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Request for Proposals in Data Science Research

An RFP from the Stanford Data Science Initiative

Issued:  May 21, 2018
Proposals due:  June 22, 2018 at 5:00 PM


The world is being transformed by data and data-driven analysis is rapidly becoming an integral part of science and society. The Stanford Data Science Initiative, is a collaborative effort across many departments in all seven schools. We strive to unite existing data science research initiatives and create interdisciplinary collaborations, connecting the data science and related methodologists with disciplines that are being transformed by data science and computation.
The initiative works to support research in a variety of fields where incredible advances are being made through the facilitation of meaningful collaborations between domain researchers, with deep expertise in societal and fundamental research challenges, and methods researchers that are developing next generation computational tools and techniques.
This call for proposals is open to Stanford faculty, students, and research staff, in all fields, performing new research in data science and its applications.  Each proposal must have a Stanford qualified Principal Investigator (PI).  Successful proposals will be awarded $50,000 in seed funds to support research over a one year period.
SDSI has committed resources to fund at least 8 proposals and we expect that more funds will become available for additional awards. 

Program Priorities

  • We prioritize ambitious research where the development of new data science methods may prove to be transformative to one or more particular domains or help to solve a societal challenge.
  • We encourage applications from diverse fields  including the education, humanities, healthcare, social science, biology, energy, transportation, and more.
  • Applicants are encouraged to develop interdisciplinary teams comprising experts from data science and from a domain field. If your proposal is notable, but you are unable to find a collaborator, SDSI will help to make a connection.

Guidelines for Proposal Submissions

  • Proposals are limited to two pages for description of the proposed research including any figures (but excluding references).
  • Please include a project title, the name and contact information of the primary PI and the names of any additional collaborators, and a project description.  
  • Also include a separate one-page sample budget plan.
Text, figures, and tables must fit within the two-page limit, fonts should not be smaller than 11 point, and margins must be at least 1 inch on all sides.  

Proposals should be prepared with all materials combined in a single PDF and submitted by June 22, 2018 at 5:00 PM at the Stanford Seed Funding Website.

Project Funding

The source of funding is expected to be corporate affiliates membership fees, so no project may charge indirect charges (IDC), even if non-Stanford investigators will complete some part of the project.  The budget should include only direct costs.  The infrastructure charge (ISC) for the project funding will be paid directly by SDSI.
Budgets should indicate the level of effort committed to the project.  PI effort may be included but is not required. The grants will not support general staff or administrative support.
Proposed budgets need not be routed through OSR for this internally funded research.  Once the funding has been awarded a budget will need to be routed through SeRA.

Project Deliverables

Project PIs and collaborating students and postdocs are expected to attend and participate in SDSI workshops and seminars to share their work. Papers, abstracts, and project summaries may be posted on the SDSI website.
Proposal Review Process
The proposals submitted in response to this solicitation will be reviewed by the SDSI Director, Managing Director, and partners who are not involved in the proposed projects.

Further Information

Please contact Kevin Koy, Managing Director, at with any questions.