Office of Pediatric Research Development

Empower. Catalyze. Strategize.

Our Mission

We are a dedicated team of research development strategists and administrators collaborating to demystify grant writing processes and enable funding success for cutting-edge research that advances children’s health.

What We Support

We assist Department faculty and learners (instructors, postdocs, clinical fellows, etc.) in securing funding for cutting-edge research. We support all types of proposals from fellowships, career development awards, individual research grants, and large center or training grants.


Research and funding resources

Grant writing training and educational resources

Support for research collaborations

Pre-award processes for grant submissions

Meet The Team

Crystal Botham, PhD

Director of Research Development

Crystal is the founder and inaugural director of the Office of Pediatric Research Development (founded in 2019). She is a scientist at heart and has supported research development activities at Stanford for more than 10 years. Crystal is also director of the Stanford Biosciences Grant Writing Academy (founded in 2014), which aims to center joy and belonging in grant writing. Her favorite grant mechanism is the National Institutes of Health’s K Awards.

Within the Office of Pediatric Research Development, Crystal’s focus is supporting our assistant faculty, including:

  • Developing career advancing plans, including future proposal submissions
  • Editing and critically evaluating proposals
  • Providing strategic advice based on sponsor requirements
  • Building infrastructure and programming to enable innovative research


Justin Crest, PhD

Associate Director of Team Science

Justin is an experienced research scientist with over 16 years of basic science research in cell and developmental biology. As a Damon Runyon fellow he established multiple collaborative and team-science approaches that received support from NIH, W.M. Keck,  and NSF for these multi-disciplinary projects.

Within the Office of Pediatric Research Development, Justin facilitates:

  • Strategic research planning with investigators
  • Planning and submission of large and complex grants proposals (U, P, T32s, K12s, etc.)
  • Multidisciplinary collaborations and team science
  • Development of shared resources to support research pre-award activities

Vinita Bharat, PhD

Associate Director of Science Communication and Research Development Training

Vinita Bharat, Ph.D. is an experienced research scientist who is deeply passionate about both research development and science communication. With over 12+ years of experience as a cellular and molecular neuroscientist, she has also served as a Grant Coach at Stanford's Grant Writing Academy, contributing to various research development activities and strategic advancements. She is an acclaimed science communicator, and her online platform Fuzzy Synapse has been featured in numerous international media releases. She is committed to increasing participation, engagement, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in STEM fields.

Within the Office of Pediatric Research Development, Dr. Bharat collaborates closely with postdocs, clinical fellows, instructors, and junior faculty, offering a comprehensive suite of support including:

  • Providing individualized grantsmanship advice, coaching, and hands-on assistance
  • Spearheading the design and execution of targeted research capacity-building initiatives
  • Leading diverse grant writing workshops, incorporating design thinking methodologies to tackle grants such as NIH K, F, LRP, etc.
  • Partnering with departmental stakeholders and fellow research development strategists at Stanford to foster a collaborative and innovative environment for research excellence

Sarah Yeats Patrick, MA CRA

Assistant Director of Pre-Award Research Administration

Sarah is an experienced Research Administrator, specializing in pre-award. She has over 17 years of professional experience, 13 of which are in grant and research administration. Prior to joining the Office of Pediatric Research Development, Sarah was at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) as an Institutional Officer in their respective central offices. She holds an MA in Anthropology and is also a Research Administrators Certification Council (RACC) Certified Research Administrator.

Within the Office of Pediatrics Research Development, Sarah implements strategies to reduce grant writing related administrative burden for faculty. She supports junior and new-to-Stanford faculty, and Division research administrators and administrative associates to offer a range of services, including:

  • High-quality pre-award support for our junior and new-to-Stanford faculty
  • Pre-award research administrative assistance for complex grant proposals (U, P, T32, etc.)
  • Mentorship and training for Division-level research administrators and administrative associates
  • Advisement and oversight of the Department’s growing community of practice for pre- and post-award research administrators (Pediatrics Research Administrators’ Community of Practice)
  • Oversight of the Department’s PI waiver internal approval process

Susan Salkind, MA

Research Development Strategist and Grant Writer (Ped/Cardiology)

Susan Salkind is a research development (RD) strategist/grant writer in the Stanford School of Medicine’s Office of Pediatric RD, serving the Pediatric Cardiology Division. She is a staff affiliate at the Stanford Center for Open and Reproducible Science (CORES), and an officer for the Stanford Research Development Community of Practice's "Excellence in RD" initiative. Previously, she served as an assistant director at a Stanford center for law and computer science, where she helped to revive a focal research theme leading to $1M in funding, and helped to secure $4M to establish a new lab in Engineering.

Susan provides RD services for Pediatric Cardiology, including:

  • Editing and critically evaluating proposals
  • Interpreting sponsor requirements and providing strategic advice
  • Developing strategic plans and monitoring progress of proposal submissions
  • Finding funding opportunities