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Graduate School

2020-2021 SPARC Research Grant Program

September 4, 2020

The Office of the Vice President for Research is pleased to announce the application period for the 2020-2021 SPARC graduate research grant program. SPARC applications are due by Wednesday, October 14, at 5:00 p.m. All graduate students who apply for a SPARC grant must view the SPARC application workshop video and confirm their viewing through the online confirmation form, prior to submitting their proposals. Complete program details, information about upcoming remote Q&A sessions and application materials are available on the SPARC home page.

Program Overview

Sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Support to Promote Advancement of Research and Creativity, or SPARC, Graduate Research Grant is a merit-based award designed to ignite research and creative excellence across all disciplines at USC. The overall objective of the SPARC Graduate Research Grant is to provide support and to encourage outstanding students to pursue exciting research directions during their graduate career at the University of South Carolina. To achieve this end, the SPARC program provides the opportunity for eligible graduate students to secure funding up to $5,000 to support their research, creative or other meritorious scholarly project. SPARC funds can be used to pay for salary, supplies and other costs essential to completing and promoting funded projects.

A unique aspect of the SPARC program is the requirement that all applicants complete and submit a competitive grant proposal package. The experience students acquire through this process is invaluable as it doubles as training in grant proposal development, helping SPARC applicants build the skills and background necessary to make them more competitive in seeking national fellowship awards from federal and private funding sources.

SPARC Application Q&A Sessions

To ensure SPARC applicants have the information they need to prepare the grant application, the Office of the Vice President for Research will host three remote Q&A sessions via MS Teams.

Links to the online sessions will be posted here about a day in advance of each session.

  • Friday, September 11, at 3:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, September 22, at 12:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 1, at 10:00 a.m.

Applicants are encouraged to view the SPARC Application Workshop Video and complete the SPARC Application Workshop Video Confirmation Form before attending a Q&A session. 


Visit the SPARC Research Grant Program website for more information about the program including forms and guidelines.



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