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Pitt Seed Projects are well-defined actions that directly reflect the goals of The Plan for Pitt and will play an instrumental role in transforming the University as a whole.
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The success of Pitt’s strategic plan is predicated upon engagement across the University. One of the focused efforts directed toward this engagement is the annual opportunity for faculty and staff to submit ideas for transformative projects that are directed toward supporting one or more of the six goals and associated strategies within The Plan for Pitt. Letters of intent for Pitt Seed Projects are collected in February.

What are Pitt Seed Projects?

Pitt Seed Projects are well-defined actions that will play an instrumental role in transforming the University of Pittsburgh. Proposed projects can include a range of activities, including: research ideas, academic programs, process improvement, diversity, community and industry partnership development, outreach, methods of teaching and learning, workshops, lectures and enhancing the student experience. 

Fall 2019 Special Cycle

In a community message sent on October 15, 2019, the Chancellor outlined some initial steps the University would take “to underpin (a) community-driven response” to address sexual misconduct on campus, including the creation of “funding streams to energize grassroots solutions.” One of the funding streams detailed in the Chancellor’s message included a special Pitt Seed funding cycle devoted to financing innovative solutions for preventing sexual misconduct. This rapid-fire funding cycle will be open to faculty and staff, with grants slated to disburse in the new year. 

Application Portal

Current Projects

Global water concerns: An experiential learning project
Funding the development of a two-part study abroad curriculum on water culture and water policy.
Design Thinking and the Built Environment
Enhancing existing undergraduate programs in architecture and civil engineering, and developing a new graduate-level program.
Pitt–Greensburg and Pitt University Libraries Develop Virtual Tours for West Overton Museums
Building historic virtual tours using 3D modeling, photogrammetry and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
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Art on Campus: Creating a Collection Management Infrastructure at the University of Pittsburgh
Art on Campus is the first major step in producing a complete inventory of artworks owned by the University.
Pitt-Greensburg Center for Applied Research (CFAR)
Developing an education and training program for CFAR undergraduate research assistants, which will also be available to all Pitt-Greensburg undergraduate...
Creating a Student Outreach Services Program at Bradford Campus
Addressing our students’ diverse needs in financial support, education-assistance, internship, career preparation, community-and-network building, and study abroad.
LRDC Undergraduate Summer Internship Program
Promoting diversity across the Learning Sciences and their basic disciplines, and enhancing the Center’s diversity by providing research experience and...
Delivering a Smartphone-Based Intervention for Anxiety in Community Pediatrics
Developing a new partnership between four Pitt schools and Children's Community Pediatrics to scale up, disseminate, and test a new technology-based solution...
Women In International Security Seed Project
Establishing a chapter of Women in International Security (WIIS) at the University of Pittsburgh.
Pitt-Greensburg Military & Veterans Program
Expanding the development and execution of scholarship, education and support programs that benefit our military, veteran, and campus community.
MilTeenChat™ App for the Military Community
Developing a gamification component to the app with which we can teach military teens coping with deployment strong decision-making skills.
Art's Work in the Age of Biotechnology
Supporting an exhibition of artworks called Art’s Work in the Age of Biotechnology created with tools and techniques that have...
Pitt Participation in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program
Participating in the SSEP program, interdisciplinary school events, and community engagement with local high schools.
Justice Scholars - Pitt Enhanced College Prep Support
Embarking on a 2-year evaluation and replication study of Justice Scholars that will include a program launch at one additional...
Surveying Latin American Legislatures
Seeking to support a survey of Latin American legislators through a partnership with the University of Salamanca, Spain.
Inclusive Staff Mentoring in the Dietrich School
Establishing an 18-month pilot program. The first six months will focus on training 15 mentors who will be assigned mentees...
Food Insecurity, Nutritional Literacy, and Heart Disease
Identifying UPMC heart failure patients with food insecurity and limited social resources, heretofore unrecognized by standard clinical care; and delivering a...
School-Based Trauma Intervention to Build Social and Cognitive Resilience
To mitigate harm and promote students’ capacities to learn we will customize an intervention to directly target the ramifications of...
Development of the Broadening Equity in STEM Center
The center’s mission is to increase diversity in Pitt’s STEM programs by serving as a hub interconnecting like-minded but siloed...
Raising GIRL: Gender Inequality Research Lab @ Pitt
Raising GIRL will create a new, year-long transdisciplinary course paired with an internship program.
Vibrant Media Lab
Expanding the VML to reach far more faculty members and students across the university, with a slate of projects to...
Pittsburgh Public Schools Partnership: Entertainment Technology
Providing broadcast and video production workshops for students in the Pittsburgh Public Schools System.
ReligYinz: Mapping Religious Pittsburgh
ReligYinz: Mapping Religious Pittsburgh is a digital humanities project seeking to transform how religion is studied at the University.
Mobile Visual Feedback for Gait Training
Expanding on a promising line of research on gait retraining and optimization.
Creating Connections Through CREATES
Expanding CREATES' collaborative activities with industry to include a focused programmatic effort that will connect medical and surgical device industry...
Graduate Certificate in Regional Intergovernmental Organization Management
Creating a Graduate Certificate in Managing Regional Intergovernmental Organizations.
Pitt Startup Incubator for Students and Recent Alumni
Establishing a Big Idea Incubator for students and recent alumni pursuing startups to provide the education and mentorship necessary to...
Obama Academy-Mathematics Assistance Center
Developing a Mathematics Assistance Center (MAC) in the Pittsburgh Obama Academy of International Studies.
Assessing critical care and emergency service systems.
Afro-Latin American and Afro-Latino Studies Initiative
A pilot program with conferences, workshops and student experiences.
The Allegheny County Breast Consortium (ACBC)
Developing synergy for breast cancer control.
Building Bridges
Promoting equity and justice through empowering minoritized students in education.
The Business of Humanity®
Enhancing economic, environmental and social sustainability in disadvantaged communities through radical business models.
Contemporary Chinese Village Data (CCVD)
Creating a data set of significant scholarly value based on collections of administrative data on China’s villages.
Creation of the International Center for Conflict Resolution (IC4CR)
Facilitating the resolution of otherwise intractable conflicts.
Developing the Pittsburgh Sarcoma Research Collaborative (PSaRC)
A team of physicians and scientists unite to advance sarcoma research.
Feasibility Study for Two Online Programs
Master of Research Administration and a Certificate in Research Administration.
Goethe-Lexicon of Philosophical Concepts
A collaborative research project cataloguing Goethe’s work.
Linguistics at Work in the Community and Industry
Preparing Pitt students for challenging careers in linguistics.
LMS Platform for Online Continuing Education
Offering leading-edge online continuing education.
A Makerspace on the Move
Mobilizing the OPEN LAB.
The Pittsburgh Black Media’s Frank Bolden Urban Multimedia Workshop
Media training program for local students in underserved communities.
Pitt Prison Education Project (PPEP)
Training new faculty and broadening 
the range of courses.
A Place for Pitt–Johnstown in the Cure Violence: Johnstown Campaign
Assessing “Cure Violence” and researching new solutions.
Serious and Transformational Games for Patient Education and Clinical Interventions
Developing a new kind of infrastructure for gaming at Pitt.
U.S. Law and Legal English Program (LLEP)
Foreign undergraduates studying U.S. law at Pitt.
VentriculoAmniotic Shunting for Fetal Aqueductal Stenosis (VASFAS)
Advancing medical research on ventriculo-amniotic shunts.
Selection Item

Selection Process

Annually, the Chancellor’s Office will invest funds to support the Pitt Seed Project initiative. Applicants can request up to $50,000 for a Pitt Seed Project.

All faculty and staff members at the University of Pittsburgh are eligible to apply for funding. Applicants may serve as a Principal Investigator on only one project; however, applicants may serve as collaborators on multiple projects. Applicants are encouraged to include students as team members.


Applicants must submit letters from their respective Department Chair and the Dean of their school indicating support of the concept document and approval of any departmental resources committed.


Applicants must submit letters from their respective Unit/Department Director and Senior Vice Chancellor indicating support of the concept document and approval of any departmental resources committed.

Concept documents and proposals will be reviewed and scored based on the following criteria:

Plan for Pitt Alignment

Proposals should support one or more goal/strategy within the University’s strategic plan. Proposals that support multiple goals/strategies are encouraged.


Proposals should clearly articulate the anticipated results/outputs/outcome of the proposed actions in measurable terms.


Proposals should emphasize how the opportunity and/or proposed actions are transformational and/or an area of distinction for the University.


Applicants are encouraged to reach across multiple academic and/or business units when developing a proposal. In addition, external partnerships with industry and/or the community will be favorably reviewed.

A distinct advantage will be given to proposals that can demonstrate long term sustainability as well as institutional support (e.g. matching funds) from other units within or external to the University.

More information will be available in Fall 2019.

All Pitt Seed Project awardees are required to:

  • Ensure that resources are utilized according to what is outlined in the concept document.
  • Submit mid-year and year-end reports to the Office of the Chancellor indicating progress.
  • If applicable, submit outcome metrics to the Office of the Chancellor on an annual basis for a minimum of three years post implementation.

Important Dates

Fall 2019 Nov 2019 More information will be available in Fall 2019.


Who is eligible to serve as a Principal Investigator on a Pitt Seed Project?

Any Pitt faculty or staff member is eligible to serve as a Principal Investigator on a Pitt Seed Project. All Pitt students, postdoctoral associates, scholars and fellows are eligible to serve as Pitt Seed Project team members.

Can undergraduate students be included as Pitt Seed Project team members?

Absolutely! Engaging students in a Pitt Seed Project is highly encouraged.

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.