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Office of the Vice President for Research

SPARC Graduate Research Grant Program

The SPARC Graduate Research Grant Program provides funding for meritorious scholarship, but it doesn't stop there. By completing SPARC's competitive research proposal process, graduate students gain experience that helps prepare them to seek national fellowship and grant awards throughout their academic careers.

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 remote Q&A sessions via MS Teams in September and October.

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

  • Tuesday, September 22, at 12:00 p.m.: Click to join
  • 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. 


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 Forms & Guidelines

Below are downloadable forms eligible students will need to complete their SPARC proposal packages, as well as guidelines documents to guide students through the SPARC application process, and help their faculty advisors better understand their role in the SPARC program. 



SPARC Materials From Past Years

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.