Stanford PACS supports student research by awarding funding to current Stanford students on a quarterly basis. Via the Digital Impact initiative of the Digital Civil Society Lab, Stanford PACS aims to advance research and innovation to improve the safe, ethical and effective use of data in the social sector.

Please see the appropriate section for details about the grants and keep the upcoming grant application deadlines in mind.

Digital Impact Grants

Digital Impact Grants fund research and innovation to strengthen the safe, ethical, and effective use of digital resources in civil society. A fundamental goal of the program is to support better data-informed decision making in philanthropy (particularly individual giving) and in the social sector writ large.

The program awards grants for two types of projects: scholarly research and sector advancement. Our aim is to foster innovations and research that have broad application for improving knowledge, practices, and outcomes across the social sector.

The 2018 Digital Impact Grants cycle is open as of April 25. Applications are due June 25, 2018. View the full RFP here.

Connect with us @dgtlimpact to stay informed about future opportunities.

View the 2016 awards announcement and the  2017 awards announcement.

Explore an interactive data visualization of the ideas and projects proposed through the 2016 grants cycle, and view full lists of applicants for the 2017 cycle and 2016 cycle who agreed to publicly share details about their projects.

Small Grants

As a leading research center dedicated to developing and sharing knowledge that can create positive social change, Stanford PACS is committed to supporting and nurturing promising new scholars interested in the study of philanthropy and civil society. In this spirit, the center offers a number of small grants each quarter to support student research in related areas. These grants typically support undergraduate honors theses, masters’ students’ capstone projects, and doctoral student research.

In addition to financial support, we also invite our small grants recipients to engage with the broader Stanford PACS community and learn from established scholars, practitioners and leaders of social change. It offers students the opportunity to develop long-term relationships with Stanford PACS and enables them to chart productive careers in the study or practice of philanthropy.

WINTER 2019 Small Grants Recipients

  1. Alex Blackman, Political Science, PhD
  2. LIsa Hummel, Sociology, PhD
  3. Elizabeth van Lieshout, Political Science, PhD and Rebecca Perlman, Political Science, PhD
  4. Jackie Rotman, MBA
  5. Hesu Yoon, Sociology, PhD


Stanford PACS small grants typically support undergraduate honors theses, masters’ students’ capstone projects, and doctoral student research. Eligible expenses could include database purchases, travel expenses, conference fees, telephone costs or other expenses related to data collection and analysis.


The grant amounts typically range from $500 to $2,500 to undergraduate and graduate Stanford students who are pursuing research related to philanthropy or civil society.

Application Requirements

Complete applications will include the following:

  1. A curriculum vitae.
  2. A one-to-two page proposal describing your research topic and process.
  3. An itemized budget that explains what the funds would support.
  4. A letter of recommendation from your project advisor.


Spring 2019 small grants deadline is May 1.  Submit proposals and additional required components to vdao@stanford.edu in a single email. 


All applicants will be notified of their status in a timely manner.


If you have questions please contact Valerie Dao, Program Manager at vdao@stanford.edu.