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Center for Design Research Affiliates Program

CDR Industry Affiliates Program

The Center for Design Research (CDR) Industry Affiliates Program provides a unique relationship between academic research and industry. 

Members are entitled to a full range of benefits including an annual meeting, the opportunity to support PhD student research, access to research reports associated with the Program and facilitated access to faculty and graduate students.  Projects typically involve a combination of engineering design synthesis, design tool development and design thinking studies.

The CDR Affiliates fee is $100,000 per year of membership, and companies can join the program at any time for a 12-month period.

For more information about participating faculty and related Stanford research, visit our CDR People page.  All CDR Affiliates are subject to Stanford University Policies for Industry Affiliates Programs.


CDR Academic Affiliates Program

Stanford offers three classifications for visitors from other academic institutions. In all cases, the visitor is given work space at CDR near the center of the campus and open access to the laboratory of a CDR Principal Investigator with whom a joint-research program has been defined. This is an immersive experience within one of Stanford's premier innovation labs. Visitor positions at CDR are in great demand.  Priority will be given to Visiting Faculty and Visiting Scholars from key institutions.  Longer visits are encouraged to promote full engagement and immersion in the work and the community: preferred minimum stay is six months (which is two quarters).

In order to inscribe the visitor, Stanford University and CDR require visitors to pay a fee, currently set at $1,889 per month. This fee includes their SUnet account and email, internet and physical access, library service, access to athletic facilities, etc. Additionally, access to CDR and desk space is provided as well as well as CDR administrative services such as printing and copying. See full fee structure details in the respective visitor categories below.

Visiting Student Researcher Defined:

Visiting Student Researchers (VSR) are persons enrolled in a graduate study program who have not yet obtained a PhD (or its foreign equivalent) and wish to engage in research on the Stanford campus using Stanford research facilities. The visa used by Visiting Student Researchers at Stanford is J-1. VSR appointments of 6-12 months are recommended in order to fully integrate with CDR research and culture.

Visiting Student Researchers pay this fee to two entities:  1) to the central University, via the University bill (PSO, see below) and 2) to CDR.  Visiting Scholars pay a lump sum directly to CDR. CDR Visiting Student Researchers will pay

  1.  $991/month PSO (Permit for Services Only tuition AY16) to the University, and
  2.  $932/month to CDR:  lump sum, invoiced and payable at start of visit.

Visiting Scholar Defined:

Scholars who have a doctorate degree, or who are recognized experts in their field, and who wish to visit Stanford from an outside institution or organization may be recommended by a Group Chair for the courtesy designation of Visiting Scholar. Visiting Scholar appointments are usually made for one year and may be renewed for a second year. An extension beyond two years will be granted only for extraordinary and compelling reasons. In 2010, the University set the minimum visit length for Visiting Scholars at three months.  CDR requests a minimum of six months and prefers a one-year visit.

Visiting Scholars are not employees of the University and the title may not be used for personnel or payroll purposes. Visiting Scholars may not receive regular compensation from the University. Visiting Scholars are funded from external or personal sources.

CDR Visiting Scholars will pay $1,923 per month to CDR. (This is the equivalent of the PSO tuition plus the CDR Visiting Student Researcher fee.)

Visiting Faculty Defined:

Faculty members at other colleges or universities may be invited by a Faculty Host to visit Stanford in order to take advantage of their expertise or experience in research or teaching, or to pursue some other collaborative effort which may benefit Stanford, using the designation Visiting Faculty.  Visiting Faculty members are expected to be on an approved leave from the academic institution where they hold an appointment.  The time period of the Stanford appointment must lie within the dates of this approved leave.  Likewise, it is expected that the Visiting Faculty member’s appointment at their home institution will not expire prior to the end of the Stanford appointment.  Visiting Faculty appointments are often made for a year (but can be shorter) and are renewable.

CDR Visiting Faculty will pay $1,923 per month to CDR. (This is the equivalent of the PSO tuition plus the CDR Visiting Student Researcher fee.)

Other Opportunities:

CDR affiliates can, at any time, make arrangements for a special collaboration project or other special event that takes us beyond the framework of our basic CDR Affiliateship options. If you have specific questions regarding visiting opportunities at the Center for Design Research, please contact:

Crystal Pennywell

Center for Design Research
424 Panama Mall

Building 560, Room 206
Stanford, CA 94305-2206

Phone: (650) 498-9887
Fax: (650) 725-8475

 Stanford University policies.


Current affiliates and sponsors in CDR research and projects

  • Autodesk, Inc.
  • Bosch
  • Chrysler Group LLC
  • Faurecia
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Hasso Plattner Foundation
  • Honda R&D
  • IFOS, Inc.
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Science Foundation
  • Renault
  • SAP AG
  • Seabed
  • Siemens Corporation
  • SRI International
  • Toyota
  • Volkwagen

Prior affiliates and sponsors in CDR research and projects

  • Apple Computers
  • BMW
  • Boeing
  • Cisco Systems
  • Crucell Holland B.V.
  • Daimler Chrysler
  • Fate Foundation
  • General Electric
  • General Motors
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Hochschule Luzern – Technik & Architektur
  • IBM
  • Intel
  • Komatsu
  • Luleå University of Technology
  • Lockheed
  • Matsushita
  • Mettler AG
  • Mitsubishi Electric
  • Mitsui
  • NASA
  • NEC
  • NTT
  • Office of Naval Research
  • Panasonic
  • Paramount Bed
  • Sekisui
  • Sun Microsystems
  • Tampere University of Technology
  • Toshiba
  • US Department of Energy