Central Research Development Fund

Central Research Development Funds (CRDF) - Fiscal Year 2020 Small Grants Program


The primary goal of the CRDF Small Grants Program is to enhance opportunities for faculty, especially early career faculty, at the University of Pittsburgh to engage in high-quality research, scholarship, and creative endeavors. The program is intended to provide funding support that cannot be obtained from other sources (including the faculty member’s department and school and external funding agencies). Small Grants provide:

  • seed funding to develop ideas to the point where external funding can be obtained;

  • awards to support scholarship in areas where external funding is extremely limited.

CRDF Small Grants awards cannot be used to support or supplement faculty salaries or for travel to meetings and conferences; computer equipment is not given priority. In the past, awards have ranged from $2,000 to $16,000. The CRDF Small Grants Program is administered by the Office of Sponsored Programs and the University Research Council.



All full-time faculty members with appointments that include research responsibilities may apply. The principal investigator may be tenured, tenure-stream or nontenure stream. Grant awardees must have started their Pitt position no later than October 1 of the prior year. Only one proposal submission is permitted per Principal Investigator.

Faculty within the School of Medicine are not eligible to participate in the CRDF Small Grants Program. Faculty from outside the University of Pittsburgh are not eligible to participate as Principal Investigators. The Principal investigator may not be a graduate student, post-doctoral fellow, research associate, or visiting faculty member.


Proposal Submission:

Application materials are available at Competition Space (https://upitt.infoready4.com/). To complete all proposals, use your University login and password.


Expression of Interest (Recommended)

Name, Appointment, and Contact Information; Proposal Title; Review Committee Recommendation; Optional Abstract


Full Proposal (Required)

Proposal Abstract; Project Description; Budget & Justification; Resources Listing; Personnel Description; Current Support; Biosketch or CV; Letter of Support from your Department Chair


Review Procedures:

Proposals must be the original work of the proposer and will be subject to peer review. Each proposal will be assigned to one of three review committees – Science and Engineering, Health Sciences, or Social Sciences and Humanities. Review committees give preference to proposals submitted by early career faculty. The Senior Vice Chancellor for Research makes the final decisions on funding. Small grants are made from the Central Research Development Fund.


Grant Period:

Please note that award funding and account number assignment for these awards will be available July 1, 2019. Do not anticipate related trips or purchases prior to this date, as funds will not be available before this time.