Pitt Momentum Funds Expression of Interest and Application materials are available at: https://upitt.infoready4.com/#competitionDetail/1850581
Pitt Momentum Funds Deadlines:
- Sept. 13 (noon, 12pm) = Expression of Interest (required)
- Oct. 11 (noon, 12pm) = Full Application
Pitt Faculty interested in learning more about the Pitt Momentum Funds 2021-22 award cycle are encouraged to attend one of the upcoming information sessions hosted by Pitt Research:
- Tuesday, August 31 - 2PM (registration page link)
- Tuesday, September 7 - 10AM (registration page linked)
The Pitt Momentum Funds support high-quality research, scholarship, and creative endeavors at three distinct scales. The suite of funds consists of: Seeding Grants, which support significant and innovative scholarship by individuals or small groups of faculty; Teaming Grants, which support the early stage planning and capacity building of large multidisciplinary projects; and Scaling Grants, which support the detailed project planning, gathering of proof-of-concept results, and reduction of technical risk so that teams can competitively pursue large, complex, extramural funding.
Awards are made across the breadth of interdisciplinary scholarship at the University, and all eligible faculty are encouraged to propose new, innovate ideas that can contribute meaningful insight, understanding, or solutions to societal challenges. Teamed projects are reviewed by multidisciplinary faculty panels and individual projects are reviewed by one of four committees:
- Creative Arts, Performing Arts & Humanities
- Engineering, Technology, Natural Sciences, and Mathematical Sciences
- Health & Life Sciences
- Social Sciences, which includes Business, Policy, Law, Education, Informatics, and Social Work
Seeding Grants support significant and innovative scholarship by individuals or groups of faculty at all ranks at the University of Pittsburgh. In constructing each year’s portfolio of awards, particular attention will be given to supporting early career faculty* and areas where external funding is extremely limited. Awards are made up to $25,000 for 1 year.
Teaming Grants support the formation of new multi-disciplinary collaborations to successfully pursue large-scale external funding. Team and community building activities may include, but are not limited to, inviting external speakers, creating a working paper series, or organizing a workshop. Teams must include faculty from at least three schools as described in the eligibility criteria section below. Awards are made up to $60,000 for 1 year.
Scaling Grants enable multi-disciplinary teams to competitively scale their research efforts in targeted pursuit of large-scale external funding. Teams must include faculty from at least three schools as described in the eligibility section below. Awards are made up to $400,000 for 2 years.
The Teaming and Scaling Grants are specifically designed to further the goal of the Plan for Pitt: to engage in research of impact by positioning the University to participate in large research collaborations. Pitt Momentum Funds are administered by the Senior Vice Chancellor for Research through the Office of Sponsored Programs, in coordination with and supported by the Office of the Provost.
To learn more about the Pitt Momentum Funds and the work funded through this program, including project abstracts, please visit the PittResearch Fueling Our Future site.
- About Pitt Momentum Funds
What are the Pitt Momentum Funds?
The Pitt Momentum Funds are a suite of funding mechanisms designed to support:
- the early stages of new projects – or to finish an existing project, such as a book manuscript – and primarily intended for individual faculty (Seeding Grants);
- the planning and capacity-building stages for multidisciplinary team projects (Teaming Grants); and
- the detailed project planning, gathering of initial evidence, proof-of-concept results, or reducing technical risk so that teams can competitively pursue large, complex, extramural funding (Scaling Grants).
How narrow is the focus on research? And to what extent do Pitt Momentum Funds grants support curriculum development and student-centered projects?
Pitt Momentum Funds awards will support projects to grow research and scholarship. It is acceptable to integrate research experiences for students into your research project within the budget threshold; for regional campus faculty, that would be particularly welcome. However, curriculum development and student-centered projects are not the focus of Pitt Momentum Funds. Note that the Office of the Provost administers the Pitt Seed program, which is intended to support instruction and student learning, so one of those mechanisms is likely to be better suited for curriculum development or student-centered projects.
How may I learn more about the Pitt Momentum Funds?
We are hosting information sessions on Zoom. The dates are 31st August, 2 pm and 7th September, 10 am. At these events we will provide further detail on Pitt Momentum Funds and answer your questions about each of the three grants, the application process, and award responsibilities. These events will be recorded and made available at the Pitt Momentum Funds web site, where registration information is now available: https://www.osp.pitt.edu/find-funding/internal-funding/pitt-momentum-funds
If I cannot attend the information sessions how may I have my questions answered?
Please submit your Expression of Interest as soon as possible; the brief online form includes a field for applicants to submit questions. Alternatively, questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Couldn’t more faculty be supported by reallocating the $400,000 Scaling Grants to make more of the smaller scale Seeding or Teaming Grants?
While we want to support the research ambitions of as many faculty as possible, we want to make sure at least some support is available across all project scales. The costs of team building, project planning, and obtaining early results so that investigators can credibly claim to understand the technical risks for a large-scale research effort require resources beyond what can reasonably be supported from a $25, 000 or $60,000 grant.
Who is eligible to serve as a Lead Investigator on a Pitt Momentum Funds project?
Any Pitt faculty member with an appointment that includes research responsibilities is eligible to serve as a Lead Investigator on a Pitt Momentum Fund project. School of Medicine faculty are only eligible to apply for Teaming and Scaling Grants; they are not eligible for Seeding Grants. For smaller scale awards, School of Medicine faculty are encouraged to apply to the Competitive Medical Research Fund.
All Pitt students, postdoctoral associates, scholars and fellows or staff are eligible to serve as Pitt Seed Project team members but should not be listed as investigators.
What qualifies an investigator as having an appropriate amount of research responsibility?
The ability to independently pursue sponsored research funding and, since the precise nature of appointments varies among schools, the support of your department chair. For appointment stream faculty, the letter of support must clearly indicate how the individual has research responsibilities that include an independent research agenda. Postdoctoral scholars can serve on a team but cannot be an investigator.
Can an individual serve as a Lead Investigator on more than one Pitt Momentum Funds project?
Lead Investigators on Teaming or Scaling proposals are discouraged from participating in more than one project at a time. However, team members may separately apply for Seeding grants to support their individual research agendas.
Can a Pitt Momentum Funds application include more than one Lead Investigator?
No. An individual Lead Investigator is responsible for managing the submission and award processes related to the Pitt Momentum Funds. Project personnel can be listed via the online application form.
Can I submit my Pitt Momentum Funds proposal using my secondary – rather than primary – appointment?
If your effort will be drawn from that portion of your time and any awarded funds will be allocated to that responsibility center, then it is appropriate to do so. Applying using your secondary appointment to meet the 3-school eligibility requirements is not appropriate.
If a co-investigator on the project is faculty at another university, will they count towards the 3-school participation minimum?
No. The teaming requirement of investigators representing 3 different schools requires 3 Pitt investigators, and research faculty in non-academic units (e.g. the University Library System) to count towards this requirement. Nonetheless we encourage you to collaborate with investigators at other institutions, and you may find additional support for your project at their home institution.
If the lead investigator or a team member leave Pitt while the project is still going on, can they continue to serve as the lead investigator or as a project member?
They can continue to serve as a team member but not as a lead investigator.
Are visiting faculty eligible to serve on a team, and does their participation count towards the 3-school requirement for Teaming and Scaling Grants projects?
Yes, visiting faculty may serve on a team, but their participation is not credited towards the 3-school requirement. In the humanities and social sciences, a visiting faculty is counted as a) someone who is already in a position comparable to that of a tenure track faculty in another institution, b) recent doctoral graduate from Pitt who is serving as a Visiting Lecturer, c) a postdoctoral visiting faculty, or d) appointed by Pitt as a visiting Assistant professor for a term of more than one year.
Can undergraduate students be included as Pitt Momentum Funds project team members?
Absolutely! Engaging students in a Pitt Momentum Funds is highly encouraged. Lead Investigators proposing Seeding Grants projects may include student-related costs within the $25,000, maximum budget to support research experiences for undergraduates. Please do not list undergraduate students as investigators, however.
If I’ve received previous support through a Pitt Research seed grant (CRDF, SSRI, SIPSAH), am I eligible to apply to the Pitt Momentum Funds?
Yes, but you will need to describe why you require new funds (e.g., external funds are not available in my area of scholarship, this is a new project). You may serve as a Lead Investigator.
If I’ve received previous support through a Pitt Research seed grant (CRDF, SSRI, SIPSAH) is it better for one of my co-investigators to serve as the Lead Investigator on a Pitt Momentum Funds project?
Not necessarily: Please select an individual who is best prepared to act as the Lead Investigator – that person will be responsible for managing the Pitt Momentum Funds application, project, and progress reporting processes.
Expression of Interest (EOI)
Is the EOI required?
Yes. Applications submitted without an LOI will be returned without review.
Does the Expression of Interest impact my application or influence reviews?
No, the EOI is not shared with the reviewers of your application. OSP staff will use the EOI abstract to ensure you are applying for the correct program, that eligibility requirements are met, and will begin to identify appropriate peer reviewers for your proposal. You will be able to revise your abstract before you submit a full proposal.
What should I include in the abstract?
An effective abstract includes high-level overviews of the focus of your work, potential collaborators, and the activities that comprise your project. Sample abstracts are available on D-Scholarship.
We have a team working on an EOI for a teaming grant. They are currently working to identify the collaborator from a third school but may not have one pinned down before the EOI deadline. Would it be ok to submit an EOI with TBD for the third school/collaborator?
Yes, that is acceptable – the EOI does not limit the Lead Investigator from developing the project further between now and the full proposal deadline.
Why do I have to select a track to start my EOI?
The track selection will ensure that your proposal is reviewed by the appropriate review committee. If your project changes directions after you submit the EOI – for example, it has increased in scope from a Teaming Grant project to a Scaling Grant project – we will work with you to accommodate this change. If the URC review coordinators believe your proposal would be more competitive in a smaller scale track, they can recommend your proposal be moved (e.g., from Scaling to Teaming or Teaming to Seeding). OSP staff will contact the Lead Investigator if such a recommendation is made to confirm agreement with the move.
- Proposal Development
What comprises the Pitt Momentum Funds online application?
The online application is a combination of online fields for you to complete and upload areas for each of the documents required as part of the proposal. Each section is described below.
Will the online application need to be completed in one sitting or can I save it and come back to it later?
Yes, you can complete the application in multiple sittings. Please make sure that you save the draft , as you go.
What should I include in my project proposal?
You are required to include a project description and its contribution to scholarship. All proposers should define project milestones and provide details on how the work will continue after the funding ends.
Teaming Grant applications should explicitly address their team-building strategy and how they will develop their follow-on funding plan.
Scaling Grant applications should describe any additional team-building efforts required, identify a credible target for large-scale, follow-on funding, and a detailed project execution plan. It is important that all initiatives are self-sustaining. Seeding projects with a definitive end that corresponds to when funding ends should note that in the application’s sustainability section.
Are the listed page limits based on single-spaced pages?
Yes, the page limits are based on single-spaced pages.
Can you describe the various sections of the application?
Application for 2021-22 is available at: https://upitt.infoready4.com/#competitionDetail/1840358
Download and review program documentation nad template from the 'Files' area
To start your application
- Click on the 'Apply' button
- Login with Pitt Passport
- Select Option : To which track are you applying (at the time of your required LOI submission you must select the track to which you are proposing a Pitt Momentum Funds project):
- Seeding Grants (Creative Arts, Performing Arts & Humanities)
- Seeding Grants (Engineering, Technology, Natural Sciences, and Mathematical Sciences)
- Seeding Grants (Health and Life Sciences)
- Seeding Grants (Social Sciences, which includes Business, Education, Informatics, Law, Policy, and Social Work)
- Teaming Grants
- Scaling Grants
Review Coordinators may reassign your proposal to a smaller scale grant if they feel you will have a greater chance of success, e.g., moving a scaling proposal to the teaming track
APPLICANT DETAILS (input online)
- Applicant First Name
- Applicant Last Name
- Email Address: Enter your @pitt.edu email address; program updates (application status and outcomes) will be directed to your institutional email account.
- Primary Organization: Select the department in which you have your primary appointment. If your responsibility center is not listed in the dropdown menu or if you plan to have funding disbursed to a responsibility center other than your home department, please enter that information in the next field. If your responsibility center is not listed in the menu, or if you plan to have funds disbursed to a different responsibility center, enter that information.
- Please enter your responsibility center's official name (no acronyms) and include the 5-digit code (for reference see: https://www.osp.pitt.edu/find-your-office-contact)
- Select your faculty position: Select one from the drop-down menu: Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, Appointment Stream
- Primary Appointment Title (input your title)
- Applicant Degree(s) (input your terminal degree)
- Year of Terminal Degree (input the year of your terminal degree)
- Website (Enter a link to your faculty or lab web site)
- Department Financial Administrator (The name of who will establish and manage your Momentum Funds account)
- Please enter the first name and last name of the administrator who manages financial and/or research administration for your department. They will need to work with Pitt Research to establish an account on an awarded project.
- Department Financial Administrator email address (input the administrator's email address)
- Contact Person's Email Address (Enter an alternate email address if you would like to receive updates at an address in addition to your pitt.edu address)
- Co-Applicant : Please input the names and affiliations of your faculty co-investigators and any partners from community organizations, and include University of Pittsburgh primary School and Department (official names, no acronyms) OR Community Organization name. Include only those co-investigators eligible to serve as (co-)PI on future submissions to externally sponsored funding programs. Do not include student research assistants, postdoctoral trainees, visiting faculty, or administrative staff. PI Eligibility for any appointment stream faculty member must be attested to in the letter of support signed by the lead investigator's Associate Dean for Research. PI eligibility may be described briefly in the "Personnel & Team Building Description" section of the application. Appointment stream faculty unclear of their eligibility to act as PI on proposal submissions to extramural sponsors must work with their department chair and provide confirmation to the lead investigator.
- Comments to Administrators: EOI Optional information. Enter any questions that you have about the administrative aspects of the Momentum Funds Program.
APPLICATION DETAILS (input online)
- Budget Requested: Enter the sum total of your Momentum Funds Budget (whole number only, rounded up to nearest $100)
- Proposal Title: EOI: Required information. Applicants will be able to edit this field after the EOI deadline for the final, full application submission
- If you would like your Seeding or Teaming proposal to be considered for the Social Determinants of Health funding, please start your title with “SODH:”
- If you would like your proposal to be considered for the Year of Data & Society funding, please start your title with “SODH:”
- Proposal Abstract: (LOI requirement, may be edited for the full application) Input a 1-paragraph proposal abstract. Open with the core research question or point of scholarly inquiry motivating the proposed project. Write for a broad audience. (200 word max)
- Comments to Administrators: (EOI Optional information) Questions for OSP staff. Enter any questions that you have about the administrative aspects of the Momentum Funds Program.
- Faculty Development Outcome: (100 word max) As lead investigator describe your readiness to lead a Pitt Momentum Funds project and comment on how this will enhance your career trajectory at the University of Pittsburgh.
- Contribution to One’s Scholarly Community or Broader Impact on Society: (300 word max) Describe the significance of the proposed project to your field. Describe, where appropriate, how success in this project and the follow on work it enables can contribute to the achievement of societally relevant outcomes.
- Project Description: (1000 word max) Describe the proposed project, including overarching objectives and methodological approaches. Tables, figures, images and references are to be uploaded separately.
- Personnel & Team Building Description: (500 word max) Explain the expertise that each applicant contributes to the project and how, if there are multiple investigators, your group will converge as a team.
- Project Work Plan: (500 word max) List major milestones, include dates.
- Project Outputs: (500 word max): List and briefly describe the deliverables (articles, chapters, etc.) and outputs, e.g., student research experiences, expected from your project.
- Other Project Resources & Support: (500 word max) Describe the current or promised financial and in-kind commitments that will be contributed by team members' schools, departments, or other organizations to the proposed project. Dollar amounts must be included.
- Follow-On Funding Strategy with Specific Targets: (500 word max) Identify the follow-on funding targets that will sustain this project beyond the Momentum Funds award period. Be as specific as possible, include web links for funding opportunities where you can.
- Pitt Internal Funding history: (200 word max): Excluding startup packages, describe any internal Pitt funding team members have received in the last 3 years.
APPLICATION DOCUMENTS (file uploads)
- Tables, Figures, Images and References: Upload a 2-page (max) PDF file.
- Page 1: Tables, Figures, Images
- Page 2: References
- Budget: Upload your (PDF) Pitt Momentum Funds budget: A budget template is available for download on the Pitt Momentum Funds information page for you to use. You will need to convert documents into a single PDF file.
- Page 1 = Year 1 Budget
- Page 2 = Year 2 Budget (Scaling Grants required)
- Budget Justification: Please upload your 1-page (PDF) budget justification.
- Letter of Commitment: Only one letter of support will be considered as part of a Pitt Momentum Funds project.
- For Scaling and Teaming Grants applications: upload a single letter of support from your school's Associate Dean for Research and including the signatures from the appropriate leadership for your co-investigators.
- For Seeding Grants applications: upload a single letter of support from your Department Chair. The letter must describe the in-kind or other financial commitments being made to this project.
- If you are a Department Chair, your letter must be provided by your Associate Dean.
Do I build a budget for a Pitt Momentum Funds project the same way I would for an external grant (concerning fringe rates, indirect costs, etc.)?
Yes, prepare your budget for the Pitt Momentum Funds as if you were writing an external grant. Exceptions: there are no indirect costs, and faculty salaries are not a permitted budget item. The budget template includes fields for you to input various budget categories and has information about current fringe rates. If you have further budget questions, please coordinate with your department or school grants administrator.
Are there restrictions on how Pitt Momentum Funds can be spent?
Momentum Funds awards cannot be used to support or supplement salaries for either Pitt faculty or external co-investigators; neither are the funds intended to be used to hire new permanent staff. Seeding Grant awards cannot be used for travel to meetings or conferences (although travel for research purposes, such as visits to archive, is permitted); computer equipment is not given priority and will be considered on a case to case basis.
Teaming and Scaling awards are not intended to be used to extend existing, externally funded projects or for projects that already have preliminary results in hand sufficient to obtain funding from external agencies (e.g., NIH, NSF). Momentum Funds are not bridge funds.
Funds can be used to hire temporary workers, travel, capital equipment purchases or other acquisition of materials, consulting or contracting other technical support, software and other expenses needed to successfully implement the project. A listing of budget elements is available in the budget template. Award funds must be expended in accordance with University policy. Supplemental, overtime and temporary wages are subject to tax reporting and withholding but are not eligible for defined contribution deductions or matching.
Can we conduct research with Teaming Grants funds?
While the performance of research is not the primary intent of Teaming grants, some sources of follow-on funding may require evidence of prior research collaboration. In such cases, include a justification for research as an element of building the team.
Can Pitt Momentum Funds be used to support a conference?
Not if that is the sole purpose of the request. A conference may be a legitimate tool for a Teaming grant, but proposers should explain how they will use the conference in pursuit of follow-on funding for their research project. Humanities and Social Science Faculty in the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences who are seeking to fund conferences in support of faculty scholarship should apply to the Humanities and Social Science Research Fund in the Dietrich School.
Can Pitt Momentum Funds be used for administrative support (e.g., project coordinator salary support) for the proposed project?
Yes, the funds can be used for administrative support costs within the budget guidelines. Because credible efforts at building cross-disciplinary teams that can tackle large-scale research efforts require administrative support, applications for Teaming and Scaling grants must include a letter from the dean or department chair of the team lead offering at least parital in-kind administrative support. Supplemental, overtime and temporary wages are subject to tax reporting and withholding but are not eligible for defined contribution deductions or matching.
If I have an existing, current project funded through another Pitt internal funding mechanism should I include information about that in my budget?
Yes, this should be included as ‘current support’ in your CV/biosketch, narrative, and budget. This should also be described in your application in the section labeled, “Pitt Internal Funding history.”
Faculty salaries are not an allowable expense, but is salary support for a co-investigator at another organization an allowable expense?
The Pitt Momentum Funds do not support faculty salaries, but is it acceptable for a dean or department chair to provide time buyout/course release as an in-kind contribution?
Yes, note this in your budget, and have it highlighted in the support letter.
Graduate Student tuition remission/benefits are calculated at 50% of Graduate Student stipends but I'm paying graduate students by the hour. Should I be adding anything to that?
Hourly pay rates should use the appropriate fringe rates. Tuition remission are only used for stipends. Please double-check with your department's grant administrator, which may be helpful in general as you prepare your budget.
Can Pitt Momentum Funds be used to compensate people who are external to Pitt?
This is permissible for a professional services contract that complies with University purchasing policies. Expenses incurred would be included in the contract and paid via invoice. Momentum Funds awards cannot be used to support or supplement salaries for either Pitt faculty or external co-investigators.
Do we need to follow University policy regarding all purchases?
Yes. Per University purchasing policies, University-wide contracted suppliers must be used when available. Purchases from other suppliers and service providers must comply with the University’s competitive bidding and directed or sole source policy.
Could we establish a postdoctoral fellowship under this grant?
Given the scale and 1-year duration of the Seeding and Teamin awards, partial support for an existing postdoc probably makes more sense than using this mechanism to bring on a new postdoc. Support for a postdoc makes more sense in the context of a 2-year Scaling Grant.
Can funds be used to pay for professional services from another Pitt organization, such as the Center for Teaching and Learning?
Yes. And it may be helpful to look into services offered through the University Center for International Studies (UCIS) for travel or translation support, and the University Center for Social & Urban Research (UCSUR) for data and statistical support.
Is there a limit on what fraction of the budget can be used for external to Pitt consultation or services?
No. There are no designated budget percentage requirements based on expense type.
Does this program allow to budget for instruments, such as a microscope?
Yes, adhering to University policies.
Can we use these funds for student housing?
Can we use these funds for student travel (to/from campus for research purposes)?
Yes. Funds may be requested for student travel.
Can we use these funds for research materials and supplies?
Yes, adhering to University policies.
Can we use these funds for socialization activities?
Yes, but you would need to explain why this is an integral part of the work outlined in the application. In addition, business entertainment expenses must comply with University policies.
What, if any, expectations exist for in-kind contributions?
There is no set percentage or dollar amount for unit level support/matching funds. However, it will be considered a positive attribute if units are willing to commit some type of support for a proposed project. This information can be included in your budget. Applications for Teaming and Scaling grants must include a letter from the dean or department chair of the team lead offering an appropriate level of in-kind administrative support.
Can we claim contributions from our partners (meeting space and catering funds, for example) as matching funds?
- Letter of Commitment/ Department Chair Support
Is a letter of commitment required?
Yes, one letter of commitment from the lead investigator’s department chair is required as part of the Pitt Momentum Funds application. As a courtesy to your recommender, please give them advance notice of your request for a letter.
What is the purpose of the letter of commitment?
The letter for Teaming and Scaling grants must describe the in-kind administrative support or other resources the dean(s) or department chair(s) will provide to the team.
Should my letter(s) of support be confidential?
No, Lead Investigators are responsible for requesting, securing and uploading the letter as part of their online application.
I am a department chair planning a Pitt Momentum Funds project, who should write my letter?
Your school’s associate dean for research
Can you describe the evaluation process?
All proposals are reviewed by faculty peers. University Research Council (URC) coordinators for each track consider those peer reviews when recommending slates of proposals for funding to the Senior Vice Chancellor for Research, in the case of Seeding proposals, or for oral presentations, in the case of Teaming and Scaling proposals.
Up to twelve Teaming proposals, depending up on funds available, will be invited to make 10-minute oral presentations before a committee comprised of URC coordinators for the Teaming track; the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research in the Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Related Fields; and the Vice Chancellor for Science Policy and Research Strategies. That committee will recommend a slate of 5-6 proposals for funding to the Provost and the Senior Vice Chancellor for Research, who jointly make the final selection. Up to five teams applying for the two Scaling Grants will make presentations directly to the Provost and the Senior Vice Chancellor for Research.
When will Lead Investigators be notified of decision?
We plan to communicate award decisions as soon as possible following the February pitch sessions. Lead Investigators will be notified as late as early March.
What time period is covered during this cycle of funding?
Seeding and Teaming grants may budget funding for up to one year, and Scaling Grants may budget for two years of funding. The budget template (available online) includes separate tabs for each year of funding.
When will funds be available to awarded investigators?
Funds for Teaming and Scaling Grants will be disbursed shortly after lead investigators are notified of their award. Funds for Seeding Grants will be disbursed in July. Projects requiring IRB or IACUC approvals will receive funds as soon as the appropriate approvals are shared with OSP staff. Once funds are disbursed, the corresponding award timeline begins (1 year for Seeding and Teaming, 2 years for Scaling).
Will the Pitt Momentum Funds be offered again next year?
Yes, the Pitt Momentum Funds will be an ongoing commitment that we will continue to review and enhance to support the University’s research community.
If we were to form a partnership, would the University commit ongoing budgetary support, such as paying the salary for a key staff person?
It is permissible for your Dean or Department chair to fund on-going staff support deemed important to sustaining a partnership nucleated by Pitt Momentum Funds. Pitt Momentum Funds projects are intended to support projects that have a plan to become self-sustaining with a particular focus on projects that can attract on-going external sponsored research support.
What cost center/unit will the funding be allocated to for the project?
The specifics of budget logistics will be communicated to Lead Investigators and to their unit's financial/grants administrator.
Who has the access to the funds? Is access limited to the Lead Investigator?
Access is limited to the Lead Investigator and their unit business manager. Level reports must be reviewed and reconciled each month in accordance with University policy.
May this money be used for tuition remission?
Do we get a purchase card or are expenses reimbursed?
A budget will be established in a defined account for each Pitt Momentum Funds project, and spending of these funds must comply with existing University policies
Will be there be a Pitt Momentum Funds renewal option?
Renewals are only intended for scholarship in areas where there is a demonstrated lack of external funding. Investigators would need to compete again to receive funding as part of a future application call, recognizing there is a very strong preference for supporting new, rather than continuing, projects.
Will there be resources available from the University to support program management?
Unfortunately, no. We encourage you to include the necessary resources within your project budget, and please be sure to note any resources that have been contributed in kind to your project.
Will we be assigned a grant manager by Pitt Research?
No. The Lead Investigator and their business administrator will be responsible for managing the administration of the project.
Can Pitt Momentum Funds projects be reallocated to individual research projects?
Reallocation to projects should be explained and justified in the proposal, but such a use is unlikely to align with the intent of the Scaling Grant program. A strategically deployed set of smaller individual projects may make a credible Seeding or Teaming Grant, but a high bar will be set for demonstrating the relevance of that reallocation to the goals of the Seeding and Teaming Grant programs.
Can Pitt Momentum Fund be used to support other pilot projects?
Reallocation to projects not described in the proposal should be explained and justified in the proposal, but such a use would likely not align with the intent of any of the Momentum Funds.
If awarded, is there a specific reporting process that we need to follow?
Yes. All Pitt Momentum Funds awardees are required to:
- Ensure that resources are utilized according to what is outlined in the concept document.
- Submit a midyear and year-end report online. Scaling projects will be reviewed at the conclusion of the first year of funding for satisfactory progress against milestones before the second tranche of funding is released.
- Respond to requested project updates on an annual basis for a minimum of three years post-implementation.
What happens to intellectual property when the university supports my project/idea? If my project is funded, what percentage of equity does the university share?
The award funds will be transferred to a University account designated by the awardee. Award funds must be expended in accordance with University policy. After completion of the seed funding activities, the awardee will submit Invention Disclosures to the Innovation Institute in order to document, assess and protect any new intellectual property developed by the investigator during the course of the award. If the University licenses or commercializes any intellectual property, inventors, creators or developers will receive a share of proceeds consistent with the terms of the University of Pittsburgh Intellectual Property Policy (RI-10, effective April 5, 2021).
Will the Pitt Momentum Funds be offered again next year?
Yes, the Pitt Momentum Funds are a continuing commitment by the Provost and the Senior Vice Chancellor for Research to support the University’s research community.
What happened to the Central Research Development Fund (CRDF), the Special Initiative to Promote Scholarship in the Humanities (SIPSAH), and the Social Science Research Initiative (SSRI) programs?
The Pitt Momentum Funds programs refresh and build upon the mentioned small grant programs with a suite of funding mechanisms that have clear demarcations between funds where individual scholarly excellence is the goal, and funds where multi-disciplinary, team-based research effort is the goal. The three types of grants within the scope of Momentum Funds and their varied award thresholds invite projects that vary in scale and readiness to attract external funding. The new structure of funds allows faculty to find support that best matches their ambitions and needs.
Do any of the changes to the CRDF, SIPSAH, or SSRI affect the UPMC Competitive Medical Research Fund (CMRF)?
No, the integration of these funds into the Pitt Momentum Funds does not affect the CMRF, which supports faculty with primary appointments in the Schools of the Health Sciences. The CMRF is administered separately by the Office of Research, Health Sciences.
- Contact information
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