Blue Sky Award

Blue Sky Award 2022 Recipients
From left, Charles Holjencin, Andrew Jakymiw, Barb Rohrer, Kyrie Wilson, Jesse Goodwin, Lori McMahon and Lisa Saladin. Photo provided

The MUSC Office of the Vice President for Research in partnership with the Office of Innovation invites applications for promising high-risk research that tackles big problems in medicine and science. The Blue Sky Award (BSA) will provide support for highly creative faculty with a track record of outstanding success with the opportunity to test the feasibility of their “grand idea” and prepare that idea for an application for extramural funding. The goal is to foster high-payoff work that promises to be transformational but for which other funding sources are limited.

Successful proposals should include:

  • A collaborative team of investigators using innovative thinking and creative processes to address complex problems with the potential for high impact findings is key to the BSA mission.

  • Basic, translational, and/or clinical researchers at any faculty rank.

  • Individuals from under-represented groups are highly encouraged to apply.

  • Incorporation of Artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning in the research plan is encouraged.

  • Each application should include at least two MUSC principal investigators (PIs), from different colleges (Dental Medicine, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing & Pharmacy), to work at the interface of disciplines.

  • Purposeful collaboration with other researchers and teams is designed to bring an interdisciplinary approach to solving the problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

The BSA will provide support for highly creative faculty with a track record of outstanding success with the opportunity to test the feasibility of their “grand idea” and prepare that idea for an application for extramural funding.

Basic, translational, and/or clinical researchers at any faculty rank.

At least two MUSC principal investigators (PIs), from different colleges (Dental Medicine, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing & Pharmacy), to work at the interface of disciplines.

Additional information may be found in the Blue Sky Award Call for Proposals.

Collaborative Research Roundtables will be announced in September 2022.

Allowable expenses include laboratory supplies, animal costs, patient recruitment costs, and to support pre/postdoctoral students, technicians, or research assistants. Non-MUSC faculty can participate in the research as a consultant.

Applicants should prepare 10-minute presentation (record it using Teams). Your Chalk Talk should 1) explain how your application meets the criteria for the BSA, 2) describe what makes your application innovative, 3) define the roles of each PI, including which PI is responsible for each of the proposal’s aims and why? and 4) explain the likely source(s) of follow-on funding and to which funding mechanism(s) the team plans to apply to pending a successful outcome. Applicants may find a video tutorial here.

Applications that are complete and responsive to this announcement will be evaluated for merit by the Advisory Review Panel (ARP). The ARP will then provide a prioritized list of recommendations for funding to the Vice President for Research and Chief Innovations Officer based on the quality of the proposals per the review criteria.

The awardee(s) should submit an interim and annual report with key results and any publications, grant applications, funded awards that resulted from the project, new collaborations, and other outcomes if any. Additional terms and conditions will be attached to the BSA information.

Learn More

To learn more about the BSA program please contact Wanda Pierce at piercewh@musc.edu.