Human Performance Lab Innovation Projects

Request for Applications

The Human Performance Lab (HPL), an innovation hub of the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance, is seeking applications for Innovation Projects, which will support outstanding research projects to optimize health and performance for all people across the lifespan. While these awards do not provide direct funding, the Innovation Projects will gain access to support from HPL staff and use of our state-of-the-art facility. Proposals should have a strong scientific component and align with the mission of the Human Performance Alliance.

Program Priorities

Projects aiming to further our knowledge of the science of human performance are welcome. Proposals for pilot studies as well as larger projects with external funding are welcome.

Human Performance Alliance Mission

The mission of the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance is to transform human health on a global scale through the discovery and translation of the principles underlying human performance. The Human Performance Lab at Stanford will support this mission by serving as a collaborative hub to test and apply new discoveries aimed at improving performance and health.

Description of HPL Facility

The Human Performance Lab at Stanford University is a unique, 2,000 square foot facility that supports teaching and interdisciplinary research, providing an interface for collaboration between sports medicine, orthopaedics, engineering, athletics, and other departments and schools at Stanford. HPL staff are experts in biomechanical analysis, musculoskeletal modeling, wearable sensing, machine learning, and data science. The laboratory houses state-of-the-art equipment for a wide range of testing and data capture applications. 

Eligibility Criteria

We welcome proposals that come from Stanford faculty, students, and staff. The applicant team is responsible for conducting all aspects of the research, including obtaining IRB approval, subject recruitment, data collection, and analysis. HPL staff will provide equipment training, mentorship, and assistance with data collection and analysis, as needed. Projects must be completed within two years. Each applicant team must include a Stanford faculty member who qualifies as a Principal Investigator (PI) according to Stanford University Policy. Clinician Educator (CE) Faculty at the rank of clinical assistant professor and above who are full-time Stanford employees with 100% CE faculty appointments are eligible to apply; no waiver is required.

Each PI is limited to a single project submission.

Application Process

The first step in the process is to send an email to Julie Kolesar at to set-up a time to discuss your project and learn more about the Innovation Project Program.

Following this discussion, if the project is a good fit for an Innovation Project and sufficient lab time/resources are available, you will be asked to prepare an application.

A completed application packet should include the following:

☐ Applicant information (via Slideroom)

☐ A research proposal (max 3 pages, not including references)

☐ NIH-style Biosketch or condensed CV for PI and other key personnel

☐ Team Bios and Responsibilities. One-paragraph biographies of all project leads, including relevant prior experience with human subjects research, a specific description of their role in the project (e.g. subject recruitment, data collection, etc.), and a description of their commitment to seeing the project through to completion. You should also list who from your project team would serve as the point of contact. This individual would devote time to meetings with HPL staff and be responsible for coordinating use of HPL equipment and resources for the project. This individual could be a staff research scientist, fellow, postdoc, graduate student or faculty member.

☐ Completion of HPL Involvement Checklist (via Slideroom)

Preparing the Research Proposal

The research description can be up to 3 pages (not including references), 11-point Arial font, 1-inch margins, single spaced. Please use the following format to organize your proposal:

Specific Aims: Review the motivation and rationale for your study, and state your specific aims and hypotheses, where relevant.

Methods: Provide an overview of the study design and methods, including results of any preliminary experiments. Describe the experimental protocol as well as the anticipated number of participants and justification for this number (e.g. a priori power analysis calculation). Potential bottlenecks or challenges should also be described with proposed solutions.

Expected Results: State the expected outcome of your work and its impact on the field. Indicate sources of follow-on funding to support the project.

Project Timeline: Identify milestones for the project, including preparation and submission of any manuscripts or grant applications.

Diversity and Inclusion: Describe how you would promote diversity, inclusion, belonging, equity and justice at Stanford. Engagement in diversity may occur at the personal level of individual team members, within the labs of member faculty or collaborators, and at the broader level of Stanford University or beyond. Also describe any previous work in these areas.


Selection Process

Proposals will be evaluated by a review committee and selected according to the following criteria:

  1. Scientific merit of the proposal, with quality, innovation, and creativity balanced by the project’s likelihood of success and potential for follow-on funding.
  2. Potential to advance the understanding of human performance, broadly defined.
  3. The potential impact of your goals for increasing diversity, inclusion, belonging, equity and justice.

We may provide feedback on the proposal and request revisions prior to final selection. We may also request just-in-time information from finalists, including IRB approval and CITI training certifications for personnel.


  • PIs are requested to provide quarterly narrative updates on progress. 
  • PIs (or designated project leads) are responsible for submitting and maintaining the IRB protocol and informed consent documents.
  • Applicant teams are responsible for conducting all aspects of the research, including subject recruitment and consent, data collection and analysis. HPL staff will provide equipment training, mentorship, and assistance with data collection and analysis as needed.

Learn More and Apply

For details on the application process, and to learn more about project eligibility and HPL resources, please contact Dr. Julie Kolesar at


Get Engaged

We invite faculty, students, staff, alumni, friends, and external organizations to participate in the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance at Stanford.