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

COVID-19 Biospecimens

The RFA to Conduct Research With Biospecimens Obtained from Patients with COVID-19 accepts applications on a rolling basis.

High Innovation-High Reward

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

Pilot Funding Mechanisms


SCTR's Discovery Grants facilitate new and innovative, high-impact translational research. The primary objectives are to support scientifically meritorious projects to collect critical preliminary data for submission of extramural grant applications and to publish research findings. Priority is given to proposals from early-stage investigators and collaborative projects from new cross-disciplinary teams. A call for applications (RFA) is issued each Spring and Fall.

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


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 notify Dayan Ranwala, Ph.D. by email.

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

RFA and Application Form


This mechanism enhances team science and mentoring through a team-based collaborative translational research project between a current or recent K-awardee and a predoctoral trainee. Projects involving basic, clinical, and/or community/population health research approaches are eligible.  Awards will enable the collection of critical preliminary data for extramural grant applications, fellowship applications and to publish, disseminate and/or implement research findings.

(Budget of up to $50,000; 2 years) 


Team Science focuses on understanding and enhancing the processes and outcomes of teams in healthcare, education and research. A key goal of this mechanism is to generate new knowledge about factors that maximize the efficiency, productivity, and effectiveness of teams and/or new information about processes by which clinical and scientific teams organize, communicate, and function collaboratively.


Projects may focus on, but are not limited to, direct measurement of the impact of teamwork on research productivity, scientific innovation, patient outcomes, patient safety, cost-effectiveness of health care or research practice, health professional educational, training and clinical care outcomes. Team Science Pilot proposals may also focus on team development approaches, assessment tools, and factors that contribute to high and/or low functioning teams in healthcare and research settings.  

(Budget of up to $15,000; 12 months)


Telehealth pilot grants support South Carolina clinicians and researchers in their efforts to develop innovative, telehealth projects that aim to accelerate the adoption, utilization, and investigation of telehealth interventions in South Carolina. Applicants are strongly encouraged to take a cross-disciplinary translational team approach and include investigators from more than one South Carolina institution/organization.  

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


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 notify Dayan Ranwala, Ph.D. by email.

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

Learn More 

Pilot Success Stories

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.

Read Story

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.

View Story


More Information

In development - coming soon!