Pilot Funding

The funding programs offered by the CTSI Pilot Funding Core provide researchers at the University of Pittsburgh the necessary financial support to begin to translate innovative ideas into impactful research. Our funding programs offer investigators the opportunity to collect preliminary data that can then inform the design of future studies. By designing funding programs around specific areas of research, the Pilot Funding Core encourages investigators to expand their work into new and vital fields.

For an up-to-date look at all open competitions, please visit the Funding Opportunities page.



Rapid Pilot Program

Over the course of the 2022 calendar year, CTSI will be awarding up to $1 million in institutional funds through its Rapid Pilot competitions. Similar to the COVID-19 Pilot awards from 2020, these competitions are meant to foster interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research collaboration, stimulate the innovative collection and use of data and address specific health questions that are becoming increasingly relevant within the nexus of the medical community and public discourse.

The series of pilot competitions will include, but are not limited to, the following themes:

  • Influence of public confidence in research
  • Health disparities in gender and sex
  • Health disparities in race and ethnicity
  • Effects and physiology of mindfulness
  • Recruitment into clinical research
  • Developing Background Data for SBIR

In addition, CTSI encourages you to reach out to us with any ideas you may have for competition themes. Not solely limited to issues within the broader health community at-large, we also welcome suggestions on topics that may be of unique interest and importance to the University of Pittsburgh medical community or Western Pennsylvania region.

Please reach out to ctsipilots@pitt.edu with your suggestions!

Pilot Programs

Biomedical Modeling Pilots

Offered by the Biomedical Modeling Core, these pilots support collaborative research from translational scientists and computational modelers.


CRISP: CTSI's Research Initiative for Special Populations

CRISP was developed with the Engaging Special Populations Core to stimulate research that addresses relevant clinical problems for populations that are underrepresented in biomedical research.


QuMP: Quantitative Methodologies Pilots

The Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design Core sponsors QuMP to encourage the development of new data analytic methodologies.


REAL: REsearch Across the Lifespan

The Engaging Special Populations Core uses the REAL pilots to promote research that examines changes in biological and psychosocial mechanisms across the entire human lifespan.


SPIRiT: Sharing Partnership for Innovative Research in Translation

The SPIRiT (Sharing Partnership for Innovative Research in Translation) pilots are open to research teams that include collaborators from at least two sites in the SPIRiT Consortium: Johns Hopkins University, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh, Washington University in St. Louis, and Yale University.



The WORDOUT program from the Community PARTners Core seeks to engage with community organizations to share information about research results.


DISPA: Dissemination and Implementation Science Pilot Award

The DISPA program supports new or ongoing research that focuses on using dissemination and implementation research methods to support the adoption, implementation, or maintenance of an evidence-based practice or program.


Exploring Existing Data Resources Pilot

The Exploring Existing Data Resources Pilot program stimulates exploration, novel analyses, or novel applications of the many biorepositories and data collections that are already available.


Implementation Lab Pilot Award (ILPA)

These unique pilots are designed to support investigators interested in improving the implementation of evidence-based practices and programs.


If you received services through the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) that contributed to the scientific knowledge disseminated in publications, please acknowledge CTSI with the following citation:

The project described was supported by the National Institutes of Health through Grant Number UL1TR001857. 

Team & Contact Info

Facilitator Photo
Clifton Callaway
Director, Pilot Funding Core
Phone: 412-647-6999
E-mail: callawaycw@upmc.edu
Facilitator Photo
Aleks Zivic
Administrator, Pilot Funding Core
E-mail: abz17@pitt.edu
Facilitator Photo

For general questions, contact us at
E-mail: ctsipilots@pitt.edu