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Office of the Vice President for Research


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Opportunities for Students

Breakthrough Graduate Scholar Award

The Breakthrough "family" of awards are presented each year by the Office of the Vice President for Research to recognize outstanding researchers and scholars at the University of South Carolina. The Breakthrough Graduate Scholars award honors our outstanding graduate-student researchers.

The Office of the Vice President for Research's Breakthrough Graduate Scholar Award recognizes exceptional graduate students who demonstrate excellence in the classroom, and make considerable contributions to research and scholarly activities in their field. We honor approximately on doze exceptional graduate students with this award each spring.

The call for Breakthrough Graduate Scholar Award nominations is distributed each year in late November, with a three- to four-week turnaround time before the submission deadline. All graduate students are eligible for nomination by their graduate program directors. Each graduate program director may nominate only one exceptional graduate student per year for the Breakthrough Graduate Scholar Award.

Nominees should demonstrate excellence in the classroom and make considerable contributions to research and scholarly activities in their field. Examples of award-worthy activity include obtaining fellowships and awards, presenting at national and international conferences, creating performances or exhibitions, publishing papers or book chapters.

The nomination package should be saved/submitted as a PDF or Word document. The Breakthrough Graduate Scholar Award nomination package consists of:

  • A completed nomination form.
  • A completed nominee biographical sketch (2-page limit).
  • A letter of recommendation from the nominator (2-page limit).
  • An unofficial graduate transcript.

2015 Breakthrough Graduate Scholars Nomination Guidelines and Forms

The below guidelines and forms are from the fall 2015 Breakthrough Graduate Scholars Award nomination cycle. This documentation is subject to change from year to year.