Steve Caritis Endowed Obstetrics Research Fund for Residents and Fellows
This is an endowed fund established in 2021. The principal amount of the gift shall be held in perpetuity, and only distributed income may be expended for the purpose set forth below. Hopefully, the corpus will increase with more donations such that funding of more projects is possible.
The purpose of this Fund is to encourage obstetrics research among trainees of the Magee-Womens Hospital Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences. Eligible trainees include Magee MFM fellows and residents in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Fellows in other subspecialties within the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences may also apply. Each resident or fellow proposal must involve a University of Pittsburgh faculty mentor who will be committed to the project through its completion.
Approved projects can use the funds received to support obstetric research that is basic, translational or clinical. Research in resident Education and Quality Improvement are also encouraged.
It is also the intent of the donor that project funding be awarded on an annual basis. There may be years in which no proposals meet the funding criteria, and, thus, there may be years in which no projects are funded.
The amount of funding available will differ from year to year and the available funding for each year will be reported to the Selection Committee by the Magee-Womens Research Institute finance department. The Selection Committee will decide how many projects are funded each year based on available funds. The funding limits will be announced annually by the Committee. Funds can only be used to support the costs of the research i.e. lab supplies, patient recruitment, data analytics, etc. Funds cannot be used for faculty salaries, travel, courses, computers, software, books.
A committee will be formed to select one or more projects among those submitted and to assure the integrity of the research being funded. The committee shall consist of three members: the Division Director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Magee, the Magee MFM Fellowship Director and a third member of the MFM faculty at Magee selected by the Fellowship Director and the MFM Division Director. That third member must interact clinically with Magee residents and MFM fellows. Preference should be given to a faculty member with research experience. The tenure of the third person will be determined by the MFM Division Director and the MFM Fellowship Director. The two directors will hold these positions as long as they hold their present administrative roles. The MFM Division Director will administer all aspects of the program.
The Selection Committee shall meet twice a year, once to select the best project and once to follow up on the project progress. The Selection Committee will use the following criteria in selecting among submitted proposals.
- The applicant must have a mentor experienced in research.
- The project is clinically relevant and is likely to lead to a publication.
- The project is likely to be completed in one or two years.
The Selection Committee should be diligent in selecting meritorious proposals based on the quality of the proposal rather than selection based on some potential administrative gain or other determinants unrelated to the quality of the research. The Selection Committee will provide a very brief ‘pink sheet’ summary for all proposals so that applicants and their mentors understand the Selection Committee assessment of the project.
If a member of the selection Committee is the mentor for a submitted project, they will be excused from the review of their project. A third unbiased Magee MFM faculty member experienced in research will be asked to serve as an ad hoc reviewer of that project.
The donor of the research fund can be apprised of the process and outcome as a means of stewardship but cannot be involved in the selection of grant recipients.
Applicants will complete and submit the application form and a detailed proposal. Each applicant must have a mentor who will also submit a letter to the committee outlining their commitment to the project, their oversight and mentoring and a specific study timetable.
Applications are due by April 15 of each year and grantees will be informed by June 1 so that recipient(s) can be announced at the annual Magee resident and fellow graduation event. The fellow or resident will submit their project for IRB approval, if needed, as soon as possible after notification of funding.
Funds for the project will be available July 1 annually. It is anticipated that selected proposal(s) will receive a given amount of funding for that year only and that funding is expected to be sufficient for the entire study proposed although the project may take longer than one year to complete. If the funded project requires additional support, the mentor and trainee will need to apply the following year and compete with other applications. If the project is not completed in one year the mentor and applicant can ask for a one year ‘no-cost’ extension.
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