Mandatory COVID-19 Research Project Submission

This page was last updated on 7/7/20.

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at the University of Pittsburgh has been designated as the central hub for collecting information and providing resources related to COVID-19 research studies. This directive applies to any and all human participant research and basic/pre-clinical research and includes clinical trials, observational studies, survey studies, registries, and any other type of research study.

Please submit a description of your work using one of the buttons below and identify any resources (e.g., funding, collaborations, lab, regulatory, recruitment) that may be needed if your research team at the University of Pittsburgh or UPMC is:

  1. currently conducting COVID-19 research;
  2. planning to implement COVID-19 research;
  3. amending a current research study to include COVID-19 data collection instruments.

Following your submission, a research facilitator will quickly evaluate and respond to your needs. Even if you do not require assistance with your study, please submit your information and we will catalog it in our database.

Our goal is to remove barriers and expedite your research as we face this unprecedented health crisis.

If your study involves human participants and requires HRPO (IRB) approval:


If your study does NOT involve human participants and does NOT require HRPO (IRB) approval:


If you are looking to restart pre-existing clinical research or laboratory (pre-clinical) research activities that was put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, please view the provisional plan here.

Requests to Participate in COVID-19 Trials

Requests to Participate in COVID-19 Trials Many community members have expressed interest in participating in COVID-19 research studies. Interested participants can email CTSI at with their request, or can be directed to the Pitt+Me Registry website to view current COVID-19 study opportunities and/or enroll in Pitt+Me. Pitt+Me is a free service of CSTI that matches participants with research studies.


Dear Colleagues,

Research teams at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC have mobilized to plan and implement clinical trials and clinical research studies related to COVID-19. Given the rapidity of the spread of disease, timely and efficient implementation of studies are critical to their success.

To support and facilitate these studies, we are mobilizing the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), to help coordinate resources, expertise, research tools, and lab capabilities.

CTSI will catalogue every Pitt or UPMC COVID-19 related research protocol involving human subjects and/or associated biosamples, electronic health record and other data. This will enable Pitt and UPMC to:

  • Identify collaborative opportunities among study teams
  • Coordinate with HRPO to streamline regulatory submissions
  • Assess researchers’ needs
  • Provide research tools (e.g., electronic consents)
  • Leverage expertise (e.g., study design)
  • Link to institutional resources (e.g., biobanking, Health Record Research Request (R3))
  • Harmonize data elements across studies
  • Help provide integration with national and international research efforts

We are asking all principal investigators planning or conducting COVID-19 related studies to submit a brief description of their proposal at

Finally, funding opportunities are available from multiple sources. You can find details on this link same as noted above.

Please send requests for additional information, or send ideas that are not yet formed into a defined project to

Arthur S. Levine
Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences

Rob A. Rutenbar
Senior Vice Chancellor for Research

Steven D. Shapiro
Chief Medical and Science Officer

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting tremendous challenges to our society. The progress made to date has been largely driven by previously elucidated knowledge about virology, immunology, biochemistry and molecular biology, and other fields. To promote aggressive social distancing and slow the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 infections, the University of Pittsburgh has shut down all but essential on-campus research.

Some basic science research has the potential to aid efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the short- and medium-term. In order to help coordinate this research and to optimize the potential impact of this research across the University and around the world, we would like all investigators working on such research to provide information about their projects. While research from many fields may be beneficial to these efforts, we are seeking to catalogue only those projects that are (1) directly focused on COVID-19 disease or management or the SARS-CoV-2 virus and (2) have the potential to have impacts of progress in the short- or medium-terms.

Please send requests for additional information or send ideas that are not yet formed into a defined project to

Jeremy M. Berg
Associate Senior Vice Chancellor for Science Strategy and Planning in the Health Sciences

Arthur S. Levine
Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences

Rob A. Rutenbar
Senior Vice Chancellor for Research

Dear University of Pittsburgh research community,

The research response to the COVID-19 outbreak has been overwhelming. Many investigators would like to collect biospecimens on COVID-19 patients in order to better understand and treat the disease. The research around this disease is a new frontier as investigators from multiple disciplines are interested in studying the same patients, and biological specimens from these patients pose significant issues in collection and processing. The COVID-19 Biospecimen Repository Committee has been developing a framework to allow broad access to patient samples to as many investigators as possible. This effort is meant to be inclusive of the research community while balancing safety and feasibility. Several of the unique challenges include:

  • Safe handling of samples:We are developing protocols for safe collection and processing of multiple types of samples. We are working with Environmental Health and Safety to establish collection methods that inactivate the virus and provide guidance for collection and processing of samples with potentially live virus. Any work with samples (including blood and tissue) with potential to aerosolize will need to be in biosafety containment in BSL2+. No samples can be cultured for Sars-CoV-2 or any other cell or virus culture outside of BSL3 in CVR. All studies will require separate permission from EHS for each room and study.
  • Methods for obtaining samples:Because of the need to limit exposure to COVID-19 patients and save PPE for health care workers, specimens can only be collected by a health care worker during routine clinical care. The burden on the care givers will need to be minimized. We are approaching this issue by working with the clinical labs to obtain left-over specimens and developing protocols to streamline additional clinical collection. 
  • Avoiding multiple studies consenting the same patients:Many investigators are interested in collecting samples from COVID-19 patients and we need to be mindful of the burden on patients as well as the amount of blood that can be taken for research. We will centralize a biospecimen repository and appoint a multi-disciplinary committee to oversee sample distribution. We will attempt to centralize common analyses of wide interest (i.e. DNA sequencing, cytokines) and provide this data to investigators. 

We appreciate your patience as we develop the best system to broadly and fairly support this important research. If you have a study that will require biospecimens, please submit a description to the CTSI COVID-19 website. We will share details of this effort as it develops and look forward to working with investigators to maximize ability to conduct this important research. Guidelines around clinical trials will be shared later this week.

The COVID-19 Biospecimen Repository Committee

Derek Angus, MD
Department of Critical Care Medicine

Alison Morris, MD
Chief, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine

Steven Reis, MD
Associate Vice Chancellor for Clinical Research

Steven Shapiro, MD
Chief Medical and Science Officer

Alan Wells, MD
Executive Vice-Chairman of the Section of Laboratory Medicine