December 10, 2020
Call for LOIs and Pre-proposals
for the Selection of the Next Track-1 Topic
The South Carolina State Committee has initiated the process for the selection of the topic for the next NSF Research Infrastructure Improvement Track 1 proposal. The NSF RII Track-1 program provides support for sustainable improvements in a jurisdiction’s academic research infrastructure that leads to increased research capacity and competitiveness. The program aims to improve jurisdictional capacity in areas of STEM research and education that are supported by the NSF and aligned with the jurisdiction’s science and technology priorities. The NSF-RII Track-1 is a five-year, $20M award.

This Call for Letters of Intent (LOIs) and Pre-proposals is in anticipation of the 2022 solicitation release by NSF and is the first step in the preparation of the submission of a state-wide proposal by the State of South Carolina. The program is administered through the SC EPSCoR State Office to identify the theme(s) and institutions that will be included in the submission to NSF. Click here for more information.

Phase-0 Funding Available
The goal of the Phase-0 Program is to encourage and support South Carolina Small Businesses in their proposal development activities to compete effectively for SBIR/STTR Federal funding. The request can be either to support the Materials Assembly and Design Excellence in South Carolina (MADE in SC) initiative (NSF EPSCoR RRII Track-1) and/or the areas described in the SC Science and Technology Plan (Vision 2025).

Additional funding of $3,000 is available for materials science projects to support Undergraduate Student Internship(s). Internships must support one or more of the MADE in SC research clusters.

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

Full Proposal due Thursday, January 21, 5 pm EST

Contact April Heyward for more info.


Max Funding Amount Per Award: $6,000

Max Funding Amount for Undergraduate Student Internships: $3,000

Award Duration: 12 months

# of Awards: Depends on quality of proposals and availability of funds

Who May Apply

Eligibility is limited to South Carolina-based small businesses that are American-owned, for-profit, with <500 employees.

Research Focus On:
Dr. Chuanbing Tang
Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the
University of South Carolina

Dr. Chuanbing Tang is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Tang was recently elected as a 2020 Fellow of AAAS. He is a Contributing Faculty in the NSF MADE in SC Track-1 project for Thrust 2 and Thrust 3. His research on Mechano-Responsive Polymers contributes to Thrust 2 and Antimicrobial Polymers contributes to Thrust 3. Stimuli-responsive polymers have vast applications in a variety of areas. Among them, mechano-responsive polymers demonstrate specific responses to an external stress. These polymers are usually centered around mechanophores, a class of stress-responsive entities, which are connected to the polymer or polymer matrix such that stored tension is coupled to a specific chemical response. Recently, Dr. Tang's team discovered that ferrocene mechanophores embedded in polymer backbones can be mechanically activated under sonication. They further quantified the mechanical strength of ferrocene, and found that it displays remarkable mechanochemical lability despite its substantial thermal bond dissociation energy.

Bacterial infections and antimicrobial resistance have become a global healthcare crisis. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are the first line of host defense system. Upon contact with bacterial cell membranes, many AMPs adopt a facial amphiphilic conformation with one side carrying hydrophilic positive charges and the other side having lipophilic groups. This conformation is made possible, as AMPs possess an α-helix structure. AMP-mimicking polymers typically also contain hydrophilic charges and hydrophobic moieties, which are targeted at a global amphiphilicity. However, most of these polymers rely on uncontrolled polymeric self-aggregation, which would overcome significant entropy loss if the polymers want to form a facial amphiphilicity. Dr. Tang's team developed a class of cationic cholic acid-based polymers that possess local facial amphiphilicity clustered together via a flexible macromolecular chain. To read more about Dr. Tang's research, click here.

2020 AAAS Fellows
Congratulations Dr. Chuanbing Tang and Dr. Franklin Wayne Outten

Congratulations to Dr. Chuanbing Tang and Dr. Franklin Wayne Outten in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry of the University of South Carolina for being elected as 2020 Fellows of
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The recognition is an honor bestowed by a scientist’s peers to recognize distinguished contributions to science. To read more, click here.


Check the SC NASA EPSCoR website for news and opportunities. Questions? Contact Tara Scozzaro, SC Space Grant and SC NASA EPSCoR Program Manager, (843) 953-5463, Email

Program Development Grants Questions? Contact Susannah Sheldon, SC Sea Grant Research and Fellowships Manager, (843) 953-2083, Email

Looking for collaborators?
• Research Expertise Profiles Database (faculty)
• Student Research Interests Profiles Database (students)

January 21, 2021

SC EPSCoR Phase-0 Program
Funding Opps: 

• SC EPSCoR (1)
• NIH 

Question? Input? Contact email SC EPSCoR.