Competitive Medical Research Fund Grant Application

Dear Colleague:

The University of Pittsburgh Office of Research, Health Sciences (OORHS) is pleased to solicit applications for Fiscal Year 2021 grant support from the UPMC Competitive Medical Research Fund (CMRF). The deadline for receipt of applications is Monday, January 6, 2020, and successful applications will receive funding effective July 1, 2020.

The UPMC Health System established the CMRF in 1985 with the intent of providing modest research support across the broad range of the biomedical sciences. See the current CMRF policies for detailed information about the goals of the CMRF program and eligibility requirements. Please review the application instructions carefully before preparing an application.

The intent of the CMRF program is to provide funds for junior, independent scientists to develop the preliminary data and refinement of procedures and hypotheses that will enable submission of highly competitive applications to national funding sources.

  • Faculty members at the level of assistant /research assistant professor are eligible. In rare circumstances, applications from associate professors will be considered if the applicant can demonstrate that he or she has only recently begun independent research activities.
  • Standard CMRF awards are $25,000. If a compelling case for need can be made, up to $40,000 may be requested. Funds awarded may be expended over a period of up to 24 months.  
  • For the past five years, the success rate for applications has averaged 34%.
  • The potential for receiving research funding is not the only benefit of applying to the CMRF.  The experience of completing an application and learning from the written reviews of that application is sufficiently valuable that many applicants (even those who are unsuccessful in obtaining funding on first submission) have made explicit comments attesting to the value of the CMRF experience.

If you have questions relating to the CMRF, please contact Ms. Selena A. Crawford, CMRF Coordinator, in the Office of Research, Health Sciences (Telephone: 412-648-2233; E-mail:

We look forward to your participation in this rewarding program.

Michelle S. Broido, PhD
Associate Vice Chancellor for Biomedical Research
Director, Office of Research, Health Sciences