Departmental Innovator Grant Program

The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Small Grant Program, launched in 2015, was designed to promote research and collaborative scholarly projects advancing the academic interests of our faculty and the strategic themes of our department.  Rebranded as the Departmental Innovator Grant Program in 2018, awards include Pilot Studies in novel scientific areas that have high potential to lead to competitive grant applications and Small Scholarly Projects related to education, clinical care, community outreach, and health systems issues, such as health care quality.

2019 Request for Proposals

We are pleased to announce the request for proposals to the 2019 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Innovator Grant Program. The Innovator Grant Program has replaced the Department’s Small Grant Program which was initiated in 2016. The Innovator Grant 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

Pilot Studies in novel scientific areas that have high potential to lead to competitive grant applications (budget: up to $25K)

Small Scholarly Projects

Small Scholarly Projects related to the five missions of the department (budget: $2K-­‐$10K)

  • Advancing Science
  • Clinical Innovation
  • Educational Excellence
  • Community Commitment & Engagement
  • Professionalism & Leadership


  • 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.

*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 12-18 months.
No extensions are permitted.

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.


Awardees will be notified on or before December 14, 2018 with funding to begin on January 14, 2019.


Recipients are requested to provide an interim report at 4 months (4/15/19) and at 12 months (1/18/20) and final report at termination (7/24/2020). Publications resulting from the work should acknowledge the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Innovator Grants. Once the winning projects are announced, it is the PI’s responsibility to directly consult with Stanford’s Institutional Review Board to ensure that the proposed project is conducted in accordance with all federal, institutional, and ethical guidelines applicable to human subject research.  Recipients will be asked to present a poster at the June 2019 Department Wide Department Retreat or present at other appropriate venues.

Application Guidelines

By 6:00PM, November 2, 2018, please submit one PDF file containing the following in the order listed below via the online application.

File name: “LASTNAME_2019Innovator.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.

1.       Title Page (1-page limit):

a.      2019 Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences Innovator Grants
b.      Project Type – Pilot or Scholarly
c.       Project title
d.      Name(s), title(s), and email(s) of PI or Co-PIs
e.      Name(s), title(s), department(s), school(s), and email(s) of co-investigators (if applicable)
f.       One sentence summary of the proposal
g.      Amount of funding requested

2.       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:

a.                Problem statement
b.                Specific Aims
c.                 Project plan, including timeline
d.                Description of potential impact
e.                Up to 5 references

3.       Budget (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.

4.       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

  • Mahendra Bhati, M.D. (PI), and Amit Etkin, M.D., Ph.D.     
    Detecting and inhibiting fear with responsive neurostimulation (RNS) of the human amygdala
  • Kim Bullock, M.D. (PI), Jeremy N. Bailenson, Ph.D., and Andrea Stevenson Won, Ph.D.
    A Randomized Controlled Trial of Virtual Reality Delivered Mirror Visual Feedback for Functional Neurological Disorder
  • James R. Jacobs, M.D., Ph.D. (PI), Keith Sudheimer, Ph.D.
    The Neurophysiology of Secrets
  • Agnieszka Kalinowski, M.D., Ph.D. (PI), Alexander Urban, Ph.D., Ruth O'Hara, Ph.D., Jacob Ballon, M.D., M.P.H., Laramie Duncan, Ph.D., and Steve Ho, B.S.        
    Leveraging Metabolomics and Genomics of Dopamine Regulation for Precision Medicine to Treat Psychiatric Disorders
  • Adam Miner, Psy.D. (PI), Stewart Agras, M.D., Bruce Arnow, Ph.D., and Nigam Shah, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.          
    Natural language processing to detect features of successful psychotherapy

Seed Grants*

  • Kristine Luce, Ph.D. (PI), Tali Ball, Ph.D. (PI), and Leanne Williams, Ph.D.
    Personalized trans-diagnostic group therapy for anxiety: Program development and quality improvement
  • Jamie Zeitzer, Ph.D. (PI), Daniel Jin Blum, Ph.D., Fiona Barwick, Ph.D., and Emmanuel During, M.D.
    Restless Leg Syndrome: Does it start with a Gut Feeling?

*Made possible by a generous donor

Small Scholarly Projects

  • Steve Adelsheim, M.D. (PI), and Nina Vasan, M.D.
    The Hope and Hype of Technology Ventures in Transforming Brain Health
  • Belinda Bandstra, M.D., M.A. (PI), Mario Mercurio, Yasmin Owusu, M.D., and Ripal Shah, M.D., M.P.H.       
    Recruitment and Retainment of Underrepresented Minority Faculty and Residents
  • Fiona Barwick, Ph.D. (PI), and Kevin Lee, M.D.
    Student Sleep Health Pilot Project 
  • Ryan Matlow, Ph.D. (PI), and Flint M. Espil, Ph.D.
    Implementing Evidence-Based Mental Health Care in East Palo Alto Schools
  • Lawrence McGlynn, M.D. (PI), Ripal Shah, M.D., M.P.H., and Neir Eshel, M.D., Ph.D.
    LGBTQ Mental Health:  Opportunities for Research and Practice
  • Norah Simpson, Ph.D. (PI), and Scott Kutscher, M.D.
    Development and Evaluation of a Sleep Health Educational Resource for Stanford Student Athletes
  • Shannon Sullivan, M.D. (PI), and Michelle Cao, D.O.
    Home-Based Early Detection of Disrupted Sleep in Children with Risk Factors for Sleep Disordered Breathing
  • Mytilee Vemuri, M.D., M.B.A. (PI)
    Addressing Cultural factors affecting Professional Fulfillment within the Department of Psychiatry Outpatient Clinics