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Office of the Vice President for Research


Pew Biomedical Scholars

The University of South Carolina is one of only 177 institutions eligible to compete in the Pew Biomedical Scholars Program. USC was selected in 2018 to join this prestigious program because of the scope of our university’s biomedical research portfolio.

The Pew Charitable Trusts has invited USC assistant professors of outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of human health to compete for funding through the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences. The Pew Biomedical Scholars award is an annual program that provides $300,000 in flexible support for the selected recipient to use over four years ($75,000 per year) to conduct biomedical research.

Internal selection process

USC may submit only one Pew Biomedical Scholars Program application per year. To ensure that USC’s biomedical researchers have the best possible chance at receiving funding through the program, the Office of the Vice President for Research coordinates an internal selection process to determine who will apply to the program each year.

The Office of Research collects all pre-proposal applications and shares them with a committee made up of well-established senior faculty from various colleges with expertise in biomedical sciences. The committee reviews all eligible applications carefully and selects the strongest candidate to apply to the program. The Office of the Vice President for Research then works with the selected candidate to complete and submit the Pew Biomedical Scholars Program application.

Pre-proposal application guidelines

  • Any eligible assistant professor may apply for the Pew Biomedical Scholars Program (see eligibility criteria below for details).
  • Pre-proposal application packages must be submitted as a single PDF file, and must include the following components:
    • National Institutes of Health (NIH) Biosketch
    • One letter of recommendation from the applicant’s department chair or center director
    • Three-page summary of the proposed research project

Eligibility Criteria: 2019 Pew Biomedical Scholars Award

The Pew Charitable Trusts has laid out very specific criteria to determine eligibility for the 2019 Pew Biomedical Scholars Program. Please review the following criteria carefully to determine if you are eligible for the program.

  • Candidates must have been awarded a doctorate in biomedical sciences, medicine or a related field.
  • As of Oct. 15, 2018, nominees must hold full-time appointments at the rank of assistant professor.
    • Appointments such as Research Assistant Professor, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor Research Track, Visiting Professor or Instructor are not eligible.
  • On June 29, 2018, candidates must have been in such an appointment for less than three years (not appointed before June 29, 2015), whether or not such an appointment was on a tenure track.
    • Time spent in clinical internships, residencies, or in work toward board certification does not count as part of this three-year limit
  • Candidates may be nominated by their institution two times in total. All applicants must be nominated by their institution and must complete the 2019 online application.
  • If an applicant’s university has more than one eligible nominating institution or campus, that applicant may only apply from one institution; they may not reapply in a subsequent year from a different one.

Based on their performance during their education and training, candidates should demonstrate outstanding promise as contributors in science relevant to human health. Strong proposals will incorporate particularly creative and innovative approaches. Candidates whose work is based on biomedical principles, but brings in concepts and theories from more diverse fields, are encouraged to apply.  Risk-taking is encouraged. Selection of the successful candidates will be based on a detailed description of the work that the applicant proposes to undertake, evaluations of the candidate’s performance, and notable past accomplishments, including honors, awards and publications.

In evaluating the candidates, the National Advisory Committee gives considerable weight to evidence that the candidate is a successful independent investigator and has published significant work. Funding from the NIH, other government sources, and project grants from non-profit associations do not pose a conflict with the Pew scholars program.

Additional information on the Pew Biomedical Scholars Program is available on the Pew Charitable Trusts website.