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SPICE: Student Projects for Intellectual Community Enhancement


Stanford Optical Society
SPICE funds support graduate students' efforts to build and expand their intellectual communities at Stanford.
by Application
Eligibility: All Students
Application Period: Spring quarter; Off-cycle proposal window begins Aug. 1, 2023
Duration: One year
Amount Awarded: Up to $5,000


Review the SPICE Overview and Application Guidelines.

Most graduate students' educational experiences take place primarily in the degree program. When students are intellectually engaged with many other members of their degree program, they are more likely to learn and grow. All members benefit when a vibrant intellectual community is an explicit part of the degree program’s culture.

Interdisciplinary inquiry and cross-departmental multidisciplinary conversations are a hallmark of graduate studies at Stanford. When intellectual communities include perspectives from many fields and inquiry paradigms, knowledge advances unexpectedly. 

Students do not need to wait for intellectual communities to be developed for them. They can be energetic agents who create activities that enhance the academic life of their degree program or many degree programs.

SPICE funds support graduate (master’s, doctoral, or professional) student initiatives that develop activities to expand the intellectual community of their degree program or many degree programs.

SPICE application:

  • must be led by graduate students
  • put ideas and debate at their center
  • involve graduate students across subfields and at different stages in their studies
  • preferably should offer a comprehensive set of activities

The SPICE application opens in Spring Quarter. The first group of SPICE awards was made in Spring 2008. Both department-based and interdisciplinary SPICE applications are encouraged.



Application Opened: April 3, 2023

Application Deadline: May 10, 2023

Award Notifications: June 2023

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The SPICE 2023 application is closed.

Contact vpgeapplications with any questions.