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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.

FY2021 Department Innovator Grants
Request for Applications

We are pleased to announce the request for proposals to the 2021 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Innovator Grants Program. 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. Projects across the full spectrum of science and scholarship are encouraged.

Two types of applications will be considered:

  • Pilot Studies in novel scientific areas that have high potential to lead to competitive grant
    applications (budget: up to $25K)
  • Small Scholarly Projects related to the five missions of the department
    (budget: $2K-$10K)

In addition to neuroscience, clinical innovation and educational projects, special attention will be given to the following topics:

  • Racism and Mental Health
  • Mental health consequences of COVID19, including social isolation and health disparities
  • Suicide prevention and intervention
  • Telehealth and digital health strategies
  • Wellbeing approaches for health care workers

Eligibility Criteria

  • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences faculty on the Medical Center Line (MCL), University Tenure Line (UTL), and Non-Tenure Line (NTL), Clinician Educators (CE), Clinical Instructors, and Instructors are invited to apply. Please note that PI waivers are not required for this funding opportunity.
  • Each faculty member and Instructor can serve as PI on only one application.
  • Affiliates, graduate students, residents*, fellows, postdoctoral scholars, and research associates are not eligible to serve as Principal Investigators and are encouraged to apply with the leadership of a PI-eligible faculty member or Instructor mentor.
  • Multiple PI projects are permitted, but one individual must be designated as the project leader for ease of communication. The project leader must have their primary appointment in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Key dates

7/24/20: Proposals Due
8/14/20: Awardees Notified
9/1/20: Funding Begins
1/4/21: 1st Interim Report
9/1/21: 2nd Interim Report
9/1/22: Final Report
9/1/23: Post-completion update

*If you are a resident in Psychiatry and are going to be requesting protected time, please discuss this accommodation with your Division Chief prior to submission.

Applicants should propose projects that are feasible and can be completed within 18-24 months. No extensions are permitted.

Awardees will be notified on or before August 14th, 2020 with funding to begin on September 1st, 2020.

Selection Process

A review committee will evaluate proposals based on scientific merit, feasibility, relevance to departmental priorities, likelihood to lead to future research opportunities/funding, and the strength of the PI and investigative team.


Recipients are requested to provide interim reports at 4 months (1/4/21) and at 12 months (9/1/21), a final report at termination (9/1/22), and a post-completion update (9/1/23). Publications resulting from the work should acknowledge the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Innovator Grants. Once the funded projects are announced, it is the PI’s responsibility to directly consult with Stanford’s regulatory bodies (IRB, APLAC, etc.) to ensure that the proposed project is conducted in accordance with all federal, institutional, and ethical guidelines for research.

Recipients will be asked to present a poster at the June 2021 Department Retreat or at other appropriate venues.

Application Guidelines

By 6:00PM, July 24, 2020, please submit one PDF file containing the following in the order listed below via the online application with file name “LASTNAME_2021Innovator.pdf”

All proposal applications should use at least 11-point font size, 1-inch margins for all pages, with standard word and single line spacing. Pages should be numbered consecutively at the bottom right. The page header should contain the name of the Project Leader and a short title.

Title Page (1-page limit)

  1. 2021 Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences Innovator Grants
  2. Project Type – Pilot or Scholarly
  3. Project title
  4. Name(s), title(s), and email(s) of PI or Co-PIs
  5. Name(s), title(s), department(s), school(s), and email(s) of co-investigators (if applicable)
  6. One sentence summary of the proposal
  7. Amount of funding requested

Project Proposal (2-page limit)

Two pages including any/all figures, excluding references. Hyperlinks to relevant published papers are encouraged. Preliminary data is not required, but may be included. No appendices are allowed. Include the following:

  1. Problem statement
  2. Specific Aims
  3. Project plan, including timeline
  4. Description of potential impact
  5. Up to 5 references

(1-page budget and budget justification)

The budget should reflect the period of time funds are requested and can include salary (including PI and research personnel with corresponding fringe benefits including TGP), equipment, project supplies, food, and support for community collaborations. The budget may not include honoraria for Stanford University faculty or staff members. Funds cannot be directed to subcontracts or to discretionary accounts. Please note that the School of Medicine has a mandatory 3% telecommunications charge on all salary. Indirect costs are not applicable.

Investigator Biographies (1-page)

Short, one paragraph biographies (<300 words) for PI/Co-PIs, co-investigators, and/or key personnel should be provided. Text should include titles, academic rank, and key achievements. These can be hyperlinked to longer form University profiles.

Proposals that do not conform to the above guidelines will be returned without review. All grants will be scored, but detailed feedback will not be provided to the applicants.

Please direct all inquiries to:

Aimee-Noelle Swanson, Ph.D.
Director of Research Development, Integrity, and Strategy
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Stanford School of Medicine
(650) 736-4559

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.