Faculty & Department Grant Applications

Program Overview

VPUE Departmental and Faculty Grants for Undergraduate Research are intended to introduce Stanford undergraduates to ways of conducting scholarship in a particular field and to promote student training in rigorous methods of inquiry, analysis, or creation appropriate to the academic discipline of interest.  Grants will fund student training and learning through participation in faculty-designed research, scholarly, and creative projects, and that promote the inclusion of students in intellectual communities with a primary emphasis on developing the skills that prepare faculty-mentored students to undertake more independent projects in the future.

STUDENT STIPENDS: Funds support full-time stipends for eligible undergraduates using their Flex Quarter in the Spring or Summer, and part-time stipends for eligible undergraduates not on a Leave of Absence in any quarter. For additional information about student eligibility, for both full-time and part-time projects, please visit our Faculty & Department Grant Administration page.

NON-STIPEND EXPENSES (PROGRAMMING FUNDS): For Departmental Grants, grants may also support activities and events that build a cohort or community of summer students. 

In summary, students supported by these funds will develop their capacities as researchers, humanists, or artists through intellectual exploration, engagement with faculty, and immersion in a scholarly community.


VPUE Departmental Grants for Undergraduate Research

VPUE Departmental Grants for Undergraduate Research support cohorts of students mentored by multiple Stanford Academic Council faculty members, each affiliated with the department, program, or research center submitting the application. Department Grant applications open by the first day of classes each academic year during the Fall Quarter. The deadline each year is October 31st.

The 20-21 Department Grant application portal is now closed

VPUE Faculty Grants for Undergraduate Research

VPUE Faculty Grants for Undergraduate Research support a single student mentored by a Stanford Academic Council faculty member. Faculty Grant applications open by the first day of classes each academic year during the Fall and Winter quarters. Deadlines are October 31st and February 15th each year. Faculty mentors with access to a Departmental Grant (see above) are not eligible.

The 20-21 Faculty Grant application portal is now closed


  • Proposals must be authored and submitted by faculty and/or staff with faculty oversight.
  • Primary project mentors should be Academic Council or Med Center Line faculty; exceptions must be clearly described in the proposal.  Additional mentoring may be provided by other faculty, academic staff, artists-in-residence, post-doctoral scholars, or advanced graduate students as appropriate, and should be clearly described in the proposal.
  • Students using grant support must be current Stanford undergraduates. See the Grant Administration page for more detail.
  • Off-campus projects must be clearly described in the proposal, and funding may only be disbursed after additional requirements on the part of students, mentors, and departmental staff are completed. Undergraduate Research cannot support, in any manner, travel to or work in locations where (a) the U.S. Department of State has issued a Travel Advisory of Level 4 ("Do Not Travel") or Level 3 ("Reconsider Travel") for the country destination; (b) the U.S. Department of State has issued a Travel Advisory of Level 4 or Level 3 (or associated language "Do Not Travel/Reconsider Travel") for the specific cities or regions within a country; or (c) there is other reliable information of significant health or safety risks.
  • Read more about the Undergraduate Research requirements for projects involving Off-campus Travel and International Travel.
  • Read about Travel Advisories

Selection Criteria

The programs are competitive, and even strong proposals may receive only partial funding.  Successful proposals will provide concise evidence of:

  • A plan to cultivate strong faculty mentorship
  • Intensive student intellectual engagement with faculty mentors' broader scholarship
  • Student training to develop the skills that enable more independent projects and increased intellectual responsibilities in the future
  • A clear plan to create opportunities for student engagement with other undergraduate researchers as well as the department or program’s broader scholarly community


Reviewers closely examine the results of the annual VPUE Undergraduate Research Evaluation (a student survey administered by Undergraduate Research staff).  Student responses are critical factors in future funding decisions.

Proposal Guidelines

Proposals should not exceed 3000 words. Proposals must explicitly address:

  1. The training program goals and basic organizational structure.
  2. Mentoring strategies, including
    • training and resources available to new or inexperienced mentors
    • guidance and resources for students
    • programming and group activities promoting interactions between students, as well as between students and mentors.
  3. For Departmental Grants, the recruitment plans and selection criteria for projects and mentors, or a description of the fit between the mentors/projects and the program goals.
  4. Recruitment plans and selection criteria for students, including (for Departmental Grants) the means by which students will be matched with mentors and projects.
  5. A list of the student responsibilities, and detailed examples of the projects to which students will be assigned.  Include clear student learning outcomes for each responsibility.
  6. Specific outcomes for past participants (including subsequent publications, theses, presentations, etc.) as appropriate.  Discuss available student or mentor feedback regarding the program’s structure, and highlight new processes or initiatives responding to this feedback.
  7. **IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to COVID-19, proposals MUST discuss contingency plans in the event that no travel is allowed.

Proposals may include a budget

  • Proposals should clearly indicate the number of proposed full-time and/or part-time undergraduate researchers and the number of mentoring faculty.
  • Departmental Grant proposals may describe program activities and events promoting student cohort-building (may not exceed $250 per student).
  • Proposed expenses not fitting one of the categories above are rarely supported, and should be very carefully described and justified in the proposal.

**NOTE: Exemplary proposals may be shared with future applicants.

Program Administration

Departmental Grants and Faculty Grants for Undergraduate Research are administered by the Vice Provost Office for Undergraduate Education (VPUE).

For questions regarding program goals, proposal content, or review criteria, please contact:

Brian Thomas
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Research Opportunities

For questions regarding grant administration and budgets, please contact: