Stanford University, Dean of Research

Streamlining Scholarly Investigation

We built a unified portal for Stanford's research community needs, creating an intuitive navigation system for users while integrating other third-party systems like Stanford's training certification program and content feeds from

The Client

Stanford University is one of the leading research institutions in higher education. Our client—the Stanford Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research—oversees more than a dozen different smaller research organizations at the university. The Dean of Research (DoR) is responsible for supporting the myriad scholars who engage in research at Stanford, maintaining information on available grants and providing guidance by offering training in preparing research proposals.

The Problem

Funding a research project involves many steps: searching for funding opportunities, applying for funding, and carefully following the complex and often confusing application process step-by-step. The research conducted at Stanford University is always on the cutting edge, and our client needed a way to simplify the process for their scholars.

At the time, DoR was relying on a static HTML website which was hard to maintain. They needed a new content management system that could also support training functionality, integrate with the university’s training certification system, and parse feeds from, the US Federal grants and scholarships database.

Incredibly easy to maintain thanks to the cool features Four Kitchens developed.

—Patti McCabe, Director of Training and Communications, Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research, Stanford University

The Solutions

The online portal we built for Stanford’s Dean of Research is the definitive place for faculty to learn everything they need to get their research under way and change the world. The new site for DoR would need to provide:

  • a comprehensive list of internal and external funding opportunities
  • integration with API feeds from
  • a comprehensive faculty and staff directory
  • a searchable document repository
  • built-in content expiry push notifications

Only one place to bookmark

There are a lot of sites that list funding opportunities for research, and keeping track of them all can make it hard to stay on top of the latest grants. We built a comprehensive, all-in-one tool that searches both internal and external funding opportunities while integrating with API feeds from Searching for the right funding opportunity is now much easier for scholars at Stanford with only one site they need to remember.

Policy documentation made easy

We built a self-contained and comprehensive repository of policy documents and indexed each document to be searchable and easy to find. Now scholars can browse documents to familiarize themselves with the process of applying for funding or peruse the official Dean of Research policy handbook.

Case Study: Stanford University Dean of Research, screenshot

Keeping your content relevant

Keeping policy documents up-to-date was a pain point with our client’s old HTML site, so we built a notification system that alerts content owners when their documents may be out of date or need to be reviewed. This approach ensures content is reviewed on a regular basis and remains relevant to users.

An excellent reference tool that is inviting to use, easy to browse … and can be counted on to have the most up-to-date information that is so critical in supporting our jobs as stewards of federal and private research funds.

—Robin Maslin, Department Manager, Environmental Earth System Science, Stanford University


We launched the new Stanford University Dean of Research website in 2013 and have remained their go-to implementation partner since—constantly expanding and improving their site to better serve their audiences.

Services provided

  • Drupal site development
  • integration with feeds for funding opportunities
  • custom development of book functionality
  • implementation of reusable content functionality

Technologies used

  • Drupal 7
  • Sass + Compass

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