Students in lab

Research Support

Funding Opportunities and Resources

Services provided by Research Support include funding opportunities and other resources that support research, scholarly, and creative work of USC Upstate faculty, undergraduate and graduate students.

Internal funding programs can be found below and through the SARS Funding Opportunties Portal

Dissemination outlets organized by the Research Support Office include the Annual Research Symposium and the Student Research Journal.

Please contact Dr. Joshua Ruppel or at 864-503-5720 with any questions regarding any of the funding or dissemination opportunities offered.

Upcoming Deadline: Wednesday, September 27th, 2023

  • Course Reallocation (Spring 2024 award)
  • Student Assistantship (Spring 2024 award)

Please refer to the SARS Calendar for all program dates and deadlines.

Internal Opportunities

Advanced Support for Innovative Research Excellence (ASPIRE)

Created by the Office of the Vice President for Research (USC Columbia) to advance research and scholarly activities. For more information (including details about different tracks of funding and all necessary forms), please see the ASPIRE web site

Course Reallocation Program

The Scholarly Course Reallocation program is intended to increase a faculty member’s research, scholarly, or creative productivity by reducing their course load for a semester by one course. This program will award up to $2,500 to the faculty member’s department to hire an adjunct instructor who will teach the course that the faculty member would have been teaching. All full-time USC Upstate faculty members are eligible to apply for this program. A faculty member can only be awarded one course release per academic year through this program, and the funds cannot be used to fulfill degree requirements. 

Program Description

Apply Now

Grant Incentive Program
NOTE: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis (no fixed deadline) but must be submitted at least 30 days before the grant submission deadline.

The Grant Incentive Program is intended to promote and reward grantsmanship by USC Upstate faculty. The Grant Incentive Program is non-competitive and awards a $500 dollar stipend to faculty that prepare and submit eligible external grant proposals. More details concerning the program (application, eligibility, etc.) can be found the program description linked below.

Program Description

Apply Now

Magellan Mentors Program

The Magellan Mentors Program is intended to help faculty members provide students with experiential learning opportunities. Faculty members whose students have received a Magellan Scholar Award through USC Columbia are eligible to compete for a $3,000.00 incentive in support of their project.

Program Description

Apply Now

Magellan Scholars Program

This program is only open to undergraduate students.

The Magellan Scholar program was created to enrich the academic experience of USC’s undergraduates through research opportunities in all disciplines from science, technology and medicine, to theatre, music and art. By providing access to faculty mentoring relationships and a professional research experience, this program enables students to creatively explore their interests at a more in-depth level than can be attained in the classroom. The Magellan Scholar program provides opportunities for undergraduates to build a competitive edge in the job market. This program is offered by USC Columbia ( and is available to USC Upstate students. For more information, please contact Dr. Joshua Ruppel or 864-503-5720.

Mini-Grant Program

The Mini-Grant Program is offered by the USC Upstate Office of Sponsored Awards and Research Support (SARS). The program supports faculty members and students in their pursuit of research, scholarship, and creative collaborations. The faculty mentor submits an application for funding to support a project that includes at least one student researcher. It is very important that the application clearly articulates (i) how support from the mini-grant program helps to make the project possible, and (ii) the scholarly/creative outcomes for both the faculty mentor and student(s).

Program Description

Apply Now

Research Initiative for Summer Engagement (RISE) Fund

Created by the Office of the Vice President for Research (USC Columbia) to assist faculty of the senior campuses to enhance their research and scholarship activities, as well as to provide an opportunity for them to explore new areas of research/scholarship. More information is available on the RISE award cycle as well as detailed criteria (including details about different tracks of funding and all necessary forms). 

Student Assistantship Program

The Scholarly Student Assistantship program provides valuable learning opportunities and financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students by creating opportunities for them to collaborate with faculty members who conduct research projects and who are engaged in creative and scholarly activities. This contributes to the students' overall academic experience, and more effectively prepares those students who intend to pursue graduate level or professional studies, as well as careers in which they are required to develop and manage similar projects.

The program allows faculty members to compete for financial support for student assistants; the award is to the faculty mentor, but the funds are distributed to the student assistant. Thus, the faculty mentor submits an application for funding to support their assistant. It is very important that the faculty member clearly articulates (i) how the experience will professionally benefit the participating student and (ii) how the student assistant will significantly increase the faculty member's research, scholarly, or creative productivity.

The award has two categories:

  • Student Research Assistant: Where the student is directly and substantively involved in assisting the faculty member with a scholarly project.
  • Student Teaching Assistant: Where the student is indirectly involved with assisting the faculty member with a scholarly project by alleviating the faculty member’s teaching-related duties.
    • NOTE: In this latter category, the student cannot perform lecture or regular classroom duties. The student is only allowed to help in teaching-related duties such as grading, study sessions, etc.

Program Description

Apply Now  

Start-Up Package Program

The Scholarly Start-Up Package program is intended to help new tenure track faculty members across all disciplines at USC Upstate advance their scholarly agenda at USC Upstate, and to encourage new hires to work toward applying for external funds to support their research and scholarship. Only tenure track hires in their first three years are eligible to apply for this $5,000.00 award.

Program Description

Apply Now

Student Travel Support Program
Please contact Dr. Joshua Ruppel at 864.503.5720 or via email before applying to discuss your request.

The Student Travel Support (STS) program provides financial support to offset the costs of students traveling to present the results of their faculty-mentored research, scholarly endeavors, or creative activities at a professional or scholarly meeting, symposium, performance, or exhibition. A faculty mentor submits the application, as they are the anchor for the research collaboration.

Applications are received on a rolling basis - there is no deadline to apply.

Program Description

Apply Now

The Research Advisory Council

Research Advisory Council

The Research Advisory Council makes decisions on the primary internal funding applications. It also helps guide research and granting writing support initiatives at USC Upstate. The formal description of the Research Advisory Council is available.

Dr. Richmond Adebiaye
Assistant Professor 
Department of Informatics
College of Science and Technology

Dr. Michael Dinger
Associate Professor of Management 
George Dean Johnson Jr., College of Business and Economics 

Dr. Tina Herzberg
Professor and Coordinator of Special Education – Visual Impairment Program
School of Education, Human Performance and Health

Dr. Lex Lancaster
Assistant Professor of Art History and Gallery Director
Affiliate faculty, Women's and Gender Studies
Department of Fine Arts and Communication Studies
College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Dr. Kristi Miller
Assistant Professor
Mary Black School of Nursing 

Dr. Elham Sohrabi
Assistant Professor of Mathematics 
Division of Mathematics and Computer Science 
College of Science and Technology

Dr. Joshua Ruppel
Director of Research
Professor of Chemistry
Division of Natural Sciences & Engineering
College of Science and Technology
Chair of Research Advisory Council