The faculty and staff of USCB have been very successful in obtaining grant awards from a wide variety of external sponsors, including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, the South Carolina Humanities Commission, Beaufort County, the Town of Hilton Head Island, the Town of Bluffton, and many other governmental sponsors, private foundations and individual sponsors. Grant funding since 2005 has supported the implementation and ongoing costs of the Computational Science program , the Center for Events Management and Hospitality Training , the Institute for the Study of the Reconstruction Era, , the Water Quality Laboratory , and numerous faculty research projects. Information on specific grant awards can be found in the USC system grants database

All proposals for grant funding must be routed through the University of South Carolina approval  system (USCeRA) prior to submission to the sponsor. At USCB, signatures must be obtained in USCeRA from the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost, and from the Chancellor. Instruction on how to submit proposals in the USCeRA system are provided by the USC Office of Sponsored Awards Management (, and assistance is available from the USCB Director of Research ( In all cases, the official applicant is either the University of South Carolina or USCB, never the individual faculty or staff member.

Pre-award assistance

The Director of Research ( is available to assist faculty and staff with all aspects of proposal development and submission, from development of research projects to identification of potential funding sources and assistance in proposal preparation. In addition, the Director of Research also serves as the Director of the Sea Islands Institute and works with the SII faculty grant review committee to review and award the annual Sea Islands Institute grants.

Research Development

organizational and administrative assistance with interdisciplinary projects or those involving multiple members of the faculty are available from the Director of Research.

External funding opportunities

Assistance in finding potential sponsors can be obtained from the Director of Research. Faculty can also use the USC Pivot system or the federal database

Internal funding opportunities

Several internal funding opportunities are available to USCB faculty members.
Sea Islands Institute grants fund interdisciplinary faculty projects with research objectives relevant to the region, in amounts up to $5,000 per year.

Research Initiative for Summer Engagement (RISE) grants, jointly funded by USCB and the office of the USC Vice President for Research, fund faculty research projects of any type for up to $6,000 per year.

Advanced Support for Innovative Research Excellence (ASPIRE) grants, funded by the office of the USC Vice President for Research, provide funding for project development, interdisciplinary projects, and infrastructure.

Proposal preparation: help with development of research or project objectives, assistance with proposal writing and formatting to meet the requirements of different sponsors, and annual classes in writing proposals for external and internal sponsors are provided by the Director of Research.

Post-award assistance

Most post-award assistance with funded grants is provided by either the USCB business office or the USC Office of Grants and Funds Management.

Assistance with requests to sponsors

(change of scope, budget, or PI) is provided by the Director of Grants.

Invoices to sponsors and all financial reports

of expended funds are provided by the Office of Grants and Funds management.

Award management

Assistance with award management, including help with the USC finance intranet system and expenditure information, is available from the USCB Controller


Per BTRU 1.04 (Authority to Sign Contracts), the University Board of Trustees has authorized only certain individuals to sign contracts on behalf of the University of South Carolina. At USCB, only the Chancellor may sign contracts, and in no case is any  member of the faculty or staff authorized to do so. All contracts should be forwarded to Abby Vaughn in the business office ( for procurement approval and review. She will then work with the Office of Legal Counsel to review any necessary changes to the contract before it is signed, and determine whether the contract is appropriate for the Chancellor’s signature or should go through USCeRA for USC system approval.

Purchasing Cards

Purchasing Cards are provided as an option to pay for small, low dollar purchases of supplies and contractual services (less than $5,000) on behalf of the University, and are available to principal investigators and project directors of funded grants. To receive a Purchasing Card, an individual must contact the USCB Purchasing office ( for training and to fill out an application.


All purchases on behalf of the University must adhere to State and University policies. Departments should first and foremost purchase from mandatory state contracts ( If no state contracts are available we encourage all departments to seek a quotes from small/local/minority owned businesses. If none are available, you may purchase from a larger retailer. Purchases under $5,000 may be completed on a purchasing card or via a check request. Purchases of equipment from $5,000 - $10,000 may be considered part of inventory and should be competed on a Purchase Order. Purchases $10,000 - $25,000 may be able to be completed with an informal solicitation. Unless a sole source has been specified and approved by a grant sponsor during the proposal review process, any purchases over $25,000 must be procured competitively through the state. Contact Abby Vaughn ( for assistance with purchasing.    

IT purchases

All purchase of IT equipment or software at USCB must go through the IT department. Assistance with selection and optimal pricing can be obtained by filling out a Help Desk request at