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These 10 projects are moving to phase four of the Pitt Seed Program

a statue in front of the Cathedral

Ten semifinalists have been selected for phase four of the University's recently overhauled internal funding competition, the Pitt Seed Program. Since its creation in 2018, Pitt Seed has sought transformative project proposals to improve the University and push forward the goals outlined in the Plan for Pitt.

This phase’s grantees will receive an award of up to $75,000 to continue developing their proposals. Of the 10 semifinalists, six projects are faculty led and four are staff led.

“Throughout the Pitt Seed competition cohort training phase, faculty and staff came together to refine and strengthen their ideas. The collaborative spirit and innovative thinking exhibited was remarkable to witness,” said Julia Spears, associate vice provost for academic innovation, adding, “we’re elated to see how these ten inaugural Pitt Seed 2.0 partners evolve their projects toward the goals of the Plan for Pitt.”

The next phase of Pitt Seed begins in spring 2023 when up to two projects will be selected to present their pilot data for the opportunity to receive a grant capped at $500,000 each. They will then commit to sustaining and scaling their idea University-wide over the course of one to three years.

The projects moving to phase four are:

  • Carrie Benson (A&S ’08, EDUC ’12G), Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Survivor Support on Campus, Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Sheila Confer (A&S ’96G, EDUC ’17G), Building an Ecosystem of Wellness Across University of Pittsburgh Campuses and Communities, Pitt-Greensburg
  • Jennifer Decima (SHRS ’94), ATTAIN Student Experience Dashboard, Pitt Information Technology
  • Susan Graff (A&S ’08G, SHRS ’12G), CUPID: Fostering an Inclusive Community in the Schools of the Health Sciences, Department of Physician Assistant Studies
  • Sera Linardi, Building Data Science for Social Justice (DS4SJ) Ecosystems: Sustaining Impact, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
  • Rebekah Miller (SCI ’16G), Disrupting Health Dis- and Misinformation in the Patient-Care Setting: Open Educational Resources for Nurse Education, Health Sciences Library System
  • Michele Reid-Vazquez, Ethnic Studies Research Incubator, University Center for International Studies-Center for Ethnic Studies Research
  • Belkys Torres, Global Leaders Network, University Center for International Studies
  • Kelsey Voltz-Poremba (EDUC ’11, SHRS ’13G, ’19G), Advancing Community Engagement - The Pitt “ACE” Program, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
  • Jennifer Woodward, University of Pittsburgh Master’s and Certification Programs in Research Administration, Office of Sponsored Programs


Learn more about Pitt Seed, the Plan for Pitt and the ten semifinalist projects.