Sponsored Awards and Research Support at USC Upstate

Research Support

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.

Applications for the Scholarly Student Travel Grant Program and the Mini-Grant Program are taken on a rolling basis. All SARS award recipients must complete a Final Report Form within 30 days of the end of the award's grant period or travel return date.


Scholarly Student Assistantship Program

The Scholarly Student Assistantship program provides valuable learning opportunities and financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students by creating opportunities for students to assist and collaborate with faculty members who conduct research projects and 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 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.

The faculty member must very clearly articulate the specific ways that his/her scholarly efforts will be substantially improved with the help of this teaching assistant.

Program Description

Apply Now  

Scholarly Student Mini-Grant Program

This program provides competitive funding opportunities for full or part-time undergraduate and graduate students wishing to pursue independent scholarly research or creative projects under the guidance of USC Upstate faculty, staff or qualified outside professionals. Projects must have the potential to lead towards significant contributions in the field of study in order to be considered for funding. Students involved in continuing projects may apply for and receive funding each semester for the duration of their project. Funds can be used to purchase materials and supplies or to offset other miscellaneous expenses.

Program Description

Apply Now

Scholarly Student Travel Grant Program

This program provides competitive funding for undergraduate and graduate students to offset travel and registration costs associated with either:

  • the presentation of the results of their scholarly, research or creative works at professional meetings or other qualified outside venues or
  • attending an event in order to bring vital knowledge back to USC Upstate that will have a direct and positive impact on a scholarly project.

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

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 (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.


Additional Opportunities

Can't Find Something Right For You?
Many research, scholarly and creative areas can benefit from the above funding opportunities; however, you might need a special type of funding that does not fit into any of the above programs. Please let us know and perhaps a special award can be made that better fits your particular project. For more information, please contact Dr. Melissa Pilgrim or at 864-503-5781.


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

Scholarly Course Reallocation Program

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.

Program Description

Apply Now

Scholarly Startup Package

The Scholarly Course Reallocation Program is intended to provide initial momentum to a faculty member’s research, scholarly or creative productivity with a $5,000 startup package. Only tenure-track hires in their first three years are eligible to apply.

Program Description

Apply Now

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

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). 

Teaching and Productivity Scholarship (TAPS) FundTeaching and Productivity Scholarship (TAPS) Fund

The purpose of the USC Upstate Teaching and Productive Scholarship (TAPS) Fund is to promote good scholarship, including original research projects, programs that support curriculum development, and travel for presentation of scholarship. Funded projects will support the scholarship process with the goal of formal presentation and/or publication, improve pedagogy and curriculum development to contribute to the USC Upstate mission and/or enable major service projects which require application of scholarly and/or professional knowledge.TAPS awards are coordinated by the Teaching and Excellence Committee (TEC). Please visit the TEC web site for more details.


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 
Term: September 2017- August 2020 

Dr. Michael Dinger 
Associate Professor of Management 
George Dean Johnson Jr., College of Business and Economics 
Term: September 2017 - August 2020 

Dr. Briget Doyle 
Associate Professor of Geology 
Division of Natural Sciences and Engineering 
College of Science and Technology
Term: September 2017 - August 2020 

Dr. Lynette Gibson 
Associate Dean, Greenville Campus 
Professor and Director of Research in Nursing
Mary Black School of Nursing 
Term: September 2017- August 2020 

Dr. Rebecca Mueller
Assistant Professor of Social Studies Education
School of Education, Human Performance and Health
Term: September 2018 – August 2021

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

Dr. Carolyn Webber
Assistant Professor
Department of Fine Arts and Communications Studies
College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences 
Term: September 2018 – August 2021