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February 9, 2018

Chancellor: Faculty, Staff Pitt Seed Projects ‘Instrumental’ in Moving Strategic Plan Forward

Last month, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher announced the launch of Pitt Seed Projects, a new initiative for faculty and staff to submit “transformative” project proposals that directly support one or more of the goals and strategies outlined in the University’s strategic plan.

According to the Pitt Seed website, project proposals can address a variety of areas of University focus that are relevant to all faculty and staff, including:

  • research ideas;
  • academic programs;
  • process improvement;
  • diversity;
  • community and industry partnership development;
  • outreach;
  • methods of teaching and learning, workshops and lectures; and
  • enhancing the student experience.

Funding for selected project proposals will come from the Office of the Chancellor and applicants can request up to $50,000 in project support.

Following the announcement, Gallagher answered questions posed by the University Times about the new initiative and the role faculty and staff play in advancing the strategic goals of Pitt.

Why is it important for faculty and staff to contribute ideas for Pitt Seed Projects?

We are looking for the biggest and best ideas on how we can advance the goals and strategies within “The Plan for Pitt.” Engaging faculty and staff members is essential to this work, and the Pitt Seed Project funding mechanism is one way that we can identify and invest in great ideas from our University community.

What kinds of projects are acceptable?

Submitted projects must support one or more goals within the “The Plan for Pitt.” While alignment with our strategic plan is important, applicants should also focus on the review criteria. This means identifying a proposed project’s impact and capacity for transformation as well as demonstrating how it is transdisciplinary and sustainable.

How do Pitt Seed Projects advance the University’s strategic goals and mission?

This program allows us to go to the source — the people who live out our University’s mission on a day-to-day basis. In doing this, we can identify great ideas from our faculty and staff members and — even more — enable these ideas to play an instrumental role in moving our Plan for Pitt forward. This type of active engagement is critical to the implementation of any strategic plan.

Faculty and staff members with busy schedules might not have time to manage another project. Can they still contribute their ideas?

Applying for a Pitt Seed Project is just one way — but not the only way — that our community members can engage in advancing “The Plan for Pitt.” If faculty and staff members are crunched for time but have promising ideas about how to move our strategic plan forward, I encourage them to talk with the leadership in their department, school or unit.

In addition to funding, are there other resources or assistance from departments the University can offer to help launch Pitt Seed Projects?

We are a University with a wealth of talent! I hope faculty and staff members will reach out to colleagues, both inside and outside of Pitt, and also work across departments, schools and units to complete their applications.


Seed Project applications and supporting materials can be submitted now through March 5. Visit the Pitt Seed Project webpage for additional details about the initiative, eligibility guidelines and the selection process.


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