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Office of the Vice President for Research

Opportunities for Faculty

Breakthrough Stars Awards

Each year, approximately one dozen of Carolina's junior faculty are selected as Breakthrough Stars. To be considered, candidates must be tenured or tenure-track assistant or associate professors, relatively early career, and demonstrate considerable contributions to their fields in terms of research and scholarly activity while at USC. This award is open to junior faculty working in all disciplines and campuses.

Nomination calls are sent out in the fall each year. Any faculty member can submit a nomination (one nomination per year, per faculty member), for a candidate who meets the eligibility requirements in the guidelines document. Award recipients are announced in January, and honored at an awards dinner in the spring.

The faculty member submitting the nomination should be familiar with the nominee's work.

2020 Breakthrough Stars Nomination Materials


New for 2020

Breakthrough Stars nomination materials should focus on the nominee’s accomplishments since joining the University of South Carolina. The review committee will not consider past awards from previous institutions.


The below guidelines and forms are from the fall 2019-2020 Breakthrough Star Awards nomination cycle. This documentation is subject to change from year to year.

Submit nominations here.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.