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Junior Faculty Research Grants

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The King Center invites proposals from Stanford junior faculty for small projects or for seed funding of projects that have the potential to help the investigators to write competitive research proposals for other funding sources based on the initial results.

This request for proposals is open to Stanford junior faculty performing new research on topics relevant to global development and poverty. Proposals will be accepted and considered twice yearly, in January and June.

Expected seed funding for each project is up to $80,000 per project.

Submit your application

Scope of proposal

The proposed work may involve the broad range of disciplines involved in global development, including but not limited to earth sciences, economics, engineering, medicine, political science, and policy. 

Proposals for which this funding would be incremental to funding already available, or for which the research is already sufficiently advanced to be a good candidate for other funding, are less likely to be selected.

Proposal submission, review, and award process

Full proposals should be submitted via the Stanford Seed Funding website. Proposals must be self-contained with no links to additional information.

The proposal is subject to a five-page limit, including the text, figures, tables, and references. The budget and budget justification are limited to two additional pages. Use one-inch margins and an 11-point or larger font. 

In the proposal, please answer the following questions:

  • What is the global development issue you are hoping to address?
  • What is the study context?
  • How will you organize the research effort so as to answer your question with a high level of confidence? Research design elements to consider include (but may not be limited to) sampling strategy, kinds of comparisons you plan to make, data sources and methods, timing of data collection, and how you propose to deal with potential threats to sound inference (e.g., confounding and bias).
  • How will the project contribute to the academic literature? What is the potential for policy impact?
  • What is the anticipated timeline (provide both the optimistic and pessimistic scenario)? 

Each Principal Investigator who will be associated with the proposed work should submit a CV.

Projects will be funded for a period of performance of up to two years. One no-cost extension for the duration of up to one year past the original end date of the award may be requested. Follow-up funding in subsequent years is not anticipated.

Summer salaries are excluded from funding for faculty with nine-month “hard money” appointments. Salary support for faculty on “soft money” who are required to raise their salary or part of their salary (like medical school faculty) is allowed in proportion to the effort required for the specific project.

Expected funding for each proposed project is up to $80,000.

The source of funding is gift funds; therefore, no proposal may include indirect costs, even if non-Stanford investigators would complete some part of the project. Projects will be funded through a newly created gift project task award (PTA); the 8 percent university infrastructure charge for the award will be paid directly by the King Center.

Proposed budgets need not be routed through the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) for this internally funded research initiative. 

Proposal review

The objective of the review process is to identify high-quality projects that are consistent with the goals of this solicitation. Proposals will be reviewed by a committee that will apply a general filter for alignment with the themes of global poverty and development, and then use the following criteria to evaluate the proposals: 

  1. Innovation, 
  2. Academic rigor, and 
  3. Whether the budget is commensurate with the value of the proposed research.

Committee members who are involved in a proposed project will recuse themselves from discussions of the relevant proposals. The committee may be supplemented by other faculty and experts at Stanford and outside with knowledge related to the areas of research but who are not involved in the proposed effort, with the requirement that each reviewer maintain the confidentiality of the proposed work.

Eligibility for funding

The primary Principal Investigators (PIs) must be Stanford junior faculty members with one of the following appointment types:

  • Regular tenure-line faculty (UTL/University Tenure Line, Assistant Professor or untenured Associate Professor)
  • UML (University Medical Line) faculty (Assistant Professor)

Clinician Educators (Clinical Educator line), Clinical Professors, and Instructors are not eligible to receive Stanford Junior Faculty Research Grants from the Stanford King Center on Global Development. If you have one of these appointments, but will be transitioning into an eligible faculty appointment as indicated above, please indicate this and include your appointment letter showing that you will become an eligible faculty member during the initial year of project funding when you submit your application.

Please note that consulting faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and academic staff are not eligible to apply.


It is anticipated that funding decisions will be announced approximately two months after proposal submission.


For questions, please contact Corinne Thomas at