University of Southern California


USC Funding for Faculty Led Research & Alan Alda Wants Your Input on Science Communication

The USC Office of Research — with funding from the Provost, Rose Hills Foundation and the Ming Hsieh Institute endowment – offers peer-reviewed financial support for research and scholarship, as described below. 

We also invite proposals for faculty led workshops within the Center for Excellence in Research. Last, the Alan Alda Center is surveying university faculty on science communication (see below).  


The Office of Research is now accepting proposals for the Spring 2019 training workshops. The Center for Excellence in Research supports faculty-led workshops that educate faculty and/or postdocs on research practices and skills. Apply by:  Sunday, October 14. Learn more here. 


We were fortunate to fund 51 of the 112 proposals received (9 award programs), investing over $5.1M in awards, in last year’s solicitations. The schedule for this year’s solicitations is now available.


The Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute is seeking applications for pilot research projects of up to $40,000 each from individual investigators or small research teams in two areas: 1) Clinical and Community Research and 2) Research Process and Methods. To learn more, please visit


You may receive a request to complete an online survey from the Alan Alda Center. I strongly encourage you to take the time to participate. The survey will provide important insights into what motivates researchers to engage in communication training and activities. At a time when effective public engagement activities are needed to ensure a consistent national commitment to science, it is critical that we understand how we can support you and your colleagues to use the most promising communication strategies, techniques, and messages. The survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.   The research team, which includes Alda Center faculty, and researchers from ScienceCounts, Michigan State University, and The University of Texas at Austin, will share results from the study once it is completed.

Thank you,

Randolph Hall
Vice President of Research
Professor, Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
University of Southern California
3720 S. Flower, #325
Los Angeles, CA  90089-0706



Zumberge Individual

Application deadline: 5 pm, Monday, Jan 7, 2019
The Zumberge Individual grant provides up to $30,000 in research support. The primary purpose of the individual awards program is to help our junior colleagues and new faculty launch their scholarly research careers, outside of the area of clinical research, which is supported by the CTSI (please note additional limitations in solicitation). It does so by providing grants that assist faculty in developing sustained research programs or serve as a stepping stone to external funding agencies for faculty that do not already have significant sponsored research programs. The Zumberge Individual grant also supports the inclusion of senior mentors to advise junior faculty as they develop their research programs. The secondary purpose of the individual awards program is to support faculty of any rank who work in fields where external funding opportunities are limited.

Zumberge Diversity & Inclusion

Application deadline: 5 pm, Monday, Jan 14, 2019

Diversity in research is a key component of innovation. It enhances the creative process by bringing to the table new concepts and points of view and contributes to a culture of transformative scholarship. The Zumberge Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) in Research Award is a special solicitation aimed at supporting research and scholarship that addresses critical gaps in knowledge on equity, diversity, and inclusion, or which benefits diverse communities. To achieve these goals, the Zumberge D&I in Research Award provides up to $30,000 in pilot research support.

Ming Hsieh Institute for Research of Engineering-Medicine for Cancer

Application deadline: 5 pm, Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019

The Ming Hsieh Institute seeks proposals by multi-disciplinary research teams employing computational biology, protein chemistry, physics, chemistry, pharmacology, and/or engineering, for the purpose of developing new treatments or diagnostics for patients that a) will initiate new nanomedicine multi-disciplinary research projects that show exceptional promise for translation into human clinical trials for treatment of cancer or b) aim to develop new targeted immunotherapeutic approaches to cancer. Proposals should demonstrate that a modest seed investment will have significant impact, either through initiating a novel research concept, or accelerating research into clinical trials. The grant provides up to $150,000.

The Rose Hills Foundation Innovator Grant Program

Application deadline: Monday, Feb 4, 2019

The Rose Hills Foundation is a legacy of the founders and directors of Rose Hills Memorial Park. The Foundation aims to fund research that has the potential to make a measurable impact to the greatest number of people, and, in particular, that shows demonstrated benefits to the people of Southern California. The primary purpose of the Rose Hills Fellowship is to provide junior faculty in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), with seed funds to launch their scholarly research careers. It does so by providing grants that assist faculty in developing self-sustaining research programs or serve as a stepping stone to external funding agencies for faculty who do not already have significant sponsored research programs. The grant provides up to $75,000/year, renewable for a second year with demonstrated progress.  Non-traditional biomedical research, such as psychology or behavioral, studies are not eligible to apply; investigators in these fields are directed to apply to the Zumberge Individual Research Award.

Zumberge Multi-School Interdisciplinary Large

Application deadline: 5 pm, Monday, Feb 11, 2019

Zumberge Multi-School Interdisciplinary grant provides seed funding of up to $85,000 for broad, collaborative research activities that are interdisciplinary and involve groups of faculty from multiple schools across USC. The priority for interdisciplinary awards is support for teams of faculty to seek an externally-funded grant on the scale of an interdisciplinary center, training grant, or program project award. Proposals must include a plan for sustainment of longer-term collaborative research activities beyond the Zumberge award period through external funding.

Collaboration Fund
Application deadline: 5 pm, Tuesday, Feb 19, 2019

The aim of Collaboration Fund Award is to support teams of faculty who aim to establish or foster a community of scholars at USC organized around a broad topic of shared interest. Rather than fund specific research projects, the award funds the activities that help to develop this collaborative group. These activities should lay the groundwork for members of the collaborative group to create new research projects, and should contribute to strengthening the individual research programs of its members. Each collaboration should engage a large group of faculty (normally 10 or more), representing at least two schools at USC. Funding can be for up to three years, with the possibility of competitive renewal thereafter. The grant provides up to $30,000/year; awards will be made for a three year period, subject to an annual progress review and an annual activity plan, and continued availability of funding.

USC Core Instrumentation Fund

Application deadline: 5 pm, Monday, April 22, 2019 (Type A); Type B: Open deadline

The Core Instrumentation Fund supports acquisition of shared instrumentation that enables major research endeavors in the sciences, medicine and engineering. In addition, the program provides matching funds to support the addition of technical staff within core laboratories. To be considered for selection, a proposal must be: (1) submitted by the faculty member who directs the core laboratory in which the equipment is installed, (2) must be an established user of FBS core management and invoicing software, and (3) the proposal must satisfy a need in USC’s Strategic Plan for Scientific Facilities. There are two types of awards:

Type A: Request full funding, from the university, for acquisition of equipment (up to $300,000);

Type B: Request matching funds toward acquisition of equipment (up to$200,000).


Application deadline: To be announced

Technology Advancement Grants (TAGs) support technologies and innovations created at USC through validation or proof-of-concept development. The awards add value to unlicensed USC-owned innovations, aiming to increase the probability of obtaining a license in the future. TAGs have a competitive two-step application process comprising an initial review by USC Stevens’ staff and the USC Stevens FacultyAdvisory Committee and a final review and recommendation by an external advisory board of industry experts. It is anticipated that part of the award may be spent on outside organizations that will work with the principal investigator and USC Stevens to further develop the technology. The external advisory board may recommend that changes be made to the Project Plan in order for the project to be eligible for funding. The grant provides up to $50,000.


Team Building Grant

SC CTSI is also offering a Team Building Grant for up to $5,000. It will support team building activities from small research teams. This mechanism is intended to provide rapid funding for activities that promote the SC CTSI goal of assembling new multidisciplinary or transdisciplinary teams focused on clinical and community research, particularly those that are grounded in the science of team science principles.

Patient Centered Care

The UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute, the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LAC DHS) are partnering to develop and test interventions to enhance quality, efficiency and patient-centeredness of care provided by the LAC DHS – up to $75,000. Learn more. This solicitation requests letters of intent that describe ideas for such programs from which formal applications for funding will be selected.

Research Calendar

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See all events in the USC Research Calendar.