Academy Innovation Grants Program


The Stanford Medicine Teaching and Mentoring Academy (TMA) promotes excellence in teaching and mentoring by developing, supporting, and recognizing dedicated educators and mentors in order to ensure world-class training for the next generation of physicians, researchers, and educators. The Academy is pleased to announce that we will be awarding grants to fund projects that aim at innovation and improvement in teaching, learning and mentoring throughout Stanford Medicine and in the larger field. Proposals will be reviewed for their significance (rationale and contribution), expertise to carry out the proposed work, innovation, and approach (e.g., plan, methods for design, implementation, dissemination, and evaluation).  Selection will be a competitive process.


The Academy encourages educational innovations that will have a lasting impact upon instruction and/or mentoring at the School of Medicine, and within the broader Stanford community. Innovation could be related to—but is not limited to—simulation models, service learning, case-based or team based learning, novel instructional delivery approaches, and innovative assessment methods. 

The Academy especially encourages projects that address one of the following four priority areas:

  1. Collaboration: projects that are interdisciplinary, inter-professional, or in partnership with community organizations
  2. Diversity and inclusion: projects that address inclusive learning settings, implicit bias within curriculum, increasing access to education for underrepresented minority group members, or other aspects of diversity and inclusion
  3. Rigorous approaches to scholarship or innovation: projects that demonstrate scientific rigor in their conception, design and evaluation
  4. Impact and sustainability: projects that demonstrate promise to have impact beyond a small handful of individuals and/or projects that are likely to be sustainable beyond the grant funding period

Two types of grants will be considered (please select one in your application):      

Teaching and Mentoring Innovation Grant: The goal of teaching and mentoring innovation projects is to design a new way to carry out activities directly related to teaching and/or mentoring. Projects might propose a new approach to curriculum design, pedagogy, mentoring, or student assessment, as examples.

Educational Scholarship: The goal of education scholarship projects is to study the implementation and/or outcomes of educational innovations. Examples might include evaluation of new pedagogical methods, or research that investigates known problems in bioscience or medical education with a goal of proposing innovative solutions.


Stanford faculty (with UTL, MCL, NTLR, CE appts.)  Note: PI waivers are not needed for internal funding opportunities.

Other eligible positions*: Medical fellows, residents, postdoctoral scholars, medical students, and graduate students, instructors, clinical instructors, academic staff-research (i.e., basic scientists, senior research associates) and house staff.

*The applications under the above “other eligible positions" must include a faculty letter of support.

For studies involving research on medical students or the required curriculum, researchers must also provide documentation that the study has been reviewed and approved as outlined in the medical education research policy, available here


Two categories of funding, large grants and small grants, will be considered. All grant funds must be expended by July 31, 2019. Large grants are for projects up to $20,000, and small grants are for projects up to $10,000. There is no restriction on the the percentage of funds that can be allocated to compensation. 


All grant proposals are due by midnight on May 15, 2018 (Tuesday).

Formatting and budget instructions must be followed carefully. Proposals that do not meet the specifications outlined in these instructions will be rejected without review by the committee.    

Grant proposals should not exceed three pages, with two pages of narrative and one page for the proposed budget. These proposals should be uploaded via the proposal website as a Microsoft Word document that must be formatted with 1” margins and typed using an 11- or 12-point font. Proposals that exceed the three-page maximum will not be forwarded to the grant review committee for consideration. The first two pages of the grant proposal are for the project narrative, and should address content categories 1-7 described below. The third page of the grant proposal should present the project budget, described in content category 8 below. References should be included in an appendix which will not be considered part of the 3-page limit. Any other materials in the appendix will not be forwarded to the review committee.

Please save your proposal using this naming convention: Lastname_Proposal_2018-19

Content Categories: Applicants must address the following eight areas in their grant proposal. This proposal is not to exceed 3 pages, two pages for the narrative and one page for the budget.

I. Specific educational aims: Describe the goal of this project. How does this project contribute to improving bioscience or medical teaching and mentoring at Stanford or beyond? In this section you should also identify which of the four funding priorities (collaboration, diversity and inclusion, rigorous approaches to scholarship or innovation, impact and sustainability) your project seeks to address.

II. Project rationale: Discuss the educational impact of your project. What knowledge or quality gap does this project address? What is your hypothesis? In this section, you should also provide a brief overview of the literature, explaining how your project will extend the existing research/literature in this area. References can be included in an appendix and will not count toward the proposal page limit. How will your project go beyond what has already been done? If pilot data is available, findings should be described in this section as well. 

III. Approach: Detail the approach you will use to achieve your educational aims. Clearly outline the steps you have planned to achieve these educational aims.

IV. Timeline and plan for implementation: Outline your project timeline and plan for implementation. The project timeline should be realistic and fall within the funding period (October 1, 2018 – July 31, 2019). The plan for implementation must be clear, realistic and well developed. 

V. Anticipated work product: Describe what will be created, developed or enhanced at the end of the grant period through the use of grant funds. How will this product positively address the knowledge or quality gap outlined in the rationale of your proposal (Section II)? 

VI. Evaluation plan: The evaluation plan should demonstrate how the project will be assessed in order to illustrate whether the project met its goals. How will you know the project was successful? How will you gather data to show you whether the project was successful?

VII. Dissemination of results: Discuss how you plan to share the results of this project to the Stanford community and/or to the field.

VIII. Budget and justification: Please include a simple table documenting each item for which funds are requested and an explanation of why each line item is essential to successful completion of the project (see sample below). Total budget requests are not to exceed $10,000 for small grants and $20,000 for large grants. In this grant cycle there are no limits to the percent of the budget request that can be compensation versus non-compensation.

Budget limitations:

  • Requests for travel funds should not make up a majority of the budget request, and the need for travel should be clearly justified.
  • Requests for equipment (laptops, cameras) must be rigorously justified, and, although allowable, are generally discouraged.
  • Requests for gift cards must be rigorously justified and should not exceed 5% of the total budget request. Individual gift card amounts may not exceed $15 each.


Please present your budget in a table format that includes the following columns and rows:










1.8 clinical days

PI’s time to develop survey instrument and design focus groups




Total compensation:







10 gift cards x $10 ea.

Gift cards to incentivize focus group participation



1 stipend x $1200

Stipend for student assistant to assist with focus group




Total non-comp:




Total request:



Applications are to be uploaded using the online application. 


  • Can you provide examples of successful projects? 
    Please see funded projects from the 2015-2016 grant cycle here, and funded projects from the 2016-17 grant cycle here.
  • Do I need to submit a PI waiver with my proposal? No. PI waivers are not required for internal Stanford funding. 
  • Can I use the grant award to fund travel related to my grant project? Yes; please note that requests for travel funds should not make up the majority of the budget request and the need for travel must be clearly justified.  
  • Can I use the grant award to purchase a laptop or other equipment needed to make my educational product? Requests for funds to purchase equipment are allowable, but must be rigorously justified and are generally discouraged. 
  • Can I use the grant award solely for salary? Yes, in the 2016-17 grant cycle, there are no restrictions on how much of your grant request may go to cover salary. 
  • Can I use the grant award to make videos?  Yes
  • Can the educational products be open source (eg. videos, on-line content, open availabilty)? Yes 
  • Can I use the grant award to pay an animator? Yes; please note that the budget line (compensation vs. non-compensation)  depends on the videographer's affiliation
  • Can I use the grant award to pay faculty time for creating videos? Yes
  • Are staff elgibile to apply? Yes, staff are elgible to apply provided they include a letter of support from a faculty member in their application. Non-faculty roles that are considered staff include Lecturers, Instructors, Academic Staff Research (basic scientists, senior research associates), Housestaff.

The RFP for the 2019-2020 Innovation Grants program wil open in March 2019.

Please contact Christine Schirmer via email ( or phone (510-882-7957) if you have any questions.