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Application and Eligibility | Knight Initiative Innovation Grants

Key Dates for 2022 Knight Initiative Innovation Grants

Application Opens 

July 6, 2022

Deadline for submitting Applications

September 14, 2022 at 5pm (Pacific Time)

Notification of Awards

October 2022

Funding Start Date

November 2022 to December 2022

To Apply

Online Application

See below for detailed information on the Knight Initiative for Brain Resilience Innovation Grant process

All application materials must be submitted online.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Collaborative, interdisciplinary teams or individual Stanford faculty with PI Eligibility (those with UTL, UML, and NTL-Research appointments) may apply.
  • Any individual may only be PI on one proposal and co-PI on a second proposal for this call.
  • Applicants should be Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute Affiliates. Any interested Stanford faculty member is invited to join the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute.

Selection Criteria

A Knight Initiative for Brain Resilience Innovation Grants Committee will review proposals based on their relevance to brain resilience and neurodegeneration, innovative scientific merit and their potential for transformative discoveries. Specifically, submissions will be ranked based on the following criteria:

  1. Scientific merit and excellence of the proposal, with quality, innovation and creativity balanced by the project's likelihood of success. The project should be relevant in the broader sense to brain resilience and neurodegeneration.
  2. The project's potential impact to change how neurodegenerative disease research is performed and how that research affects society.
  3. Interdisciplinary approach to Brain Resilience. It will be important to document how the proposal fosters creative new collaborations across conceptual boundaries.
  4. Potential to leverage Stanford’s unique advantage to advance this field in important new ways.
  5. The potential impact of your goals for increasing diversity, inclusion, belonging, equity and justice at Stanford.

The faculty review committee, which will be drawn from the pool of grant applicants and co-chaired by a basic science faculty member and a clinical science faculty member, will make funding recommendations to the Knight Initiative director and Steering committee.

Application Submission

Applications must be submitted online via our online portal by September 14, 2022, 5:00 pm Pacific Time.  The online application will only be visible during the application period of July 6, 2022 through September 14, 2022.

Please carefully read the Eligibility Criteria and the Selection Criteria sections of this page before starting the application process.

By submitting an application, all project PIs agree to serve on the review committee for this and/or future Knight Initiative for Brain Resilience grants.

Proposal Requirements

1) Title and Abstract
Provide title and project summary or abstract (up 200 words)

2) Lay Abstract
Provide a lay language summary (up to 200 words)

3) Research Proposal (6 pages total, excluding bibliography)

Use standard NIH formatting (0.5 inch margin, 11 point Arial)

Proposals should include:

  • Research Plan: Specific aims, Proposed approach and methods, Novelty, impact and outcomes (including how outcomes might be measured).
  • Description of the interdisciplinary scope of the project.
  • Teamwork and organization: a description of why this is the right team for the proposed research, pertinent experience/accomplishments, and a description of each team member's role.
  • Description of mechanisms and processes for ensuring success.
  • Bibliography

4) Diversity Statement (not more than 1 page)
Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute is committed to diversifying neurosciences both intellectually and in continuing to grow and support our community of diverse individuals.

Describe your team members' goals for increasing diversity, inclusion, belonging, equity and justice (DIBEJ) at Stanford, and how you plan to move toward those goals. Reviewers will consider the potential impact and likelihood of success of your plan as one component of their review.

More resources about diversity and tips for a successful diversity statement can be found on the Wu Tsai Neurosciences DIBEJ website.

An effective diversity statement would demonstrate:
a.    Knowledge about DIBEJ.
b.    A track record in advancing DIBEJ.
c.     Plans for advancing DIBEJ.

Engagement in diversity may occur at several levels:
a.    At the personal level of the individual team members.
b.    Within the labs of member faculty or across the collective labs of the collaborators.
c.     At the broader level of Stanford University or beyond.

5) Detailed budgets

up to $1,500,000 direct costs over 3 years, $0.5M per year

  • Budget can support up to 10% salary effort for project PIs of full professor rank and up to 25% salary effort for project PIs of associate or assistant professor rank.
  • Funding may begin in mid-November 2022

Please note: you do not need to have your RPM prepare your budget.

6) Budget Justification (1 page maximum, NIH format)

7) Biosketch (5-page new NIH format, for each participating faculty

8) Other Support (also NIH format). Please include both active and pending support

Funding Requirements

Funding is contingent upon receipt of all required documents and verification of approved protocols.

In addition, funding recipients are required to:

  • Designate at least 1 student/fellow/scientist who participates and presents progress updates in monthly Knight Initiative lab meeting-style seminars
  • Present their research findings at an annual Knight Initiative symposium
  • Provide a final scientific report and accounting of all funds used
  • Provide annual progress report with updates on extramural funding, scientific publications and other accomplishments associated with the funded project
  • Participate in donor stewardship


Programmatic questions should be directed to Tony Wyss-Coray, director of the Knight Initiative; administrative questions to Divya Channappa (, interim administrator of the Knight Initiative.