• APPLICATION DUE DATE: February 28, midnight PST
  • ELIGIBILITY: Lead applicants must be graduate or professional students or post-docs at Stanford University, coupled with a faculty sponsor. Graduate student and/or post-doc lead(s) must be matriculated (or employed) at Stanford University for the entire duration of the award.  Faculty sponsor must be a member of the Stanford Academic Council or Medical Center Line. Other members of working groups may be students, post-docs, and/or faculty mentors from within or outside Stanford University.
  • AWARD DETAILS: Up to $5000 for 12 months, earliest start date June 2018

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Program Priorities

The Student/Post-doc Mini Working Group Grants from the Program for Disease Ecology, Health and the Environment will be offered to graduate and professional (medical, law, etc.) students and/or post-docs who want to lead ‘mini’ working groups to carry out synthesis or exploratory projects within the research areas supported by the Program. The aim of this award is to catalyze and empower innovative students to take steps toward designing and/or implementing a new solution to health and environmental problems.  The most successful applications will have a sustainability strategy whereby the group describes how the work supported by this small grant will provide incremental progress towards a long-term goal beyond the life of the project or this award.

What is a Student/Post-Doc ‘Mini’ Working Group?

A Student/Post-doc ‘Mini’ Working Group is composed of about 5 or so graduate or professional students and/or post-docs plus one faculty mentor, selected from a range of disciplines, who come together to focus and collaborate intensively for about a week at a time, usually for several times a year. Each participant brings his/her data, methods, and experiences for analysis.  The goal of a working group is to synthesize existing data or create new knowledge and catalyze innovative solutions.  

Each ‘Mini’ Working Group must have a “lead” student/post-doc (or at most 2 students/post-docs) at Stanford University who will serve as the applicant(s) and liaison(s) for the group and projects must have at least one Stanford faculty mentor. Faculty mentors must be members of the Stanford Academic Council or Medical Center Line. A minimum of 2 student/post-doc members of the ‘Mini’ Working Group (not counting the faculty mentor) must be matriculated in (or post-docs at) Stanford University.  Other members of working groups may be students/post-docs or faculty mentors from within or outside Stanford University.

Program priorities and guidelines for Student/Post-doc ‘Mini’ Working Group grants are outlined below.  Product- and solution-oriented approaches will be a priority and a sustainability plan will be a key aspect of the application. An important difference between Student/Post-doc ‘Mini’ Working Groups and Faculty Working Groups is that ‘Mini’ Working Groups are student/post-doc driven and led (with mentorship support from a faculty member).

Note: As with Faculty Working Groups, the intent of this funding call is to primarily support working group meetings, networking, and outputs.  Where appropriate, travel of one or more of the working group members to field sites for preliminary data collection is allowable but should be kept at a minimum.  Use of existing data and/or data collected with support from other university resources should be brought by members to the working groups for analysis, synthesis and summary.

The Program for Disease Ecology, Health, and the Environment seeks ‘Mini’ Working Group projects that:

  • Are high-risk, transformative projects that have the potential to produce “win-win” solutions to major health and environmental challenges,
  • Address core values and standards of excellence of Stanford University and the Program for Disease Ecology, Health and the Environment, including: solutions-oriented, sustainable, creative projects that foster dialogue, deep engagement, accessibility, and education/student-involvement,
  • Include emphasis in both human health and environmental scienceby including work in focal areas of Stanford Woods and/or CIGH such as: ecosystem services and conservation, infectious disease, epidemiology, public/global health, oceans/freshwater, climate, food security, and/or sustainable development.

Program Guidelines

Proposed ‘Mini’ Working Group projects should:

  • Represent one or more of the above program priorities;
  • Contribute towards an actionable “win-win” solution that addresses a major health and environmental challenge;
  • Demonstrate a clear strategy and pathway for connecting your research to an actual solution;
  • Involve Graduate or Professional Student(s) and/or Post-docs at Stanford with expertise in both environment and health
  • Document how the collaborative effort will be leveraged to produce deliverables including research papers, prototypes, grant proposals, or other products; and
  • Have the potential for sustainable uptake by communities or obtaining future support.

Submission Instructions & Review Process

Review Process:

Application Instructions:

Proposals should address all 6 parts, outlined below.  All proposals (Parts 1-5) are limited to 2 pages, single spaced, 12 point font, with 1” margins.  References and Letter(s) of Support are not included in the length limit.

Please be sure to include the following specific sections in your proposal:

  • Part 1 – Project Description: The proposal should describe in clear terms the Problem to be addressed, an Approach that is novel, and a clear and compelling statement of how working groups will help develop a Solution. Please describe your research in the larger framework of a major health and environmental challenge.
  • Part 2 – Products: Please describe the products you expect to generate through the proposed project, that would be likely to lead to new knowledge, future expansion and uptake of the idea, or actionable solutions, e.g., prototypes and innovations, opinion and review papers, and/or larger grants that will leverage this seed funding. Please also describe any anticipated engagement of external stakeholders and partners before, during and/or after your project that may inform the research and facilitate the transmission of your research discoveries into action.  External stakeholders and partners may be decision makers or managers related to the motivating environmental or health issues and/or your approach. They may be existing companies, venture capital interests, or even Stanford’s Office of Technology and Licensing that you engage to explore potential IP and commercial possibilities. They may be relevant NGOs, community groups or other organizations with capacity to adopt or implement your findings at scale.
  • Part 3 – Sustainability Strategy: Recognizing that research does not always lead to a solution over the span of a single project, briefly articulate a vision for how you believe this project will ultimately lead to lasting impacts, including sustained stakeholder uptake, and/or outside funding and how your research agenda may evolve with outside funding to further contribute to the scaling up of “win-win” health and environmental solutions. We encourage projects at all stages to apply, from exploratory projects through scaled-up solutions; all proposals, regardless of stage, must include a sustainability strategy, which is a vision of how the project will eventually lead to sustainable solutions.  We recognize that a small award like this will realize incremental progress towards this long-term goal.  Please list specific potential partners, stakeholders, and/or sources of funding which you believe progress under this grant will enable you to be competitive in pursuing.
  • Part 4 – Working Group Interdisciplinary Team: Describe the composition of your working group, explaining how the Student lead, faculty sponsor, and team members are from important representative disciplines; the contributions of each; and how the group will work in an integrated fashion.  Keep in mind a goal of gender and cultural diversity as well as expertise among the group.   Lead student(s) will serve as the primary contact. Provide the following information for each team member: Name, Title, University and Departmental Affiliation, E-mail, Area(s) of Expertise, Link(s) to Online Bio/Webpage if available.
  • Part 5 – Budget and Budget Justification:  Budget may be requested for travel, facilities, supplies (<$5000), IT support, outreach, and networking events.  Salary support is not permitted.
  • Part 6 – Letter(s) of Support: All ‘Mini’ Working Groups must have an accompanying letter of support from their faculty sponsor (and, optionally, other supporting mentors), explaining the value of the project, the skills and capabilities of the lead student/post-doc(s), and the commitment of the faculty sponsor (and optionally other mentors) to provide mentorship or other support throughout the project period.


Rules to write by:

  • Be concise and compelling.
  • Assume that reviewers have little or no familiarity with your topic. Avoid jargon and explain your ideas in language accessible to a diverse audience.
  • Please be sure to address all six parts fully. Only grant proposals that include all six parts will be considered for review.
  • Keep the scope of project focused and the scale appropriate to the level of funding.

Budget & Justification Guide

Important points to keep in mind when preparing your proposal and budget:

  • This is a university research program. DEHE research grants do not incur indirect charges (IDC) or infrastructure charges (ISC). ISC is charged to the Program for Disease Ecology Health and the Environment at the time of funding,
  • Salary support is not permitted,
  • Include all budget numbers in US dollars rounding up to the nearest whole dollar values.
  • Include the following sections (as applicable) in the budget and justification: Travel, Professional services, Materials and supplies, lab supplies, computer and software licenses, Publication fees/costs, Other
  • Include a Budget Justification for each budget line item

Open Date

December 21, 2017 06:00am PST


February 28, 2018 11:59pm PST

Apply Now


Lead applicants must be graduate or professional students or post-docs at Stanford University, coupled with a faculty sponsor. Graduate student and/or post-doc lead(s) must be matriculated (or employed) at Stanford University for the entire duration of the award.  Faculty sponsor must be a member of the Stanford Academic Council or Medical Center Line. Other members of working groups may be students, post-docs, and/or faculty mentors from within or outside Stanford University.

Award Details

Up to $5000 for 12 months, earliest start date March 2018


Cheryl Butner