Seed Grant Program

The Department of Surgery's Seed Grant Program supports work that addresses a clear and important gap in knowledge. Proposed studies must offer a unique or previously unpublished contribution to the field and will be assessed based on potential for seed grant to lead to follow on funding. 


• All Department of Surgery faculty are eligible—including affiliated faculty (i.e.,VAMC, etc)—EXCEPT members of the Research Oversight Committee.

• Trainees are NOT eligible

• All types of research are eligible: basic, HSR, clinical trials, technology development, education, global surgery

• Can fund personnel, equipment, reagents, consultants, etc. (justification must be included in proposal)


• Total first round funding $250,000, 3-6 proposals selected

• Accepting proposals with budgets ranging from $10,000 - $50,000

• Funding duration: 12 months

Research Seed Grants

Research seed grant proposals include hypothesis-driven projects in the categories of (1) basic and translational science, with potential for future applications to a clinical condition, and (2) health services/outcomes/education with potential for a future interventional study. At least one research grant will be reserved for a proposal that addresses the topic of racial justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. As for other research proposals, this proposal should be oriented specifically toward generating pilot data for external funding to advance our knowledge or to develop an intervention to address racial equity and social justice in medicine.

Technology/Innovation Seed Grants

Technology/Innovation projects include medical device development, drug development, app development and any projects focused on developing a new tool, drug, algorithm etc. intended to improve the care of patients. 

As compared to the traditional “hypothesis-driven” research projects, these projects by their nature will be more descriptive and observational and focused on the activities needed to advance a new approach into the clinic. Examples include medical device prototyping, engaging clinical/regulatory consultants, developing an intellectual property strategy, medicinal chemistry formulation work and many others.

At the end of the period of funding, it is anticipated that grantees will be able to secure further innovation focused funding from Stanford specific programs (Coulter Foundation, Spectrum, SPARK, etc), federal sources (SBIR/STTR grants, FDA grants) or private investors (VCs, Angel investors, strategics). The ultimate goal of this program is to enable the translation of Stanford Surgery ideas into “first-in-man” or “proof of concept” clinical trials at Stanford. These proposals will be reviewed and graded by the Innovation Council (IC). 


All seed grant applications (both research and technology development) are due November 15 at 11:59pm.  Priority will be given for applications that have a clear path to future funding mechanisms. Applications should be submitted via this google form. Please note that you will be asked to log in to your Stanford Google account. Instructions on how to do so here.

Feel free to direct questions regarding research proposals to Olivia Martinez ( or Arden Morris (ammsurg@stanford.eduand innovation proposals to Carla Pugh (


Identifying Barriers to High-Quality Colorectal Cancer Care for Hispanic Californians (JEDI Grant)
Aaron Dawes, MD PhD, General Surgery

• Administering bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells after liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma to reduce exposure to calcineurin inhibitors and cancer recurrence: A phase I clinical trial
Kazunari Sasaki, MD,  Abdominal Transplantation

• Development of a novel continuous breath test for early detection of necrotizing enterocolitis
James Wall, MD, MA , Pediatric Surgery, Biodesign

• Development and testing of an AI-enabled mobile application to predict post-operative outcomes using activity data
Elsie Ross, MD, MSc, Vascular Surgery