Pilot Grants Program

The SCTR pilot grants program supports innovative research spanning the translational spectrum - from basic science to population health - including patient-centered and community-engaged research. Early Stage Investigators are strongly encouraged to apply for pilot grants on their pathway to research independence.


Current RFAs


SCTR Discovery Pilot RFA - Now accepting application! The application deadline is Friday, April 5, 2024 at 5:00 pm.

Translational Science

The Translational Science Challenge Grant is accepting applications with a rolling deadline.

High Innovation High Reward

The High Innovation High Reward Pilot accepts applications on a rolling basis.

Pilot Funding Awardee Outcomes

It literally opened the door and helped built a solid foundation for our current multidisciplinary translational team research with the participation of many co-investigators across different departments at MUSC.

Hongjun Wang Ph.D. | Discovery Grant

Discovery Grant

This SCTR-supported study was an inter-professional collaborative team work that contributed to two seminal manuscripts … These manuscripts were highlighted in the MUSC Catalyst and EurekAlert, and importantly by the Lupus Foundation of America.

Samar M. Hammad Ph.D. | Discovery Grant

Discovery Grant

We were able to produce an initial prototype and preliminary data that resulted in a pending patent, and a NIH R21 funded project.

Dieter Haemmerich Ph.D., DSc

High Innovation High Reward Grant

This pilot funding facilitated development of a new collaboration with ... BMIC. We have a manuscript that is nearing completion and … have started a collaboration with Columbia University to develop a grant proposal that will leverage data from the SCTR pilot.

Rochelle F. Hanson, Ph.D. | Discovery Grant

Discovery Grant


Pilot Funding Mechanisms

South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research Institute’s (SCTR’s) Pilot Project Program aims to facilitate new and innovative, scientifically meritorious, high-impact projects across the translational spectrum with emphasis on diseases of significant prevalence in South Carolina and beyond.

(Budget of up to $25,000; 12 months)

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This mechanism supports new and cross-disciplinary pilot projects proposing substantial development of intellectual property and/or commercialization opportunities. Applications are accepted on a "rolling" basis and will be reviewed within 3-4 weeks of submission. When an application is submitted, please email SCTR's Science Development Office.

(Budget of up to $10,000; 12 months)

RFA and Application Form


The translation of a novel discovery from the bench to a therapeutic intervention is lengthy and inefficient process. The Translational Science Challenge is a new mechanism supporting projects focused on understanding a scientific or operational principle underlying a step of the translational process with the goal of developing generalizable knowledge to accelerate translational research. Applications are accepted on a "rolling" basis and will be reviewed within 3-4 weeks of submission. When an application is submitted, please email SCTR's Science Development Office.

(Budget of up to $25,000; 12 months)

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Pilot Success Stories

Marijuana Microbiome

3D illustration of human tooth with microscopic bacteria and viruses. Licensed from istock.com.

MUSC researchers and their collaborators will explore how cannabis smoking alters the bacterial communities in the mouth and how those changes affect the brain.

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Blood Cleanse

Three test tubes are pictured, the first with plasma, the second with plasma and chemotherapy, and the third with the filtered plasma. Modified from Figure 4d of the Motamarry et al article in Cancers under an open access Creative Common CC BY license.

With the help of High Innovation-High Reward seed funding, MUSC researchers have developed a way to remove toxic chemotherapeutic drugs from the blood after cancer treatment to prevent them from reaching the heart.

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Predicting Heart Disease

3D still showing myocardial ischemia. Licensed from http://www.scientificanimations.com, via the Creative Commons 4.0 license, available at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en

MUSC researchers discover a potential biomarker that predicts severity of heart disease in African American lupus patients.

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More Information

Questions or requests for additional information can be sent to SCTR's Science Development Office - sctr-sdo@musc.edu.