Pilot Program for Human-Centered Design



The CTSI Innovation Core is currently offering campus investigators the opportunity to participate in a unique professional development program aimed at providing biomedical researchers with foundational skills in the discipline of Human-Centered Design. This opportunity is for early-career investigators at the University of Pittsburgh working at all stages in the translational spectrum.

Human-Centered Design (HCD) is a powerful construct for critical and creative problem solving. The disciplined practice of HCD involves a variety of methods for observing human experience, analyzing challenges and opportunities, and envisioning future possibilities. HCD calls for focused attention on customers, patients, clients, employees, etc.  You have probably utilized many HCD techniques (e.g., focus groups, brainstorming, etc.); however, you may not be aware of the full range of possible methods, how to select which methods to use, or how to best execute the methods for your own work.

The range of problems facing investigators are diverse and increasingly complex, such as the logistical challenges of multi-disciplinary or multi-site collaborations, compiling coherent narratives from multiple data sources, or guiding a regulatory submission through the approval process. HCD can augment your existing process for determining the best and most efficient solutions to problems that extend beyond the traditional realm of the scientific method.

CTSI is partnering with the world-renowned educators at LUMA Institute to host their introductory certification course, the foundational Practitioner Certification Program, on May 9 and 10, 2019. Participants will learn the LUMA System of Innovation, a dynamic model that has been applauded in Harvard Business Review as a powerful “Taxonomy of Innovation." The LUMA System has been applied to great effect in business, government, non-profit, and education settings.

This pilot program will offer free of charge to awardees:

• Participation in LUMA's introductory two-day workshop:  Fundamentals of Innovation through Human-Centered Design
• Peer-partner support resources
• Check-in sessions approximately 30, 60, 90 days after the workshop
• A one-year subscription to LUMA Workplace, a digital platform of on-demand design resources 
• LUMA Practitioner Certification credential for qualified participants

The introductory workshop and check-in meetings will be held in CTSI's Forbes Tower Offices (Suite 7057, Atwood and Sennott Streets, Pittsburgh, PA, 15260)

This opportunity is open to early career investigators at the University of Pittsburgh working in research fields that are relevant to human health and wellness. 

Submissions Due:
Friday, April 5, 2019, by 11:59:59 p.m.

Notification to Accepted Applicants:
Thursday, April 11, 2019 by 5:00 p.m.

Initial Workshop Dates:
Thursday, May 9 and Friday, May 10, 2019

Application Materials:
Apply by submitting a one-page letter that includes:

  • Your investigative focus (two to four sentences)
  • A brief description of your career stage and current career development support (one to two sentences)
  • A summary of the problems or challenges which you believe Human-Centered Design could help address (6 to 12 sentences)
  • Why you want to participate in LUMA’s Practitioner Development Program (two to three sentences)
  • Your available commitment to totally participate in LUMA’s two-day kickoff workshop  on May 9 and 10, 2019

All applications should be submitted through Powered by Pinch, before 11:59:59 p.m. on Friday, April 5, 2019. Accepted applicants will be notified by the following Thursday, April 11, 2019.

Review Criteria:
Because of the nature of this opportunity, the primary selection criteria will be applicants availability for the initial two-day workshop on May 9 and 10, from (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.). The other primary review criteria will focus on the creativity and appropriateness of the challenges proposed.

Contact Information:

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please contact Will Hierholzer, administrator for the Pilot Funding Core.

Staff photo
Will Hierholzer
Administrator, Pilot Funding Core
Phone: 412-864-3484
E-mail: wih22@pitt.edu