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CCM Innovation Grant Program

Each year, the Department offers research funding through the CCM Innovation Grant Program to encourage and support new and innovative research projects. The Department has an enviable track record of extramural research funding. The CCM Innovation Grant Program provides funds to the Department’s scientists in order to conceive hypotheses, gather preliminary data, and develop methods necessary for successfully competing for extramural funding.

The program is open to faculty members, research associates, and fellows who have primary appointments in the Department. Proposals for basic, clinical, translational, and multidisciplinary research projects should be submitted to the Scientific Affairs Committee for competitive review. A proposed research project must not overlap the project of a mentor, and it must have specific aims independent of the mentor’s project.

Priority is given to pilot projects by new investigators, all of whom are strongly urged to collaborate or consult with more experienced researchers before planning their research project. Fellows must have a faculty mentor and a letter from the mentor must accompany the application.

The number of awards and the grant funds vary from year to year. Past Innovation Grants Funds have ranged from $10,000 to $20,000


Funding Usage

Funds may be requested for:

  • Small research projects including small equipment, consumable supplies, and animals
  • Research staff and consultants
  • Coursework at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health

Funds may not be used for stipend salaries for fellows, faculty or administrative/clerical support, travel, computer purchase, or large equipment (i.e.,>$5000)



Eligibility for Innovation Grant funding is restricted to faculty, research associates, mentored post-doctoral clinical and research fellows within the Adult and Pediatric divisions of the Department of Critical Care Medicine. Visitors and those who do not have primary affiliation with the Department of CCM are not eligible for the award.


Types of Awards

Two types of awards are offered through the CCM Innovation Grant Program.

Traditional Award

The Traditional Award mechanism is for pilot study or small feasibility proposals submitted by post-doctoral fellows, research associates, clinical instructors and assistant professors. Faculty at or above associate professor level are not eligible to apply for the traditional innovation award.

Supplemental Award

The Supplemental Award mechanism is open to post-doctoral fellows, instructors, and research associates as well as assistant, associate and full professors, and is designed to supplement an external award. The Supplemental award will be dispersed as either funds or other resources as determined on a case-by-case basis. The maximum Supplemental funds or resources are not to exceed an amount specified in the original external grant. Faculty at the level of associate professor or above are strongly encouraged to apply for a Supplemental Award after obtaining external funding. A full copy of the externally funded grant as well as a letter stating the funding and the amount must be submitted with the application. Also required is a brief budget justification for why supplemental funds are requested and how these funds will be used. A Supplemental Award can be requested for undertaking coursework, but only if the coursework is needed for the externally funded grant.


Deadline for Submission

Traditional Award Application

First submission deadline:  April 1st of each year
Application response (if a revision is required to achieve a fundable score):  within 60 days of submission
Resubmission deadline: June 15
Applications scored: mid-late June
Funding announcement: during July

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 (

And copy the Innovation Grant Program Director, Dr. Ragi Murugan (

Please use only the accompanying grant template to draft your proposal and for submission, or contact program director Dr. Ragi Murugan to receive an application template before preparing your application

Orientation Session

An innovation grant orientation session will be held at the beginning of each academic year for junior faculty, fellows, and research associates to learn about the program. Applicants are strongly advised to seek the help of their mentors in preparing the application.


Supplemental Award Application

The Supplemental Awards have a rolling deadline throughout the year. (The above deadlines do not apply.)

Supplemental Award application requirements include a letter of intent with a brief description of the budget outlining the requested amount and the need for innovation grant funds. The application should be submitted to:  Ms. Kim Kushon, ( at the time of application to the external funding agency.

After obtaining external funding, please send a copy of the original submitted grant along with the original budget, the letter of approval from the external funding agency outlining the dollar amount and conditions of award, and a brief budget justification for the requested Supplemental Award funds. There will not be a formal scientific review for Supplemental Award proposals.


Applicants should provide a detailed and itemized budget for Traditional and Supplemental Grant Award requests. For Supplemental Awards, there should be no overlap in the budget between the primary grant award and the request for Supplemental funds. The budget for requesting Supplemental funds should also specify the rationale for the Supplemental funds from the department and how these would strengthen the proposal or lead to external funding.

Please also note that requesting Supplemental funds solely for the purchase of large equipment (i.e., equipment that costs > $5,000) will not be permitted. Whenever large equipment is required, either for the Traditional Grant Award or Supplemental Grant Award, the investigator is strongly encouraged to lease such an equipment. Equipment leasing is an acceptable budget line item in the Supplemental or Traditional Grant Award requests. Funding may not be used for travel, purchasing computer equipment or for salary/fringe benefit for graduate student researchers even if the external funding agency may allow this.

Grant of Award and Quarterly Progress Report

A CCM Innovation Grant comes with certain departmental expectations for the investigator (and sponsor when appropriate).

  • Exercise all efforts toward the timely and successful execution of their research
  • Before release of funds, secure all IACUC or IRB documents
  • File quarterly progress reports (1 page in length) to the Vice Chair’s Office in order to secure continued access to funds
  • You may be asked to present your results at departmental research meetings
  • Notify the Vice Chair’s Office of all research “output” (abstracts, papers and subsequent grant submissions) that are a result of this innovation grant
  • Reference support from the CCM Innovation grant award in publications or presentations that result from your CCM Innovation Grant. We suggest the following language: “This publication was made possible by support from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Critical Care Medicine’s Innovation Grant Award Program.”


Guidelines for Preparation

Grant Template

Reviewer Scoring Sheet