2023 Funding Opportunities for Doctoral Students and Postdoctoral Fellows

Applications are no longer being accepted for 2023.
We will be offering this program again in the future. To be notified of future calls for applications, fill out this form.


The Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance Research Fellowship is an interdisciplinary, university-wide program that supports excellent doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in becoming leaders in and defining the field of human performance. Wu Tsai Performance provides support for fellows to advance themselves and their research in human performance by providing a collaborative community, opportunities to share research, travel awards, resources for career development, and a one-year fellowship in human performance (with the option to renew for a second year).

The Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance is committed to discovering biological principles to optimize human performance and catalyze innovations in human health for all people at every stage of life. We are seeking individuals passionate about studying human performance to understand principles that can enable all people to achieve optimal health and well-being.

Research in human performance spans all seven schools at Stanford: humanities and sciences, engineering, medicine, sustainability, business, education, and law. Faculty affiliates of the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance reflect this diversity. As such, it is important that your proposal is interdisciplinary (combines two or more separate fields of study) with at least two faculty mentors involved in your proposed research. 

Learn more at an upcoming informational session and meet some of our current research fellows.

Key Dates for 2023 Wu Tsai Human Performance
Research Fellows

Call for Applications November, 2022
Application Deadline February 6, 2023, at 11:59 pm PST (including recommendation letters)
Notification of Awards April, 2023
Award Start Date Summer or Fall 2023
Funding Period One year with the option to renew for a second year


We are looking for individuals who have demonstrated academic excellence and potential for innovation in human performance research. Human performance research includes physical and cognitive performance, and encompasses many research areas; thus, we welcome applications from across the university. We value those who have a demonstrated capacity for outreach and leadership. 

  • Doctoral Students:  Doctoral students in their second year or later are eligible to apply. You must be active in a PhD program during the tenure of your fellowship. This must be reflected in your Stanford transcript.
  • Postdoctoral Scholars: Postdoctoral scholars must have an existing postdoctoral appointment at Stanford to apply. Postdoctoral scholars must be within their first five years of postdoctoral research (years counted from time at Stanford and elsewhere).


  • In addition to your primary faculty advisor, you must identify at least one faculty co-advisor (or co-mentor) for your research. For the purposes of the application, this co-advisor does not have to be an officially recognized departmental co-advisor. However, this individual is a second faculty mentor who is integral to the proposed project. 
  • Both faculty mentors must be Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance Faculty Affiliates. Any faculty member can become a Faculty Affiliate.


All of the following documents must be uploaded in Slideroom. Please be sure to click “submit” when all documents are complete. You should receive a confirmation email with a confirmation number after submitting.

All documents must use 11 pt Arial font, 1 inch margins, and be single-spaced. More information about each document is provided in the sections that follow.

  • Human Performance Research Plan (up to 4 pages, including figures, but not including the title page or references)
  • Other Support and Leveraging (if relevant)
  • Diversity Statement (up to 300 words)
  • Curriculum Vitae (up to 2 pages)
  • Two Recommendation Letters (one from your faculty advisor and one from your co-advisor)
  • Academic Transcript(s) (required of doctoral students only) 

1. Human Performance Research Plan (up to 4 pages, including figures, but not including the title page or references)

  • Title Page should include the project title, applicant name, primary advisor and co-advisor, all team members’ home departments, and a brief (100 word max) summary of the project in lay language.
  • We strongly encourage you to include images and figures in your proposal.
  • The plan should consist of the following sections:
    • Background and motivation
    • Specific aims
    • Proposed approach
    • Significance (especially with regards to human performance)
    • References

2. Other Support and Leveraging (if relevant)
Describe any sources of additional funding (present forms of tuition, stipend funding, grants etc.). Please let us know if you are applying for any other funding simultaneously.

3. Diversity Statement (maximum of 1800 characters or approximately 300 words)

The Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance is committed to diversifying human performance research and supporting our community of diverse individuals.

  • Describe your goals for increasing diversity, inclusion, belonging, equity, and justice (DIBEJ) in  human performance research and in the human performance research community, and how you plan to move toward those goals.
  • To learn more about diversity and ways to advance it, we recommend the Anti-Racism toolkit.

An effective diversity statement might demonstrate:

  • Knowledge about DIBEJ
  • A track record in advancing DIBEJ
  • Plans for advancing DIBEJ

4. Curriculum vitae (up to 2 pages in length)

5. Two recommendation letters, one from your faculty advisor and one from your co-advisor. Both faculty must be Faculty Affiliates of the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance.

  • Letters must include a statement regarding how the work relates to human performance and the interdisciplinary nature of the proposal. 
  • Asking faculty for references should be one of the first things you do for your application. We recommend giving your faculty a reminder for uploading their letters to the SlideRoom application portal to ensure you receive your letters on time. 

6. Academic Transcript(s)

  • Doctoral Students: We require an unofficial copy of your Stanford transcript including Winter 2023.
  • Postdoctoral Scholars: We do not require transcripts for postdoctoral scholars.



Applications will be evaluated based on both the applicant and research proposal. Top candidates will be invited to interview with faculty on our executive committee, after which we will notify and award finalists. 

  • Applicant: We are seeking applicants who are or have a high potential to be strong researchers within human performance, have a capacity for leadership and outreach, and are collaborative & community-oriented. We will evaluate this by considering three factors:
    • Scientific strengths and potential for a career in human performance research
    • Potential for impact in human performance research including leadership, communication skills, and interests
    • Commitment to increasing diversity, belonging, equity, and justice
  • Research Proposal: We seek applications that include a research proposal that is meritorious and will advance human performance research. We will evaluate this by considering three factors:
    • Scientific merit including quality, innovation, and creativity
    • Potential to advance human performance
    • Interdisciplinarity and collaboration


Doctoral Students:

  • 100% of your support for one year, paid as an RA-ship over 4 quarters with the option to renew for a second year. The annual compensation amount is similar to that for other fellowships offered on-campus. For the 2022-23 year, the compensation is $12,600 per quarter.
  • The Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance pays tuition for 8-10 units for Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters, plus Summer tuition for 3 units.
  • If the student is eligible for TGR, the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance pays TGR tuition for four quarters.

Postdoctoral Scholars: 

  • Annual compensation paid over 4 quarters for one year with the option to renew for a second year. The annual compensation amount for the 2022-23 year is $78,750 plus benefits.

Additional Support

  • All fellows are eligible to apply for travel funds to present their research at a scientific conference (up to $2000). 
  • All fellows are eligible to apply for funds to make their published work open-access (up to $2000).

Annual progress reports

  • Annual progress reports are required. Annual progress reports are also necessary to renew for a second year of funding.

Join Us at an Informational Session

Meet the current Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance Research Fellows. Learn more about the program and their experiences. Hear tips about applying.

Nov 29, 2pm-3pm | Y2E2 Room 299

Coffee/tea and snacks will be provided, so please RSVP


The Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance Research Fellowship cultivates a community of outstanding scholars in human performance research across the university. Some additional benefits of the program include:

  • Opportunities to network and form collaborations with institutions in the wider Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance network 
  • Support for travel to scientific conferences or partner institutions
  • Support for making work open-access
  • Opportunities to share scientific research (cohort meetings, seminars, symposia)
  • Career development resources (career panels, professional development workshops from the Stanford Life Design)
  • Priority access to world-class facilities, resources, and expertise including the Stanford Human Performance Lab
  • Opportunities for mentoring and mentorship 
  • Outreach events to translate scientific discoveries to lay audiences


  • Do I need to have joined a lab to apply?

Yes, applicants should be part of a lab and have a primary advisor.


Contact Johanna O’Day at human-performance@stanford.edu


Get Engaged

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