Frequenty Asked Questions (FAQs)


What is the Stanford Scholar Initiative?

Stanford Scholar is a new initiative by Stanford researchers to make research more accessible - by facilitating people to collaborate and share their knowledge with others, and creating short research talks on diverse topics.

What’s the overall structure of this program?

This program is an ongoing effort, as part of the Stanford Crowd Course Initiative. Through this program, we'll work on creating talks on top and influential papers - including one's co-authored by you. The topics can vary, from computer science to management, and each may take about one week for completion.

Under this program, you get to collaborate with other participants and create a short (~10 mins long) research talk (more if you want). Together, as an adhoc team, you'll be responsible for designing the structure, flow and content of a talk. You are free to collaborate in anyway you want, but over the internet - Slack, Google Drive, etc. Once your application is accepted, you get access to necessary resources and set up. Your work will be published on this website for larger audience. This is your chance to demonstrate your knowledge, impact research and experience a unique collaborative initiative.

Why collaborate?

There are thousands and thousands of high impact papers, whose findings are not accessible by most of the world. To scale the effort of accessible research, we got to get together. A high quality talk creation is a non-trivial endeavor and can be very time consuming. Our goal is not to see how hard one can work to create a talk, but how effectively can we produce great talks together. Through collaboration we want to change that, and scale the process and research.

What will we produce?

The goal is to produce several talks on influential work in diverse areas - to prepare and educate researchers at all stages about novel and scholarly work.


How can I apply?

Please apply for this program by filling the form found in the home page. Once you're onboard, we'll help you form/complete a team and choose a group representative.

Who is a talk representative/leader/DRI(directly responsible individual)?

A talk representative/leader/DRI is a person among you, who volunteers to lead/co-lead the talk building effort. As a DRI, you will often be the person of contact for us. Your responsibilities may include: coordinating people and process; improving, synthesizing the syllabus and content - you will be credited and acknowledged for your substantial contribution.

How large will be the collaborative groups?

The group size has no limits. We'll help you complete your group, don't worry.

What is the selection criteria? What skill sets are required?

We want to accept people who are passionate about research, collaborative in nature and willing to commit their time. Time commitment is important. Though no specific skill set is required, applicants are expected to have some level of expertise in the area of paper for which talk is being created. Don't worry about video making/editing skills, our focus is on helping you design and create the talk, not necessarily the video - however, it can be a plus.

Can I propose my paper?

Yes, sure - if your paper gains interest within our community - we'll be happy to create a talk on it, and have you co-lead the effort. Its a great way to spread your research and produce high quality talk.

Who is eligible to participate in this program?

To participate in the program, you must be 18 years of age or above. You can be a student, a professional or an enthusiast. You can come from any part of the world. Welcome, sky is the limit.


How is this program going to work?

This program requires your motivation, time commitment and openness to collaborate. Once your group is formed and ready, you’ll be given access to required set up and resources.

Tentatively, each group will work on a topic/paper of interest and expertise, and develop a talk in that. The talk would summarize main motivation and findings of the paper in 8-10 minutes. Each group will have freedom to coordinate in anyway they want, but over the internet. In-person collaboration is discouraged. Participants may have about one week to produce a complete talk, for a beginner or advanced online audience. After first version, we'll initiate a peer-review phase, where other participants developing other/same talks will get a chance to review and suggest changes in yours. You may be asked to improve the talk based on the feedback.

At the end of each talk creation, we will also publish your work on this website for a larger audience, as this program grows global.

What is the duration of this program?

The program is an ongoing effort, and we hope to support it for multiple years.

What do I get out of this program?

Whether you're an experienced researcher or have never given a research talk before, we believe that this experience would be valuable if you like sharing knowledge with others. You get to demonstrate your knowledge on a Stanford platform, and help make research accessible. Not only your work will be viewed by people around the world, but we'll also notify original authors about it - and possibly get more people involved and connected.

If we're creating a talk on *your* paper, due to its wide reach, it may help spread the word about your research and add more citations. Overall, this can help you build your résumé, gain visibility and reflect communication skills.

If you were planning to apply for a graduate school, this can be a great first step in gaining experience in research topics. Based on your contribution, we’ll be happy to provide you a participation letter to whatsoever place you’re planning to apply/join.


What is your privacy and ownership policy?

Participation in the program is voluntary. We will publish your work on this website. We may publish aggregate patterns of communication and process (in a scholarly research venue) or exemplar contest entries that do not reveal the identity of participants. Also, we may follow-up with high-performing individuals/teams, to understand their approach for the program.

What is the affiliation policy?

If you want to update your resume or LinkedIn profiles stating this project. Please say "Participant at Stanford Scholar Initiative". Claiming yourself to be a researcher or instructor in this initiative can reflect false position. We often get inquiries about your affiliation - an incorrect one may reflect badly on you.

Who is behind this program?

We are a group of professors and researchers from Management Science & Engineering department at Stanford University.

Sharad Goel Amin Saberi Rajan Vaish

Prof. Sharad Goel, Prof. Amin Saberi, Rajan Vaish

I have more questions, how can I connect with you?

Please feel free to email Rajan Vaish at . If your question is likely to help others, we’ll add it to our FAQs list.