What is SPARC? 

The Office of Sponsored Projects, Academic Research and Compliance (SPARC) is the central administrative office responsible for all externally funded sponsored projects, grants and contracts that support institutional development, research, scholarship and creative activities. The office oversees pre- and post-award activities and ensures compliance with all federal, state, sponsor and institutional policies and regulations.  


The Office of Sponsored Projects, Academic Research and Compliance seeks to foster intellectual community and innovation by enhancing research, creative scholarly activities through professional development, capacity building, procurement and ethical stewardship of sponsored projects and compliance oversight.  


We envision a supportive and dynamic research environment that contributes to a thriving intellectual community at St. Mary’s University. 

What We Offer 

Internal Faculty Research Grants

Internal Faculty Research Grants are awarded by the university to support the development of faculty scholarships in their areas of teaching, discovery, integration and application. Grants can be used to fund a process or activity that supports the creation of a scholarly or creative product or prepares the faculty member for such a contribution. Full-time faculty are eligible for these grants and up to 10 are selected annually to receive an award up to $5,000 each.

Research Development Workshops

Research Development workshops inform faculty and staff of University resources to support and strengthen their research and grant development. Topics vary from institutional data, student research experiences, grant stewardship, etc.  

Grant Writing Cohort

The purpose of the cohort is to help faculty and staff with the grant writing process. The program is designed for those new to grant development and seeking communal support. Participants complete a two-day grant development workshop and attend monthly meetings breaking down the various components of the grant writing process and application. Interested applicants must submit a letter of interest and seek their dean’s or supervisor’s support to participate. 

Manuscript Writing Cohort

The manuscript writing cohort provides support, motivation and accountability as faculty and staff are working on their manuscripts. Monthly meetings are held across campus during the academic year. 

One-on-One Faculty Consultations

The SPARC office provides faculty and staff consultations to discuss research interests and/or grant development. Contact SPARC to learn how we can support your research endeavors. 

University Research Council 

The University Research Council promotes, encourages and supports faculty and student research, creative and scholarly activities as a primary mission of the University and an essential component of quality undergraduate and graduate education. In the context of an active learning community with regional leadership and a global perspective, the council nourishes all research, scholarship, professional and creative activities that stimulate ideas and disseminate knowledge. The council is comprised of faculty and staff members across campus with the SPARC. 

  • Learn More

    Irene Holguin 
    Director of the Office of Sponsored Projects, Academic Research and Compliance (SPARC) 


Back to top