The Office of the Vice President for Research has initiated new internal funding mechanisms to advance research and scholarly activities, called ASPIRE.There will be 3 major tracks of funding designated ASPIRE-I, ASPIRE-II and ASPIRE-III. Below is a brief description of each of the programs and the rationale for developing these. You can download a one page pdf of these descriptions here.
You will find all necessary forms and additional explanations (such as the guidelines for budget justification) here.
ASPIRE-I (Advanced Support for Innovative Research Excellence-I) funding is provided by the Office of the Vice President for Research to encourage faculty to develop individual innovative research projects leading to the pursuit of external funding or to the promotion of scholarly activities. This program will have four tracks of funding
- Track I funds will be for Junior Faculty (tenure-track Assistant Professors only) and will be awarded to encourage the development of research projects for further extramural funding or other scholarly pursuits.
- Track II funds will be awarded to research faculty (non-tenure track, Assistant Professor level and above, but not for Post-Doctoral Fellows) to encourage the development of research projects for further extramural funding.
- Track III funds will be awarded as bridge funds to faculty (tenure-track, tenured or research faculty) who have not been able to renew their recent grants.
- Track IV funds will be awarded as innovative and exploratory grants for Senior Faculty (Tenure-Track or Tenured Associate and Full Professors) to expand or re-focus their research.
ASPIRE-II (Advanced Support Program for Integration of Research Excellence-II) funding is provided by the Vice President's Office for Research to support research involving at least two or more Colleges/Schools. This call is aimed to promote interdisciplinary collaborations between at least 3 or more faculty members to develop preliminary data to apply for targeted Program Projects, Centers of Excellence Grants or similar mechanisms of extramural funding. The goal of this internal grant is to seed new or support existing collaborative interdisciplinary research that is nationally and internationally competitive and has a strong potential to be supported and sustained by external finding agencies.Detailed Information on ASPIRE-II (Integration)
ASPIRE-III (Advanced Support Program for Infrastrucure in Research Excellence-III) funding is provided by the Office of the Vice President for Research to develop infrastructure such as multi-user equipment and facilities with cutting edge-technology that is critical to the growth and competitiveness of USC's research portfolio. To pursue interdisciplinary research, it is critical that we have a state-of-the-art research infrastructure that can be used to sustain existing and develop new interdisciplinary Centers of Excellence. This internal grant is aimed at providing support for such ventures. Funds may also be used to complement extramural support for purchase of major equipment.