CMI Round 2 - 2020 Early Stage Medical Technology R&D Program Requests for Proposals


SUBMISSIONS DUE BY 11:59 PM, December 31, 2020.

The University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Medical Innovation (CMI) (Center for Medical Innovation), in collaboration with the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, the Innovation Institute, and the Wallace H. Coulter Translational Research Partnership II, is requesting proposals for early-stage medical technology research and development.

This program has provided seed grant funds for the past eight years. Due to the financial constraints imposed by COVID19, however, the Center’s funding for projects is currently uncertain for CY2021. However, we have decided to proceed with this call for proposals because CMI can still provide advisory services to applicants to create project teams with SOHS physicians, SSOE engineers, and their students. These partnerships add value by helping applicants to refine a clinical problem, and to invent and apply innovative technology. CMI’s function is to provide guidance and experience to teams engaged in early-stage medical product development. Ultimately, CMI is positioned to promote projects with potential for intellectual property (patents) and to improve the project’s chances of obtaining significantly larger funding from external sources. The CMI application process has been simplified to facilitate this new approach.

Process: Proposals 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. The CMI will help in identifying an effective clinician/engineer team based on the successful proposal. Those projects that are favorably reviewed by CMI will receive advisory services and student support for a period of one year. If funding becomes available in CY2021, these projects will be considered for financial support with an early stage seed grant.

Eligibility: Proposals can be submitted by clinically-affiliated faculty members of the Schools of Health Sciences (SoHS), engineering faculty members with primary or secondary appointments in Swanson School of Engineering (SSoE), or a clinician/engineer partnership from SoHS and SSoE. Projects initiated by SSoE or SoHS students are also eligible to apply, but either an engineering or clinical faculty member must sign on as a project advisor. The faculty member will ensure project continuity upon graduation of the student co-PI, if necessary.

Evaluation: Proposals 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 the healthcare system.


Download the form HERE


Proposals must be submitted by 11:59 PM, December 31, 2020 via e-mail to with subject line “CMI early-stage proposal 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:

December 31, 2020: Proposal submission deadline

Jan 15, 2021: CMI initial evaluations completed and responses sent to investigators

Feb 15, 2021: Clinician /engineer/ student teams formed as required with aid of CMI

Mar 1, 2021: CMI project advisement begins.