of the TMA Innovation Grants working group, and final funding decisions are made by consensus of the entire working group. The rubric used by reviewers is available on the TMA Innovation Grants website. 


Stanford faculty (with UTL, MCL, NTLR, CE appts.) Note: PI waivers are not needed for internal funding opportunities.

Other eligible positions: Medical fellows, residents, postdoctoral scholars, medical students, graduate students, instructors, clinical instructors, academic staff-research (i.e., basic scientists, senior research associates), and house staff. The applications under “other eligible positions" must include a faculty letter of support.

For studies involving research on medical students or the required curriculum, researchers must also provide documentation that the study has been reviewed and approved as outlined in the medical education research policy, available here


Two categories of funding, large grants and small grants, will be considered. All grant funds must be expended by July 30, 2024. Large grants are for projects up to $20,000, and small grants are for projects up to $10,000. Please refer to the Budget limitations section below for more information. 


All grant proposals are due by 11:59pm on July 23, 2023.

Format: Formatting and budget instructions must be followed carefully. Proposals that do not meet the specifications outlined in these instructions will be automatically rejected without review by the committee.

Grant proposals should not exceed three pages, with two pages of narrative and one page for the proposed budget. These proposals should be uploaded as a Microsoft Word document that must be formatted with 1” margins and typed using no less than11-point font. Proposals that exceed the three-page maximum will not be forwarded to the grant review committee for consideration.

  • The first two pages of the grant proposal are for the project narrative and should address content categories 1-7 described below.
  • The third page of the grant proposal should present the project budget, described in content category 8 below.

  • References should be included in an appendix which will not be considered part of the 3-page limit. Any other materials in the appendix will not be forwarded to the review committee.

Please save your proposal as a Word document using this naming convention: Lastname_Proposal_2023-24

Content Categories: Applicants must address the following eight areas in their grant proposal. This proposal is not to exceed 3 pages, two pages for the narrative and one page for the budget. Please upload as a Word document using the naming convention: Lastname_Proposal_2023-24

I. Specific educational aims: Describe the goal of this project. How does this project contribute to improving bioscience or medical teaching and mentoring at Stanford or beyond?

II. Project rationale: Discuss the anticipated educational impact of your project, and why this project is needed. Questions to consider: What knowledge or quality gap does this project address? What is your hypothesis? How does this project extend or contribute to the existing educational literature (references can be included in an appendix and will not count toward the proposal page limit)? How will your project go beyond what has already been done? If pilot data is available, findings should also be described in this section. 

III. Approach: Detail the approach you will use to achieve your project goals. Clearly outline the steps you have planned to achieve these goals.

IV. Timeline and plan for implementation: Outline your project timeline and plan for implementation. The project timeline should be realistic and fall within the funding period (October 1, 2023 – July 30, 2024). This is an unusually short (10-month) funding period; however, due to the structure of the TMA budget, extensions cannot be awarded for funding beyond the July 2024 deadline. Therefore, the plan for implementation must be clear, realistic, and well- developed.

V. Anticipated work product: Describe what will be created, developed, or enhanced at the end of the grant period through the use of grant funds. How will this product positively address the knowledge or quality gap outlined in the rationale of your proposal (Section II)?

VI. Evaluation plan: The evaluation plan should demonstrate how the project will be assessed to illustrate whether it met its goals. How will you know the project was successful? How will you gather data to show you whether the project was successful?

VII. Dissemination of results: Discuss how you plan to share the results of this project to the Stanford community and/or the field.

VIII. Budget and justification: Please include a simple table documenting each item for which funds are requested and an explanation of why each line item is essential to the successful completion of the project (see sample below). Total budget requests are not to exceed $10,000 for small grants and $20,000 for large grants. 

Budget limitations: 

  • Requests for salary support should include meticulous documentation of expected time and hourly rate. In this grant cycle, there are no limits to the percent of the budget request that can be allocated to compensation versus non-compensation; however, projects allocating a significant portion of the budget to salary support must clearly explain how the individual’s salary does not already support grant-related duties.

  • Requests for funds to pay EdTech should include confirmation that the PI has already met with EdTech and has a timeline and quote for the project from their office that informs the project timeline and budget.

  • Requests for travel funds should not make up most of the budget request, and the need for travel should be clearly justified. Funds for travel are not to exceed $2,500.

  • Requests for equipment (laptops, cameras) must be rigorously justified and, although allowable, are generally discouraged.

  • Requests for gift cards must be rigorously justified and should not exceed 5% of the total budget request. Individual gift card amounts may not exceed $15 each. 

Please present your budget in a table format that includes the following columns and rows:










1.8 clinical days (14 hours)

14 hours of PI’s time to develop survey instrument and design focus groups 




   Total compensation:







10 gift cards x $10 ea. 

Gift cards to incentivize focus group participation 



1 stipend x $1200

Stipend for 80 hours of student assistant time to assist with focus group 




  Total non-comp:




   Total request:



Applications (the proposals) are to be uploaded using the online application. 

AY23-24 Application cycle is now closed.


  • Can you provide examples of successful projects? 
    Funded projects from the past three grant cycles can be viewed from this page. See the right navigation pane above. 
  • Do I need to submit a PI waiver with my proposal? No. PI waivers are not required for internal Stanford funding. 
  • Are staff eligible to apply? Yes, staff are eligible to apply provided they include a letter of support from a faculty member in their application. Non-faculty roles that are considered staff include Lecturers, Instructors, Academic Staff Research (basic scientists, senior research associates), Housestaff.
  • Can I use the grant award to fund travel related to my grant project? Yes; please note that requests for travel funds should not make up the majority of the budget request and the need for travel must be clearly justified in relation to the project's intended outcomes.
  • Can I use the grant award to purchase a laptop or other equipment needed to make my educational product? Requests for funds to purchase equipment are allowable, but must be rigorously justified and are generally discouraged. 
  • Can I use the grant award solely for salary? Yes, there are no restrictions on how much of your grant request may go to cover salary. 
  • Can I use the grant award to make videos?  Yes. We recommend you consult with EdTech as you write your budget request to get a reasonable idea of what video production might cost.
  • Can the educational products be open source (eg. videos, on-line content, open availabilty)? Yes 
  • Can I use the grant award to pay faculty time for creating videos? Yes   
  • My proposal is longer than 3 pages. Can I just include the portion that exceeds 3 pages in my appendix? No. Your proposal narrative cannot exceed 2 pages, and the appendix is only for references. Any materials in the appendix beyond the references will not be forwarded to the committee for review, and any proposal that exceeds the 3-page limit (page 3 being the budget) will not be forwarded to the committee for review.    
  • The funding period is very short--less than one year. If I am awareded a grant, can I get a no-cost extension to continue my project beyond next July? No. Due to the structure of our TMA budget, we lose all unspent funds at the end of the fiscal year, and therefore cannot continue to fund your project beyond that period.   

Contact Claire Medina ( with questions.

Please contact Claire Medina via email ( if you have any questions.