Stanford Impact Labs - Home

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Stanford Impact Labs

Evidence-based solutions for the public good

This is a remarkable opportunity to get support to develop meaningful partnerships and to build the infrastructure needed to address social problems. Developing partnerships takes time and dedication and is not often supported through other mechanisms.
Lisa Goldman Rosas
Assistant Professor of Health Research and Policy
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Our Mission

To empower teams of Stanford scholars to work with the public, social, and private sectors in tackling social problems using human creativity, rigorous evidence, and innovative technology.

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Our Vision

To accelerate the impact of higher education in solving our most challenging social problems by reshaping how R&D is done in the social sciences.

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Why This Works

The new model is centered on collaboration: teams of researchers and practitioners working together. The 21st century research university is uniquely positioned to catalyze these partnerships and support rigorous, problem-focused research and training.

Read Our Report

Stanford Impact Labs is an outcome of the university’s long range planning process. In our early days, we were called the “Stanford Social X-Change.” This report provides the motivation and rationale for our work and the full details of our two year pilot.

Evidence of Science at Work

We have pulled together examples of the potential of problem-focused and partner-fueled work at Stanford. Click through to see examples of our approach in action.

Our People

Stanford Impact Labs is led by a Faculty Director and has a core team of professional staff. We are overseen by a Faculty Advisory Board including scholars from Humanities and Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, Education, Business, and Law.

Our Opportunities

Stanford Impact Labs offers four key opportunities for scholars, partners, and students:

Impact Lab Design Fellowship

We have closed the applications for the second Impact Lab Design Fellowship. The fellowship is created for Stanford faculty who are passionate about a social problem, see science as critical to addressing the problem, and are eager to join a cohort of faculty working in parallel to design and launch new Impact Labs in order to tackle an issue in collaboration with partners in the public, private or civic sectors.

Impact Lab Start-Up Funding

The LOI deadline for our second Impact Lab Start-Up Funding opportunity is closed. Stanford Impact Labs makes up to six investments each cycle in start-up Impact Labs. These 2-year, $500k investments are made through a comprehensive and rigorous investment process that involves reviews by academic staff and practitioners from around the world. LOIs were due May 30th, 2020.


In partnership with the Haas Center for Public Service, the Leaves-in-Service program is intended to complement and extend existing leave opportunities at Stanford with a primary focus on the exchange of learning and expertise around an identified social problem. Placements are designed to support in-depth, hands-on learning about a social problem and existing approaches to address it, with the potential to help generate new research insights and/or research applications.

Innovations in Training

This summer, we are launching the Stanford Impact Labs Collaborative Research Fellowship, an experiential training program that offers outstanding doctoral students the opportunity to actively engage in problem-focused research with close advising and mentorship from faculty and staff across a variety of affiliated impact labs.