Round 2 2021 Early Stage Seed Grant:

Preproposals Due September 15, 2021 at 11:59 PM

PDF Version of RFP


The Center for Medical Innovation is pleased to announce its second round of the Early-Stage Medical Technology Research and Development Pilot Funding Program! 


Each year, the CMI, in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh’s Schools of Health Science and the Innovation Institute, releases RFPs for University of Pittsburgh projects in the medical technology space so it can provide funding for them as they move from idea to real-world prototype. 


This RFP is specifically for projects that are in the early stages of development, with the goal of ultimately transitioning the work to further funding through other available sources. Examples of projects include systems, materials, or devices for the improved diagnosis or treatment of disease. 


Process: Preproposals are submitted on a brief “Clinical Concept Questionnaire” which can be found HERE. The Questionnaire can be submitted by a clinical faculty member with a need for a technical partner, an engineering faculty member in search of a clinical partner, or an already-defined clinician/engineer partnership.

Prior to review of full proposals by CMI, the co-PIs must have submitted an invention disclosure to the Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship ( 


Eligibility: Preproposals can be submitted by clinically-affiliated faculty members of the Schools of Health Sciences (SoHS), engineering faculty members with primary appointments in Swanson School of Engineering (SSoE), or a clinician/engineer partnership from the Schools of Health Sciences or the Swanson School of Engineering. Projects initiated by students are also eligible to apply, but either an engineering or clinical faculty member must sign on as a project advisor. 


Evaluation: Preproposals will be evaluated on the basis of scientific and clinical merit, potential health care impact and significance, experience of the investigators and potential for obtaining further financial investment to translate the particular solution to healthcare. Full proposals for funding will be solicited from selected preproposals and evaluated based on similar criteria.


Funding Levels: Project funding will be in the range of $10K to $25K for one year. The number of awards made will depend upon availability of funds. CMI pilot grants can be used to fund the development of concept models, simulations, functional prototypes, and research labor, but cannot be used for investigator salary support. Facilities across campus will be made available by the CMI and its partners for prototype development. Preproposals must be submitted by 11:59 PM, September 15, 2021 via e-mail to with subject line “CMI early-stage preproposal submission.” 


Please contact Dr. Hirschman ( at 412-624-1177 if you do not receive an e-mail confirmation of receipt of your submission within 36 hours of submission. 


Key Deadlines

  • September 15, 2021: Preproposal submission deadline 

  • September 30, 2021: CMI evaluations completed and responses sent to investigators 

  • November 1, 2021: Invited full-proposals submitted to CMI 

  • November 15, 2021: CMI funding decisions made and award letters sent to investigators 

  • December 15, 2021: Awardee project plans and budgets due 

  • January 1, 2022: Funds authorized for release to project teams

Previous Winners

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