Sponsored Awards and Research Support at USC Upstate

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.

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

Please contact Dr. Melissa Pilgrim or at 864-503-5781 with any questions regarding any of the the funding or dissemination opportunities offered.

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

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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

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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 (http://www.sc.edu/our/magellan.shtml) and is available to USC Upstate students. For more information, please contact Dr. Melissa Pilgrim or 864-503-5781.


Mini-Grant Program

The Scholarly Student Mini-Grant program supports faculty members and students in their pursuit of research, scholarship, and creative collaborations. The program allows faculty members to compete for financial support for scholarly and creative projects that include students. Mini Grant funds can be used to purchase project materials and supplies, or to offset other miscellaneous expenses associated with the project.

The award is to the faculty mentor. Thus, 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 faculty member 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

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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

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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

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Student Travel Support Program
The Student Travel Program has been cancelled for the 2020-2021 academic year due to the pandemic.

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

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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. Andrew Beer
Professor of Psychology 
College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences 

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

Dr. Briget Doyle
Associate Professor of Geology 
Division of Natural Sciences and Engineering 
College of Science and Technology

Dr. Lynette Gibson
Associate Dean, Greenville Campus 
Professor and Director of Research in Nursing
Mary Black School of Nursing 

Dr. Lex Lancaster
Assistant Professor of Art History
Department of Fine Arts and Communications Studies 

Dr. Rebecca Mueller
Assistant Professor of Social Studies Education
School of Education, Human Performance and Health

Dr. Melissa Pilgrim
Professor of Biology
Division of Natural Sciences & Engineering
College of Science and Technology
Chair of Research Advisory Council