By MELISSA SCHILD
Earlier this week, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher wrote to all faculty and staff and invited them to submit their “big and bold ideas” to the Pitt Seed Project, which has played — and will continue to play — a major role in advancing the Plan for Pitt. Rather than rehash what he said, I have asked the chancellor if we may feature his message in this month’s column. I encourage you to read it below.
In the meantime, my strategic planning colleagues and I remain available (via Plan4Pitt@pitt.edu) to discuss your ideas for implementing the Plan for Pitt. We are excited to see what ideas faculty and staff come up with in the latest Pitt Seed cycle.
The Pitt Seed Project is back — and better than ever.
The program, now in its fifth cycle, aids faculty and staff in developing ideas that will advance the University of Pittsburgh’s strategic plan and have a systemwide impact.
This cycle is the program’s first to align with our new Plan for Pitt and run on an extended timeline — a move that enables us to offer participants more opportunities for training, collaboration and financial support.
We’ve set a Feb. 7, 2022, deadline for all Pitt Seed proposals, which must be packaged as a video pitch running 90 seconds or less. To start, we’ll select up to 30 ideas to support, with the lead applicant from each team receiving a $2,000 stipend for training on Pitt policies, processes and infrastructure that can help move their proposal forward.
Come May 2022, we’ll whittle the pitch pool down to 10 standout entries — our official class of Pitt Seed Project grantees — and award each team up to $75,000 apiece to continue developing their ideas. This group will be eligible for a second significant funding opportunity, a grant capped at $500,000, that up to two teams can earn and apply to sustain and scale their idea institution-wide.
This new two-grant approach is designed to support the longevity — and not just the launch — of internally focused strategic changes that have the potential to systematically enhance how our campus community connects and operates.
You can learn more about our new-and-improved Pitt Seed Program design by attending one of our virtual information sessions or by visiting the Pitt Seed Project webpage, which includes an updated frequently asked questions section.
I am excited to kick off this next cycle and hear your big and bold ideas on how we can advance the Plan for Pitt in ways that will make our University community an even better place to work, teach and learn.
Melissa Schild is assistant vice chancellor for strategic planning and performance and leads the University’s strategic planning efforts.