About the Pitt Momentum Funds

The Provost and I, with additional support from the Senior Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences, are excited to support this year’s slate of 32 Pitt Momentum Funds projects. Not only do 10 of the projects investigate the social determinants of health, or align with the Year of Data & Society theme, I am thrilled to see the incredible variety and vitality of the projects Pitt faculty have successfully proposed. From projects spanning interdisciplinary bone research, internationalizing our Manufacturing Assistance Center model, the future of public service, or the modern history of Taiwan, I continue to be proud of the ambition and importance of the work our faculty are engaged in.

“I’d like to thank those members of the University Research Council who participated in the review and selection process, and all the faculty who reviewed applications. The Momentum Funds program could not be as successful as they are without these faculty members’ important service.

Rob A. Rutenbar
Senior Vice Chancellor for Research 

Pitt Momentum Funds

Latest News (March 17, 2022): Pittwire: 32 faculty projects have earned Momentum Funds awards

In the 2019–2020 academic year, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Ann E. Cudd and Senior Vice Chancellor for Research (SVCR) Rob A. Rutenbar collaborated to enhance and streamline internal funding opportunities for faculty research while continuing to support high-quality research, scholarship, and creative endeavors.

The result was a jointly funded large-scale research development fund—the Pitt Momentum Funds—which restructured the University’s suite of internal funding programs (Central Research Development Fund, Social Science Research Initiative, and Special initiative to Promote Scholarly Activities in the Humanities) and adds a new SVCR/Provost Fund to provide allocations for research seeding, teaming, and scaling grants.

The structure for Pitt Momentum Funds awards includes three tiers:

  • 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.

View the 2021 celebration, Fueling Our Future, where the PMF awardees are celebrated for their transformative research. 

2021-2022 Funding Cycle

This year, as part of a special initiative co-sponsored by the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences, the Office of the Provost, and the Office of Senior Vice Chancellor for Research, the Pitt Momentum Funds program calls for projects investigating the social determinants of health, which may be defined as quality-of-life enhancing factors that can have a significant influence on population health outcomes. Examples of these factors include safe and affordable housing, access to education, public safety, availability of healthy foods, local emergency/health services, and environments free of life-threatening toxins. New multidisciplinary teams led by faculty in the social sciences and professional fields are sought. Funds in this category are new and enhance the total funding available for Seeding and Teaming awards. Since this is the Year of Data and Society, research projects related to this year’s theme are also welcome. All projects must align with existing program guidelines and meet eligibility criteria.

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

Funding is available through the three tiers as follows:

  • Seeding Grants—one-year term with an award cap of $25,000. Seeding grants support significant and innovative scholarship by individual or groups of faculty at all ranks at the University of Pittsburgh, with a particular focus on early career faculty and areas where external funding is extremely limited.
  • Teaming Grants—one-year term with an award cap of $60,000. Teaming grants support the formation of new multi-disciplinary collaborations to successfully pursue large-scale external funding.
  • Scaling Grants—two-year term with an award cap of $400,000. Scaling grants enable multi-disciplinary teams to competitively scale their research efforts in targeted pursuit of large-scale external funding.

Pitt Momentum Funds Info Session

Join officials from the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Research (OSVCR) and the Office of the Provost for an informational session on the Pitt Momentum Funds cycles.