Dean's Faculty Advancement Award


Successful and timely progression of faculty along the traditional academic career path is increasingly challenging. Obtaining and renewing funding, initiating new and collaborative projects, and gaining recognition by the scientific community are essential elements for promotion to the associate and full professor level. This critical period in early and mid-career often coincides with increased family pressures including childcare and/or eldercare responsibilities. For some faculty members, these extraprofessional responsibilities are sufficiently significant to threaten their likelihood of advancement and promotion.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is fully committed to supporting the success of all of the outstanding faculty members that we recruit to our institution. To this end, applications are now open for the Dean's Faculty Advancement Award, an awards program funded by the School of Medicine and UPMC that is intended to enable junior and mid-career faculty members to maintain their research trajectory during a challenging period in their life and career. These competitive awards provide $35,000 per year for two consecutive years to help support the research and career development of faculty members facing significant personal responsibilities.


This award is targeted toward tenure-stream and appointment stream assistant and associate professors whose primary focus is basic or clinical research and who have significant extra-professional, personal responsibilities that impact their research productivity. Research prefix faculty members who wish to apply are requested to contact Dr. Weisz in advance.

Eligible faculty members interested in applying should follow the instructions below.

Please note: Application deadlines are typically in April and are announced by email to all faculty members each year. Successful applicants will be notified in June for a July 1 start date.


Part 1 of the Application

Cover page information is to be submitted online through the following link. Complete the form
The information requested includes the applicant’s name, campus address, campus phone, email, academic title, degree, SOM Department/Division, and the research project title.

Part 2 of the Application

Please note: Items 1 through 5 below are to be submitted in a single PDF document to

  1. NIH-style Biosketch. Please include other support, with dollar amounts and % effort of current, previous, and pending support listed (including any startup funds or other institutional support).
  2. One-page research proposal directed towards a general, scientifically literate audience. Funds for this award can be used to supplement funds available for an existing research project(s) or to initiate a new research direction. The proposal should clearly state whether this represents an ongoing or a new research path for the applicant.
  3. Letter of support from the applicant’s department chair or division chief (one-page limit) commenting on the applicant’s prior contributions, the potential for maintaining a productive research career, and outlining his/her professional responsibilities within the Department/ Division.
  4. Statement from the applicant (one-page limit) describing his/her extra-professional responsibilities and the impact of these personal obligations on his/her career advancement. This statement must also explain specifically how the requested funds will be used to advance the applicant’s career within this context and how these funds will enable the applicant to balance the challenge of their competing personal demands.
  5. Budget and brief justification. Up to $35,000/year for two years can be requested. Funds should be used to support the applicant’s research goals and career advancement. This can include salary for research staff or trainees, research supplies, and professional development activities. The award may not be used to support the PI’s salary.


Applications will be reviewed by a committee of SOM faculty members tasked with making funding decisions based on an evaluation of the applicant’s qualifications and research potential and the value of this award to their career advancement. In keeping with the specific intent of this award program, applications that clearly convey how the funding will confer career benefits while the applicant tends to compete with personal demands will be most strongly considered.


Funds from this award are discretionary and may be used to support the applicant’s research and career advancement goals as described in Section 5 above. All funds must be expended within three years of the award starting date.


Please contact Dr. Ora Weisz