Pitt Innovation Challenge 2023

Applications are due Friday, May 12 at 11:59 p.m.

The Pitt Innovation Challenge (PInCh®) is a funding and development program for bold solutions to challenging health problems.

We are looking for proposals from any discipline, topic, or idea that impacts health. Whether it’s a new device, groundbreaking therapeutic, preventative clinical intervention, or transformative community program – we want to see your idea that improves lives!

CTSI Funding Programs Open House

Join us as we celebrate the tenth year of PInCh by inviting both current applicants and past awardees
to highlight the impactful health science work happening at Pitt.

At the Campus View Club of the Petersen Events Center on Wednesday, June 7 from 4 to 6 p.m.

Challenge Details


We are looking for bold solutions at any stage, as long as the PInCh program can meaningfully move this work closer to improving lives.

Your solution does not need to be a product that is ready for commercialization. We welcome early-stage ideas, and projects that can achieve health and societal impact through commercial and non-commercialization pathways. We encourage projects that create new connections within the academic community, and among universities and community organizations.


Up to $555,000 in total is available, with one-year project awards of up to $100,000 (minimum $35,000).

Each winning team will also receive project management support to help execute a 12-month project that moves the team’s solution further along the Path to Impact.

Makers Bonus Award

For our tenth year, we are awarding Bonus Awards to anyone who engages with the Makerspaces at the Pitt Swanson School of Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship program.

Bonus Award eligibility is not a requirement for PInCh – it is separate from PInCh awards selection, only assessed during the final round of the competition. Bonus-eligible projects will receive additional funding, but will not otherwise have a competitive advantage.

How to Enter

Round 1: A two-minute video describing the problem you plan to solve, your idea for a bold novel solution, and your team.

Round 2: Selected teams will be invited to submit a written document expanding on the idea (Project Description, Budget, Budget Justification), and have an Invention Disclosure on file with the Innovation Institute.

Round 3: Selected teams will be invited to submit a Response to Reviewers, and pitch their idea to a panel of judges and the public at the PInCh Final Event.

Final Event: Pitt Innovation Challenge award winners will be announced at the Final Event after teams pitch their solutions to a panel of judges.

Key Dates

Round 1 Application Window:
April 5 – May 12

Round 2 Application Window:
June 13 - July 7

Pitch Coaching Sessions:
August 21 – September 29

PInCh Final Event:
October 4

The PInCh Final Event and 10 Year Anniversary celebration will take place on Wednesday October 4. Details will be provided on this page, and on Twitter @Pitt_PInCh and #PittPInCh.

Need help with your submission? Contact us at pinch@pitt.edu – first-time PInCh applicants, or those who have not previously received awards, are highly encouraged to contact us during your submission!


A diverse, extensive panel of judges from academia, industry, and Pittsburgh community leaders will review entries. Refer to the Round Details page for details on specific judging criteria.

In general, judges will review using the following criteria:

  • Problem – Definition & Significance
  • Solution – Description & Feasibility
  • Innovation – Novelty, Path to Impact, Overall Impact
  • Team – Primary Investigator must be a full-time University of Pittsburgh faculty member. Teams are encouraged to include cross-disciplinary academic, community, and/or company partners.
  • Project Plan – Milestones & Budget
  • Science Communication for both reviewers and the public.

Are you a solver? Join the challenge!

Applications are due Friday, May 12 at 11:50 p.m.