We Have Three Funding Opportunities — Which Is Right for You?

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Interested in partnership-based research to create tangible outcomes in the world? Our refreshed investment strategy includes three stages of funding to better support scientific insights from initial discovery to large-scale impact.

This flowchart should help you figure out whether Stage 1: Seed Partnerships, Stage 2: Test Solutions, or Stage 3: Amplify Impact is the right match for you and your partner. But what does it look like to be at each of these stages?

Graphic of Stanford Impact Labs' investment pipeline

Just getting started thinking about partnership-based research...

If you’re a faculty member new to partnership-based research or don’t have a partner identified for the work you’re interested in pursuing, we highly recommend checking out the Stanford Impact Labs Design Fellowship (SILDF). 

Have a new partner outside academia, but it is early days...

If you are a Stanford faculty member and have a partner outside the university who is interested in better defining a social problem and potential solution together, you may be a good match for an investment under Stage 1: Seed Partnerships. This may be a new partnership, so you may need to spend time to develop a trusted relationship.

Your long-term research goal is to test a solution to address a social problem, but you and your partner(s) may need more information about the drivers of a social problem to understand how to develop the most relevant and effective solution. Our Stage 1: Seed Partnerships investment supports teams with strong research questions and newer partnerships to help them move along the pathway towards a solutions-focused R&D cycle. 

Your research-practitioner team is ready to test solutions together, marrying research skills and practical experience...

If your team already includes a Stanford faculty member and a partner(s) outside of academia who have designed a solution or set of solutions and are ready to put them to the test, then you may be a good fit for Stage 2: Test Solutions

At this stage, you and your partner(s) have developed a strong relationship with clearly defined roles and shared objectives. You have relationships with the key decision-makers that will make or break the success of the proposed solution or have a concrete plan to develop those relationships. You and your partner know how you’re going to implement and test the proposed solution, and have a strong hypothesis about the pathway to putting the insights to use for society at a larger scale. 

You're a research team, nonprofit organization, or government agency that is ready to put a well-demonstrated scientific insight to use at a larger scale...

What if your team has successfully tested a solution and are ready to put it to use at scale? Or, what if you’re a nonprofit or governmental agency that has worked with Stanford faculty to test a solution and are now ready to take the lead on scaling the insights? 

In either case, you might be a match for Stage 3, Track A: Scaling Insights. Strong applicants may take different forms, but are unified in their desire to put scientific insights to use at a larger scale, with a clear plan for sustaining that work past the length of SIL’s investment. We’re open to a wide variety of different ways that you may wish to put your scientific insights to use at a larger scale. Nonprofits or government agencies can directly apply for SIL investment only once they have been sponsored by a Stanford faculty member. 

Your team has a track record of partnership-based R&D cycles around a common theme that have been successfully put to use and want to pursue a longer-term R&D agenda...

Our Stage 3: Amplify Impact funding also includes a second track, Track B, to support teams who have an established track record of generating scientific insights that have already been put to use. 

While we’re open to a wide variety of approaches, this funding could, for example, provide core support to an impact lab to run a set of connected R&D cycles that both test specific solutions in multiple settings and that have the potential in aggregate to help make transformative progress against a big social problem. Teams must demonstrate a strong track record of solutions-focused R&D cycles that have been successfully put to use for society, a compelling pipeline of new R&D cycles with partnerships in place to put research to use; and a strategy to develop future R&D cycles. Labs should also make clear how a multi-year investment in R&D in the problem area can generate a set of cumulative findings with the potential for transformative impact in science and practice. 

Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and instructions for applying: 

Need more assistance understanding which pathway is right for you? We’re here to help!