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 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)


Now Accepting Applications

Application Link: InfoReady


Key Dates:

RFA Release Date: Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Pre-application Due (REQUIRED): by 5 p.m. EST on Friday, September 30, 2022

Full Application Due (by Invitation): by 5 p.m. EST on Friday, November 18, 2022

Anticipated Project Start Date: January 1, 2023


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) 


Science of 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. Science of 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)


Now Accepting Applications

Application Link: InfoReady


Key Dates:
RFA Release Date:
Wednesday, August 31, 2022
Application Due: by 5 p.m. EST, October 28, 2022
Anticipated Project Start Date: December  1, 2022


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.

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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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