Supporting Our Scientists (SOS)

Supporting our Scientists (SOS) is a year-long program that supports faculty members who have experienced undue caregiving responsibilities as a result of COVID, and whose research productivity and career trajectory has been disrupted due to these responsibilities. Thanks to the American Heart Association and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation as well as the Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences, we can award 20 junior faculty across the schools of health sciences.


The major components of SOS include research funding, career development, and work-life integration:

Research funding: Recipients are provided $35,000 for supplemental research support. These funds can be used for "extra hands" efforts (e.g. technician, research coordinator, contractual services), grant-writing support, or can be used to buy out of required clinical time.

Career Development: Recipients can:

  • Receive career coaching from certified coaches.
  • Participate in various courses to aid in their career development. For example,
    • Medical Writing and Presentation Skills, which teaches scholars to communicate their research clearly.
    • Grant Writing, which focuses on writing competitive research grants.
    • Strategic Leadership, which focuses on advancing in academia.

Work-life integration: Each recipient will be given a ‘work-life flexibility debit card.’ The card can be used to pay for time-saving activities (e.g., child/family care, personal shopping, housekeeping, laundry services, pet needs, prepared meals, lawn mowing, etc.)


Eligibility:

The following criteria must be met for a faculty member to be eligible for SOS:

  • Experienced undue caregiving responsibilities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Been an assistant professor in one of the Pitt health science schools for at least two years
  • Have or have had independent, externally funded, research support (any R level grant, K award, or equivalent)

How do I apply?

The application is available now and is due April 18th at 5PM EST. To access the online application, please click here.

Application includes: the applicant's name, email, CV, research focus, and research funding. The application also includes the following questions (each max 250 words).

  1. How has the pandemic impacted your research trajectory?
  2. What are your caregiving responsibilities and how have these responsibilities impacted your research career?
  3. What other resources are available to you to help with your research?
  4. How would this funding help you in your career success?
  5. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your situation that can potentially impact your career?

If you have any questions, please contact the program coordinator Alana Karras at ahk39@pitt.edu.


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