September 29, 2017, 4:00 - 5:30 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Annual Science Seminar Presents:


4:00 - 5:30 P.M. on FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29TH, 2017

George Lucas Building, School of Cinematic Arts Complex
900 West 34th Street, Los Angeles 90007

Dessert reception to follow in the George Lucas Building lobby.


About The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Annual Science Seminar

The USC School of Cinematic Arts invites you and a guest to a panel discussion featuring:

  • Dr. Milind Tambe – Helen N. and Emmett H. Jones Professor in Engineering; Founding Co-Director, USC Center for AI in Society
  • Dr. Paul Rosenbloom – Professor, Computer Science Department, Viterbi School of Engineering
  • Dr. Eric Rice – Associate Professor, USC Suzanne Dwoark-Peck School of Social Work and the Viterbi School of Engineering;  Founding Co-Director, USC Center for AI in Society
  • Dr. Sheila Tejada – Senior Lecturer, Computer Science Department, Viterbi School of Engineering
  • Moderated by Norman Hollyn – Professor, Production Division and Media Arts + Practice

Attendance is mandatory for those SCA majors planning to apply for one of the Sloan Foundation grants. The Sloan Foundation will award up to two Production grants, two Screenwriting grants, and one Animation grant in 2018.

For more information about the scholarships, please visit:  http://cinema.usc.edu/Sloan

The Sloan Grant Program at SCA

Sloan Criteria:

The one condition of all submissions is that they portray science and/or scientists in realistic, non-stereotypical ways. They do not necessarily have to be sympathetic characters, and the story does not have to be strictly about science. Sloan is interested in reading about scientists as human beings whether they're fallible or heroic. The stories can be totally fiction or based on an actual event or person.

Science fiction and purely medical stories are not accepted. All proposals must be approved for scientific accuracy by a legitimate scientist, either a USC faculty member or a scientist from outside the university.

Types of Grants Offered:

Two Production Grants are offered for $22,500 each

Production proposals will include a completed script for a short film, 8-15 minutes in length, a story synopsis, shooting schedule and a budget. Previously completed films will not be accepted. Documentaries are not accepted.

Two Screenwriting Grants are offered for $17,500 each

Screenwriting proposals must include either an original feature film script, a television movie script, or a television pilot script that meets the Sloan criteria. This comedy or drama must be a narrative story. Documentaries are not accepted.

One Animation Grant is offered for $17,500

Animation submission materials are the same as the production proposal with the exception of the proposed film length. Animation entries can be between 5-12 minutes.

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Grants Update

For undergraduate and graduate SCA majors planning to apply for grants in screenwriting, production or animation, we strongly recommend you begin developing your projects over the winter break.

For complete information and application requirements, go to the SCA Community site at: https://scacommunity.usc.edu/secure/scholarships/details/sloan.cfm

In September, we will present the annual Sloan Science seminar whose attendance is mandatory for those applying for a grant. Past topics have included OCD/Phobias, Evolution, Bio-terrorism, Cloning, Memory, Earthquakes, The Oceans, and Forensics, among others. Panelists have included leading scientists and other authorities in their respective fields. Date and time will be announced when confirmed.

For those planning to apply for a production grant ($22,500), previous winning Sloan films from the six participating schools are available online at the Museum of the Moving Image - http://scienceandfilm.org/projects

Please note two important changes from previous years:

  1. For students who apply for and receive production or animation grants, you are expected to involve your science advisor throughout the entire production process. Be clear with the advisor about the time commitment. For screenwriters, we strongly recommend that you meet with your science advisor prior to beginning your script and have him/her review it for scientific accuracy throughout the process.
  2. One of our production instructors, Dr. Thomas Miller, is the designated Sloan production liaison and will work closely with those students producing Sloan films. He will be an important resource as an advisor who will also monitor the production stages to ensure pre-determined deadlines are being met.

For questions regarding deadlines, required submission materials, or contacting a potential science advisor, contact Student Services. For specific content issues, contact associate dean Alan Baker. Most questions are already addressed on the SCA Community site.


The Sloan Grant is available to Undergraduate and Graduate Students of any SCA division. In order to apply students must:

  • Be a current student
  • Be an SCA major (applies to undergrads)
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • All applicants are required to submit a Science Adviser's Report, approved by a legitimate scientist, either a USC faculty member or a scientist from outside the university.
  • Further submission guidelines are listed on the SCA Scholarship Web page.

Selection Process

Applications are reviewed by an SCA faculty panel.

  • Applications are reviewed by an SCA faculty panel.
  • Final selections are reviewed and decided on by the Sloan Foundation.
  • Recipients are generally announced between May and August of the particular award year.

How to Apply

Applications are submitted once a year, during the spring.

Deadlines Timetables For Completion:
  • During the fall semester students interested in applying for the Sloan grant are encouraged to attend the annual Sloan Seminar. At the seminar, information related the grant is presented and students have an opportunity to learn about a specific science related topic.
  • In January, the spring deadlines for the SCA Scholarship Program are announced, including the deadlines for the Sloan submissions. For more information, students should refer to the SCA Scholarship Web page.
  • Applications are assessed by SCA faculty and forwarded to the Sloan Foundation during the spring semester.
  • Between May and August, recipients are announced. Students who receive a production award will have one year to begin production and a total of two years to complete their film. Students receiving the script award will receive the funds as a scholarship award toward that academic year.
Contact Information

Name: Tamela Bow, Scholarship and Programs Coordinator
Email: tbow@cinema.usc.edu