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Seed Grant Application and Eligibility

Letters of Intent Invited for Seed Grants

We are currently seeking letters of intent (LOI) from members of the Stanford University Faculty. The submitted LOIs will be reviewed by a committee consisting of faculty with a broad range of expertise. Approximately 10-15 LOIs will be selected, and those teams will be asked to submit a more formal full proposal.


Key Dates for 2021 Seed Grants

Call for Letters of Intent (LOIs)

February 1, 2021

Deadline for submitting Letters of Intent

March 15, 2021 at 5pm (Pacific Time)

Notification of selection for Full Proposal submission

May 2021

Deadline for submitting Full Proposals

June 28, 2021 at 5pm (Pacific Time)

Notification of Awards

August 2021

Funding Start Date

September 2021 to January 2022

To Apply

Online Application

See below for detailed information on the Seed Grant Process

All application materials must be submitted online.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants should be Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute Affiliates. Any interested Stanford faculty member is invited to Join the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute.

  1. Teams of at least 2 Stanford faculty with PI eligibility [those with tenure line (UTL), medical center line (MCL) or research (NTLR) faculty appointments] may submit a letter of intent. Co-PI's should use different methodologies/approaches and/or work in different disciplines.

  2. Clinician Educator (CE) Faculty at the rank of clinical assistant professor and above who are full-time Stanford employees with 100% CE faculty appointments are eligible to apply for seed grants. No waiver is required. Clinical Instructors in the Clinician Educator (CE) line are not eligible to apply.

  3. Each PI may participate in only one letter of intent.

  4. The proposed project should be new, and should have the potential to generate data that can be used for grant applications to extramural funding sources in neuroscience fields.

  5. Proposals that involve disciplines outside traditional basic and clinical neuroscience (e.g. law, education, business, public policy) are encouraged.

Selection Criteria

The Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute Seed Grant Committee will review proposals based on:

  1. Scientific merit of the proposal, with quality, innovation and creativity balanced by the project's likelihood of success.

  2. Interdisciplinary approach to the neurosciences broadly defined. It will be important to document how the collaborative effort of the co-PIs will be stronger than the sum of two independent projects.

  3. The potential impact of your goals for increasing diversity, inclusion, belonging, equity and justice at Stanford.

Letter of Intent Submission

LOIs are submitted via the online application service at

The Seed Grant LOI must be submitted online by the deadline: March 15, 2021, 5:00 pm Pacific Time.  The online LOI application will only be visible during the application period of February 1 through March 15, 2021.

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

Each LOI must have at least 2 co-PIs. Each LOI should have one Communicatingco-PI. The communicating co-PI serves as the point of contact for the project and is responsible for submitting the online application. 

A complete online application consists of:

  1. Completed form for general information about the communicating co-PI and the collaborating co-PI(s).

  2. One to two page description of the project goals, the individuals and disciplines involved and the impact of the project on neuroscience.

  3. A short (1 paragraph) description of how your team will contribute to diversity, inclusion, belonging, equity and justice at Stanford.

Preview of Full Proposal Requirements

If your team's LOI is selected by the Seed Grant and Executive Committees, you will be notified to submit a full 5 page proposal.  Full proposals must include background leading to the proposal, specific aims, an outline of proposed methods, a budget, a diversity statement, expected outcome and CVs of all the faculty involved in the proposal.


Grants will be for a one-year period, with the option to extend for an additional year based on progress made on the project.  


Grants may be requested for up to $100,000 direct costs per year for two years. The funds can be used for personnel (undergraduate, graduate, or postdoctoral students, research assistants or associates), supplies, small equipment, travel, or seminar and symposia needs. Faculty salaries are generally not allowed on seed grants.

Complete details for full proposal submission will be provided after LOI selection.