Research Development

The University provides support for research to the units engaged in externally-sponsored programs in order to further its national competitiveness, to facilitate new initiatives, or to change or expand existing research. Institutional research support consists of the Small Grants Program, the Competitive Medical Research Fund, and the research allocations that are keyed to the indirect costs recovered in the preceding year.

Research Allocations

The Research Allocations Policy, effective October 26, 1993, applies to all schools and centers of the University except those within the School of Medicine's purview.

The formula for the research allocation fund uses the indirect costs recovered (at the audited rates) as a base. The reallocation is as follows:

  • 10% directly to the principle investigator(s);
  • 5% to the department;
  • 1% to the Office of Research;
  • 9% to the Provost's Office in support of the Small Grants Program and other discretionary research development initiatives.

The policy also designates 25% to be returned to the dean or director of the school or center; however, this amount is not fully funded at the present time.

The distribution of central research support is administered by the Vice Provost for Research. Refer to University Policy 11-01-06, Research Allocations. Copies of the policy may also be obtained from the Office of Research, telephone 412-624-7400, or the deans' offices.

Small Grants Program

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.

For additional information on the program or to request an application kit, go to

Competitive Medical Research Fund

Competitive Medical Research Fund
The UPMC Health System established the Competitive Medical Research Fund (CMRF) in 1985 with the intent of providing modest research support across the broad range of the biomedical sciences. Please refer to the current CMRF policies for detailed information about the goals of the CMRF program and eligibility requirements. Please review the application instructions carefully before preparing an application.

The intent of the CMRF program is to provide funds for junior, independent scientists to develop the preliminary data and refinement of procedures and hypotheses that will enable submission of highly competitive applications to national funding sources.

  • Faculty members at the level of assistant /research assistant professor are eligible. In rare circumstances, applications from associate professors will be considered if the applicant can demonstrate that he or she has only recently begun independent research activities
  • Standard CMRF awards are $25,000. If a compelling case for need can be made, up to $40,000 may be requested. Funds awarded may be expended over a period of up to 24 months.

The annual solicitation and current policies are posted at in September or early October. (Alternatively, search for CMRF on the Office of Research, Health Sciences web page, It is incumbent on the applicant to make sure that he or she is responding to the most current solicitation.


Office of Technology Management

The University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Technology Management encourages and facilitates invention and innovation leading to the commercialization of technologies to benefit society, to contribute to regional economic development, and to generate alternative sources of income for the University. The Office serves faculty in obtaining patent or copyright protection and commercial development for discoveries, inventions, and written works. Assistance is provided to faculty, staff and students at the point where their research results are translated into invention disclosures and patents. Market research, competitive analysis, and patentability analysis is performed to provide the basis for patenting or copyrighting, and to determine the appropriate commercialization path for each invention or technology. In the case of licensing, the Office of Technology Management identifies potential commercial partners and negotiates licensing and sponsored research agreements. In the case of start-up companies, the Office assists in the development of business plans, identifies financing sources, and develops partnerships with potential commercial organizations. The Office maintains an active network of partner companies, financial investors, and service providers. The income generated from technology transfer agreements is distributed among faculty, their departments, and the University, as provided in the University Patent Rights and Technology Transfer Policy on Copyrights Policy.

The Office is located at 200 Gardner Steel Conference Center and may be accessed by telephone 412-648-2206; fax 412-648-8525; or Website at

Commercialization of Inventions through Independent Companies

The University has established a policy on Commercialization of Inventions through Independent Companies. The policy addresses participation of faculty, staff and students in start-up companies that are based on technology developed in their laboratories. The policy is an extension of the University Conflict of Interest and Research Policy and Procedures, as well as the Patent Rights and Technology Transfer Policy and Procedures. This policy also establishes the Entrepreneurial Oversight Committee to implement and administer the policy and to review submissions on proposed activities of faculty, staff and students with start-up companies.

For the complete policy, refer to University Policy 11-02-03, Commercialization of Inventions Through Independent Companies.