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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.

Fall 2022 SPARC application deadline is Wednesday, October 12, 2022 by 5:00 pm

Updated guidelines and forms are below.


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 Video

Before applying for a SPARC Grant, graduate students must view the SPARC Application Workshop video, and confirm that they have viewed it via our  SPARC Application Workshop Video Confirmation Form. The workshop handout is also available with the slides as a pdf.


SPARC Forms & Guidelines

Below are downloadable forms eligible students need for completing the SPARC proposal package, as well as guideline documents detailing the SPARC application process for students and to assist faculty advisors in their role in the SPARC program.



SPARC Materials From Past Years

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.