February 13, 2019

SC EPSCoR is pleased to announce the 2019 Grants for Exploratory Academic Research (GEAR) and GEAR Collaborative Research (GEAR CRP) award recipients.

GEAR Program recipients are teams of faculty researchers at SC’s three comprehensive research universities (CRUs), Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina, and UofSC Columbia, who will work in a collaboration to compete effectively for research funding to support the research clusters associated with South Carolina’s NSF RII Track 1 award, Materials Assembly and Design Excellence in South Carolina (MADE in SC) – Multi-scale Modeling and Computation CoreThrust 1 – Optical, Electrochemical and Magnetic Materials, Thrust 2 – Stimuli-responsive Polymeric Materials, and Thrust 3 – Interactive Biomaterials.

GEAR CRP (Collaborative Research Program) recipients are teams of faculty researchers consisting of at least one member located at one of the three SC CRUs and one member from one of SC’s predominately undergraduate institutions (PUIs) with the goal of building collaborative CRU/PUI academic research teams that will compete effectively for research funding. GEAR CRP grants build and enhance the network of scientists in the state that conduct research related to MADE in SC.

Both programs provide up to $60,000 per project. This year's recipients are:

GEAR Program 
Ramakrishna Podila – Lead PI
 (Clemson) with MVS Chandrashankar (UofSC) 
Advancing Defect-Controlled Nonlinear Optical Properties for Nanocarbon-based Photonic Devices

Tarek Shazly – Lead PI (UofSC) with Francis Spinale (UofSC) 
Optimization of Injectable Biomaterials for Cardiac Applications

Lin Zhu – Lead PI (Clemson) with 
Yingjie Lao (Clemson) 
Intelligently Designed, Graphene Functionalized, Tunable Optical Metamaterials
GEAR CRP Program 
F. Wayne Outten – Lead PI
 (UfoSC) with Nicholas Grossoehme (Winthrop) 
GEAR CRP: Building Stimuli-Responsive Ferritin Protein Nanocages for Biomaterial Applications

Jianjun Hu – Lead PI (UofSC) with 
Ming Hu (UofSC) and Jie Ling (Claflin) 
Deep Learning for Discovery of Noncentrosymmetric Materials with Second-order Nonlinear Optical Behavior

The SC EPSCoR Program invites speakers and poster presenters to submit abstracts for presentation at the Annual SC EPSCoR State Conference. This one-day conference is intended for faculty, researchers, undergrad and grad students and postdocs. Conference presentations this year will build on the themes of the last two years promoting collaboration among faculty at South Carolina colleges and universities.
Call for Podium and Poster Presentation Abstracts. Podium and poster presentations may be submitted by undergrad and grad students, postdocs and faculty.

Call for Conference Session Proposals. Conference Session proposals (90 minutes) are solicited on any of the Vision 2025 and the NSF Big Ideas topics. A session should be composed of four presentations on the same topic. Those interested in organizing and leading a session at the conference should submit all presentation abstracts as one PDF file in the SC EPSCoR Portal. Session presentations that involve collaboration among institutions are encouraged.


  • Monday, March 11: Deadline for submitting abstracts
  • Wednesday, March 20: Notification of Authors
  • Monday, April 1: Electronic copies of the presentations are due by noon to April Heyward.
Click here to download PDF of Presentation Guidelines or visit our website.

The next opportunity to hear a presentation by a MADE in SC speaker will be on

Tuesday, February 26, 6:30 pm
Science on Tap – Greenville, SC

Dr. Kostya Kornev
Thrust 3 (Biomaterials)
“Engineering Biology of Butterflies and Moths” 

Dr. Kornev will talk about a few lessons learned from analyzing fluid handling by butterflies and moths will be used to tell a story about insect life from an engineering perspective. Science on Tap is free and open to the public.

Send us your news and accomplishments!

Have you received an award or recognition? Have you published a paper or book chapter? Please let us know so we can share it in our newsletter/social media!

Focus On...

NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Track 4: EPSCoR Research Fellows (RII Track-4)

RII Track-4 provides opportunities for non-tenured investigators to further develop their individual research potential through extended collaborative visits to the nation’s premier private, governmental, or academic research centers.  During these visits, the EPSCoR Research Fellows will be able to learn new techniques, develop new collaborations or advance existing partnerships, benefit from access to unique equipment and facilities, and/or shift their research toward potentially transformative new directions.  The experiences gained through the fellowships are intended to have lasting impacts that will enhance the Fellows’ research trajectories well beyond the award period. These benefits to the Fellows are also expected to in turn improve the research capacity of their institutions and jurisdictions more broadly. Those submitting proposals must either hold a non-tenured faculty appointment at an institution of higher education or an early-career career-track appointment at an eligible non-degree-granting institution. Deadline to apply is March 12.

In the two years this program has existed, South Carolina faculty members have been very successful in receiving Track-4 awards. Click here to view past recipients.

News, Opportunities and Deadlines

The Clemson student chapters of Materials Research Society and Optical Society of America are organizing the 14th Annual Poster Competition for both undergrad and graduate students on March 14, 5 to 9 pm, Clemson University. Students from other SC colleges and universities working on materials, and optical systems and devices to participate. Keynote speaker will be Dr. Brian Benicewicz. Cash prizes offered for top posters. Abstract deadline is 5 pm on March 1. Click here to download flier with more info.
SC Sea Grant Consortium FY20-FY21 Request for Proposals (RFP) is now available. The Consortium is requesting Concept Letters which propose innovative natural and social science research to both understand and directly address priority issues, problems, and opportunities related to the use, management and conservation of marine and coastal resources by the citizens of the state and region. Deadlines: March 18: Concept letters due by 5 pm EDT, June 14: Full proposals due by 5 pm EDT

Please share this information with SC high school science teachers: 
Winthrop University is hosting a Materials Science Workshop for High School Science Teachers, June 17-21 and June 24-28. This two-week summer workshop will cover selected topics from the physics and chemistry content areas of the South Carolina academic standards in high school science. For those who live more than 60 miles from Winthrop, room and board accommodations will be provided free of charge. For more info or to share the flier, click here.
NSF Mid-scale Research InfrastructureImplementation projects may have a total project cost ranging from $6M up to below $20M, supporting new or upgraded research infrastructure. Only Design projects may request less than $6M. Preliminary Proposal Due Feb 19, 5 pm.
National Center for Genome Resources Differential Gene Expression Workshop, April 8-12, Santa Fe, NM. Acquire the skill-set to independently analyze RNA-Seq data using the command line interface, analytical workflows and current differential gene expression tools. Apply by Feb 24.

NSF Harnessing the Data Revolution: Transdisciplinary Research in Principles of Data Science Phase I. Aims to bring together electrical engineering, math, statistics, and theoretical computer science to develop the theoretical foundations of data science through integrated research and training activities. Phase I supports development of small collaborative Institutes. LOI due March 25.
NSF Improving Undergrad STEM Education: Computing in Undergrad Education: Supports teams of Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) in re-envisioning the role of computing in interdisciplinary collaboration within their institutions. Encourages partnering IHEs to integrate the study of ethics into their curricula, both within core CS courses and across the relevant interdisciplinary application areas. Full proposal due May 9.

June 17-18: Academic Leadership and Career Development Workshop. This two-day workshop incorporates career skills and grant writing sessions. For all faculty and students. More info to come.
Have you registered? 
Looking for collaborators?
• Research Expertise
 Database (faculty)
• Student Research
  Interests Profiles

Funding Opportunities: 
• NIH 
• More on our Calendar!


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