Opportunities for Scholars

The Mellon Scholar program of the Richard King Mellon Institute for Pediatric Research at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is designed to mentor researchers and physician-scientists as they apply for funding. Opportunities for Mellon Scholars include:

  • Innovation Awards
  • “Specific Aims” Talks
  • Mock Grant Application Study Section Reviews

Innovation Awards

The Innovation Awards of the Richard King Mellon Institute for Pediatric Research at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh provides an opportunity for Mellon Scholars to apply for financial support for new research ideas that are highly imaginative but not yet reinforced by extensive preliminary results.

These awards enable researchers and physician-scientists to explore their idea before they are ready to apply for extramural funding while still encouraging collaboration.

Innovation Awards will be granted twice a year and processed through the Research Advisory Committee grant application process. Mechanism of support include:

  • R21-like larger grant: $100,000 per year for two years
  • Pilot grant: $50,000 per year for two years
  • Trainee grant: $50,00 per year for two years

“Specific Aims” Talks

One of the most difficult skills in designing a proposal for external finding is developing specific aims. “Specific Aims” Talks are a forum for Mellon Scholars to “road test” research design before submitting applications to extramural funders. The Scholars will prepare 20 to 40 minute presentations and invite peers with relevant expertise to service as a sounding board.

Mock Grant Application Study Section Reviews

For Mellon Scholars applying for large grants, a standing group of senior investigators will review, score, and discuss proposals as they would for a National Institutes of Health Study Section. Scholars will receive written comments that will help them hone their applications prior to submission.