October 11, 2018

The goal of the Phase-0 Program is to encourage and support SC small businesses in their proposal development activities to compete effectively for SBIR/STTR Federal funding to support:

  • Materials Assembly and Design Excellence in South Carolina (MADE in SC) initiative funded by the NSF,  
  • Vision 2025, the South Carolina Science and Technology Plan

The focus of MADE in SC is to discover and develop new intelligently designed optical, electrochemical and magnetic materials, stimuli-responsive polymeric materials, and interactive biomaterials. This is aligned with the South Carolina’s Vision 2025. 

Included in this solicitation is the support of internships for SC undergraduate students for materials science projects only in a functioning entrepreneurial environment to expose them to the world of entrepreneurship. Students must be enrolled in a four-year degree granting program in a SC college or university.

Funding for the Phase-0 Program is intended to support proposal development activities and not intended to support small business infrastructure.

Program Info 

Monday, November 12,
by 5 pm EST

Award Type: Grant

Maximum Funding Amount Per Project: $6,000

Maximum Funding for Undergrad Student Internships: $3,000

Award Duration
12 months

Estimate # of Awards 
Up to 8 Awards

SC-based American-owned small businesses

How to Apply
Submit via our Proposal Submission Portal

Ask a Researcher: NSF RII Track-2 Program

Thinking about submitting a Letter of Intent to the NSF EPSCoR RII Track-2 Program next month? Below is some advice from 2017 Track-2 award recipient, Dr. Sarah Harcum (Clemson).

Q: What do you wish you had known when you were applying (or thinking about applying) for Track-2?
There were NSF reporting requirements and organizational coordinating issues of four sites that I was not aware of when I wrote the proposal. I wish I had known about these so I had included administrative help in my proposal.

Q: If you took advantage of SC EPSCoR’s seed funding for your application, how did it help? Do you think it helped in you receiving the Track-2?
A: I did receive the seed award. It was used to hire a consultant who put me in contact with people in-state that gave me some ideas; suggested people to speak with at NSF; they helped with deadlines to follow; and read the proposal several times and made good comments. It made it easier to have some extra eyes on the proposal.


Due TO NSF Mon, Nov 26

FY19 topic: “Harnessing the Data Revolution to solve problems of national importance.” Only one proposal (as Lead PI) per institution is allowed. Letter of Intent (LOI) is due to NSF by Mon, Nov 26. NSF limits a researcher to be the PI or Co-PI on one Track-2 grant

All SC institutions are encouraged to conduct an internal selection process to identify the most competitive research idea from their faculty and submit a LOI to NSF. Each institution that submits a LOI to NSF can receive SC EPSCoR proposal development funds by emailing us by Tues, Nov 27


US Dept of Energy
Entrepreneur Opportunities

Innovation Crossroads, based at Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL), is a two-year entrepreneurial fellowship program that matches aspiring entrepreneurs with ORNL researchers and mentors, to take their world-changing ideas to the marketplace.  Innovation Crossroads is now recruiting. Click here for more info.

Applications due Mon, October 29, 5 pm EDT
Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI) is a two-year entrepreneurial program at Argonne National Lab providing participants the financial and tech support they need to evolve early-stage R&D innovation into a viable energy or manufacturing business. Info Webinar is scheduled for Tues, October 23, 2 pm EST.

Applications due Weds, October 31, 5 pm EDT

Research Focus On...

Abu Bakarr Kamara, SC State University
MADE in SC will hire 17 faculty during the five years of the project. We have already introduced you to Drs. Angela Alexander-Bryant, Jessica (Kelly) Larsen and Ge Tao. Now, we are pleased to announce one of our newest hires: Dr. Abu Bakarr Kamara!

Dr. Kamara will be a member of Thrust 1: Hierarchical Structures with Controlled Optical, Electrochemical and Magnetic Properties. His work will entail Synthesis Purification and Characterization of ZnO (Zinc Oxide) deposited on a conducting glass substrate for electronic and energy application via Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) at a low temperature and atmospheric pressure.
Dr. Kamara is an assistant professor of Chemistry at South Carolina State University. A 2017 graduate of Howard University, he received his Ph.D. in Chemistry with a dissertation entitled, “Novel Low Cost and Environmentally-Friendly Synthesis of Core Shell Structured Micro-particles for Fossil Energy Application.”

Kamara's research specialization is in Organic Chemistry and Material Chemistry.

His research interests are: Synthesis, purification and characterization of metal oxide-precursors (thin films) utilizing β- ketoiminate and β- diketone free ligands. Application in deposition of metal oxide on a substrate (spherical and flat surfaces) for electronic and energy use, via Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) at a low temperature and atmospheric pressure. 

News, Opportunities and Deadlines

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SC INBRE solicitations: Developmental Research Project (DRP) Program ($50,000 for 12 months) and Bioinformatics Pilot Project (BIPP) Program ($10,000 for 12 months). DRP is open to SC INBRE network and outreach institutions. BIPP is open to SC INBRE network and outreach institutions, affiliate members of SC Clinical and Translational Research Institute (SCTR) and student/faculty teams from any SC PUI.
2 Postdoc Opportunities: Ecological Genomics & Bioinformatics, U of New Hampshire and Spatiotemporal Scales of Phenotypic & Genomic Adaptation, U of Maine
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program: Recognizes and supports outstanding grad students pursuing full-time research-based master's and doctoral degrees in STEM or in STEM education. Deadlines by discipline: Oct 22-26.
NSF Division of Materials Research: Topical Materials Research Programs (DMR-TMRP): Focuses on advancing fundamental understanding of materials, materials discovery, design, synthesis, characterization, properties, & materials-related phenomena. Applies to the following areas: Biomaterials, Condensed Matter Physics, Electronic & Photonic Materials, Metals & Metallic Nanostructures, Polymers, and Solid-State & Materials Chemistry. Proposal window: Oct 1-Nov 1.
NSF Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP): Program takes a comprehensive approach to student development and retention. Upcoming deadlines: Bridge to the Doctorate Activity (Nov 2), STEM Pathways and Research Alliances (Nov 16) and New and Renewal LSAMP Pre-Alliance Planning, Bridge to the Baccalaureate, STEM Pathways Implementation-Only (Nov 16).
NSF Understanding the Rules of Life: Epigenetics: Projects are anticipated to use complementary, interdisciplinary approaches to investigate how epigenetic phenomena lead to emergent properties that explain the fundamental behavior of living systems. Due Feb 1.
Save the dates:
Oct 16, MUSC Science Café, Charleston. Speaker: Michael Yost, Thrust 3, 3D Bioprinting: Are we ready for the Bionic Human? 
Nov 27, Science on Tap, Greenville. Speaker: Tim Hanks, Thrust 3
Feb 26Science on Tap, Greenville. Speaker: Kostya Kornev, Thrust 3

Looking for speakers – contact Cyndy!

Funding Opportunities: 
• NIH 
• More on our Calendar!


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