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Testing Molecular Hypotheses in Human Subjects: 2019 Request for Proposals

The mission of Stanford ChEM-H is to understand human biology at a molecular level, and to engineer molecules, materials and tools that will impact human health. A key limiting factor for testing molecular hypotheses or evaluating promising new tools in humans is the establishment of productive connections between molecular scientists/engineers with access to innovative tools and practicing clinicians with access to sick or healthy cohorts of human subjects. To facilitate such collaborations, ChEM-H is soliciting brief proposals from small teams of clinicians and scientists/engineers who seek to undertake exploratory studies involving human subjects. 

Through this funding mechanism, ChEM-H seeks to support collaborative projects that will test a molecular hypothesis in human subjects or validate the utility of a new tool in the diagnosis or management of a disease. 



All application materials must be received by 5 pm, Thursday, November 1, 2018, for studies to be carried out in 2019.


Each application must identify at least one clinical and at least one laboratory-based co-investigator. Stanford faculty with UTL, MCL, NTLR and CE faculty appointments. CE’s should provide a note from their Chair or Division Chief with their application stating that the Department/Division will cover salary support for time devoted to the project.

Support Provided:

Support will be provided in the form of either or both of the following: (1) up to $25,000 in direct costs for study-related expenses; (2) the time of the ChEM-H clinical research coordinator (CRC). Applications requesting any form of allowable support will be considered equally. CRC support does not count toward the $25,000 grant. Faculty and clinician time cannot be supported on this award. Support requested beyond $25,000 must be extensively justified and cannot be used to support personnel expenses.

Application Instructions:

Submit one PDF file containing the following in the order indicated below. All documents should be single-spaced, Arial 11 point font with 1” margins.

  1. Title page (1 page)
    •  “Testing Molecular Hypotheses in Human Subjects – 2019 Request for Proposals
    • Project Title
    • For each clinician and basic science co-investigator: Name, department, address, phone number, email address 
  2. Proposal (4 pages max total)
    • ​Project narrative and figures that explain background and aims of the clinical research project. Studies must be doable in less than 12 months in order for the proposal to be considered for funding. The narrative should explicitly describe a best-case outcome on a 6-12 month timescale (2 pages)
    • References (max 1 page)
    • A one-page statement on the roles/expertise of each co-applicant and how they combine to further the project goal (max 1 page)
  3. Budget – include either or both of the following
    • ​Requested funding amount (up to $25,000) with justification
    • Requested CRC time (up to 0.2 FTE) with justification, including anticipated use of time 
  4. NIH Format Biosketch for each investigator

You will also need to provide a 200-word project description aimed at a general audience as part of the application forms.

Applications should be submitted directly to ChEM-H. You do not need to submit your applications to your Research Process Manager (RPM) in RMG or through your Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) Contract and Grant officer (CGO) for their approval at this time. Selected projects will be required to submit PDRFs via the SERA system to set up University Research Awards. 

All application materials must be submitted to Stanford ChEM-H through the SlideRoom portal found at:


Selection Process & Timeline:

Proposals will be reviewed by a faculty panel knowledgeable in clinical research and scored based on the project’s potential to advance the molecular understanding, diagnosis, or management of a disease in human subjects. 

Finalists will be selected by December 10, 2018 and invited for brief meetings in December or January to define milestones and discuss proposed budgets and anticipated CRC support. Awards will be made by February 1, 2019 and funded effective March 1, 2019.


Dr. Katherine Alfieri

Stanford ChEM-H Scientific Program Manager