CTSI Piloting Funding Grants and Coordinating COVID-19 Research

Getting started

Funding opportunities are available from multiple sources; details about eligibility and requirements can be found online. The deadline for letters of intent is Friday, April 3, at 11:59 p.m.

All principal investigators planning or conducting COVID-19 related studies should submit a brief description of their proposal via an online survey.

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) announced this week the launch of a pilot grant program that aims to help fund investigators developing novel solutions to challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding—up to $50,000 to up to four projects—will support new research initiatives that will make immediate progress towards reducing the harm to individuals, groups and society from the new coronavirus. 

“CTSI is looking to do its part to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. There are great minds at the University and we hope that these grants will provide the funding for researchers to find solutions that are so desperately needed,” said Steven Reis, associate vice chancellor for clinical research at the Schools of Health Sciences and director of CTSI. 

The grant program is one of two ways CTSI is strategically positioned to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Also announced this week is its role in marshalling the vast resources, expertise, tools and lab capabilities across teams at the University and UPMC for all clinical studies and research related to COVID-19.

“Given the rapidity of the spread of disease, timely and efficient implementation of studies are critical to their success,” wrote Arthur S. Levine, senior vice chancellor for the health sciences; Rob A. Rutenbar, senior vice chancellor for research; and Steven D. Shapiro, chief medical and science officer at UPMC in a message to the research community.

Individuals and teams that plan to conduct studies and trials related to COVID-19 are being directed to submit a description of their work via an online survey developed by CTSI. Using the survey responses, the institute will identify collaborative opportunities, streamline regulatory submissions and assess researchers’ needs. CTSI’s coordination work will include cataloguing every Pitt or UPMC COVID-19 related research protocol involving human subjects and/or associated biosamples, electronic health records and other data.

Across the University, many researchers have started to look for ways to address the pandemic. To date, 65 studies or projects have been submitted through the online survey.

“These efforts require coordination to support the development and testing of new approaches for preventing, diagnosing and treating COVID-19 infections and to optimize available resources,” said Reis.