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CCM Innovation Grant Program

Annual departmental funds are made available to encourage and support new and innovative research projects. The faculty members, research associates, mentored post-doctoral research and clinical fellows within the adult and pediatric divisions of the department of CCM are eligible to introduce specific research proposals to the Scientific Affairs Committee for competitive review. Basic, clinical, translational, and multidisciplinary research projects will be considered. Pilot projects by new investigators are given a priority. New investigators are strongly urged to collaborate or consult with more experienced investigators before planning a research project. Fellows must have a faculty mentor and a letter from the mentor must accompany the application. The proposed project must be a distinct project with distinct specific aims from the mentor’s project with no overlap.

Funds may be requested for small equipment, consumable supplies or animals, research staff and consultants, but not for stipend salaries for fellows, faculty or administrative/clerical support. Funds may also be requested for doing coursework at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health. The allocated innovation grant funds as well as the number of awards will vary each year depending upon the upcoming fiscal year’s budget.


The CCM innovation grant award program is intended to provide funds for relatively junior scientists within the department of CCM to conceive hypotheses, preliminary data, and methods necessary to successfully compete for extramural funding. Eligibility for innovation grant funding is restricted to CCM faculty (Instructors, Assistant Professors), research associates, mentored post-doctoral clinical and research fellows within the CCM department. Visitors and those not affiliated with the department of CCM are not eligible for the award.

Types of Awards:

The department of CCM will award one of the two types of innovation grants to the applicant.

The “traditional” award mechanism is for pilot study or small feasibility proposals submitted by post-doctoral fellows, research associates, and Clinical Instructors. The CCM faculty at or above the level of Assistant Professor are not eligible to apply for the traditional innovation award. The applicant for this type of award should prepare the grant as per instructions mentioned in this guideline.

The “supplemental” award mechanism will be open to post-doctoral fellows, Instructors, Research Associates, and Assistant Professors. This program will supplement an external award (i.e., all awards obtained outside of the CCM department). The supplemental award will be either in the form of funds or other resources as determined on a case-by-case basis. The maximum supplemental funds or resources will not exceed an amount specified in the original external grant. The CCM faculty at the level of Assistant Professor is strongly encouraged to apply for this type of award after obtaining external funding. The applicant should submit a full copy of the externally funded grant as well as the letter stating the funding and the amount. The applicant also needs to provide a brief budget justification on why supplemental funds from the CCM innovation grant program is requested and how these funds will be used. No requirement to reformat the application as per guideline. Supplemental innovation award application can be requested for only doing the coursework, if needed along with the external funded grant. Faculty at the level of Associate Professor and Professor are not eligible for traditional or supplemental awards.

Deadline for submission

Traditional Award Application

The deadline for first submission for traditional innovation grant award for each academic year is 1st of April. You may expect a response from the committee within 60 days of submission. Funding announcements will be made in July for the upcoming Fiscal year. If revision is thought to be necessary to achieve a fundable score, the application will be returned to the investigator with the committee’s comments after the first review. He or she may then revise the application and resubmit it before the second review, at which time applications will be scored and ranked for funding.

For traditional award application please send two separate electronic copies as a single file. One as a PDF and one as a MS Word file, to grant administrator Ms. Kim Kushon, copying the Innovation Grant Program Director, Dr. Raghavan Murugan ( Please use only the accompanying grant template to draft your proposal and for submission. The prospective traditional grant applicant is strongly advised to contact the program director Dr. Raghavan Murugan before preparing the application and to receive an application template. There will be an innovation grant orientation session at the beginning of each academic year to orient the junior faculty, fellows, and research associate about the program within the adult and pediatric divisions. Applicants are strongly advised to seek the help of their mentors in preparing the application.

Supplemental Award Application

Candidates requesting funding through the supplemental award mechanism may request for funds throughout the year and the above deadline do not apply. However, for candidates who are planning to apply for the supplemental award mechanism, a letter of intent with a brief description of budget outlining the requested amount and the need for innovation grant funds should be submitted to Ms. Kim Kushon at the time of application to the external funding agency. After obtaining funding from the external agency, please send a copy of the original submitted grant, the letter of approval from the external funding agency, and a brief budget justification for the requested funds. There will not be a formal scientific review for the supplemental award proposals.

Quarterly Progress Report 

If funding is awarded, we expect the investigator and sponsor, where appropriate, to exercise all efforts toward the timely and successful execution of their research. Consequently, the awardees will be required to file quarterly progress reports (1 page in length) to the Vice-Chair’s Office in order to secure continued access to funds. We also require notification of all research “output” (abstracts, papers and subsequent grant submissions) that are a result of this innovation grant, in order to better understand the success of this program.

Guidelines for Preparation

Grant Template

Reviewer Scoring Sheet