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TIGER Grants

The purpose of the TIGER Grants program is to provide financial support for the establishment, or expansion, of multi-disciplinary collaborations, that are multidisciplinary in nature and thus lead to the development of more competitive, center-type proposals and significant collaborative proposals. These efforts should support key areas that align with Clemson's emphasis areas and focus on the following:

  • Biomedical and Health
  • Advanced Materials and Manufacturing
  • Transportation
  • Energy and Sustainable Environment
  • Big Data, Simulation, Visualization, and Cyber-security
  • STEM Education

However, these criteria are for guidance only. Strong submissions outside of these disciplines may also be considered.

The sole purpose of successful TIGER proposals is that they will form the basis of larger proposal submissions of significance. As such, the TIGER presentations should identify this significance as the primary outcome. It is well understood that a firm technological and organizational foundation must exist for competitive multi-disciplinary, and perhaps multi-institutional, proposals. TIGER funding is intended to serve as a catalyst to move these projects beyond the point of criticality for highly competitive submissions. By nature of the targeted funding, proposals must include multiple faculty from at least two different departments and proposals with participation from across engineering and science and encouraged. Multi-institutional efforts may also be supported if Clemson is listed as the primary/lead institution on the targeted proposal submission.

The primary outcome of the TIGER program is the submission of a major research proposal. This proposal may be submitted to federal agencies, foundations or corporate consortia. The evaluation criteria for the TIGER program are primarily based upon the potential for the formulation of competitive teams with organization structures that can deliver high quality external proposals. PIs of current TIGER grants are not eligible to be PIs on new submissions unless they have already submitted the large external proposal targeted in their current TIGER grant. TIGER proposals will be funded at the level of ~$20 K for teams intending to submit large external grants (>$1.5M for 3 years) in the next 12 months. Smaller level funding on the order of $5-8 K will also be entertained for teams intending to submit mid-sized external grants ($750-1.5M for 3 years) in the next 12 months.

The TIGER grant submission and review process will be coordinated by the Dean’s Advisory Council, with the assistance of campus leaders and others from across the institution as appropriate in proposal evaluation. The initial submission materials will be similar in format to the university-wide internal competitions, with simple boilerplate information, short and directed narratives, proposed budgets, and project timelines. Submissions are limited to three pages. The timeline must include key dates for the targeted external proposal submission.

Should the target external proposal require either a letter of intent or internal competition prior to full proposal submission, the TIGER proposal narrative/timeline must include alternative funding targets if the team is not selected to move ahead. During finals week, proposing teams will also be required to make brief presentations (5 slides/8 minutes maximum) to convey the vision, goals and specific outcomes of the proposed effort to the evaluation panel.

The forms and templates can be downloaded through the links below.

Proposal Documents:
Call for Proposals | Proposal Processing Form | Proposal Narrative | Budget Justification

Use of Funds: 
The funds cannot be used to pay faculty salaries during the academic year or summer salaries. The TIGER funds may be used for a variety of activities including (but not limited to):

  • Equipment or facility access to acquire key data;
  • Travel to engage program managers;
  • Travel to meet with collaborators from other institutions to work on proposal planning;
  • Hiring of proposal development staff or consultants.

The TIGER grants are not intended to support graduate student stipends. However, in rare cases, graduate stipend support for specific project-related activities will be considered for funding only if there is a clear and detailed justification of how the student will fit into the multidisciplinary team, what the student will be expected to achieve in the limited time on the TIGER funds, how this work is absolutely necessary for the success of the eventual external submission, and why this work cannot be obtained with the student funded on some other mechanism.

Funds will be available to successful PIs as individual (numbered) accounts maintained at the college level, with no F&A or GAD costs. Cost-share by departments, such as additional funds, instrument time, release time, staff or student support, is allowed but not required. If departmental cost-share is being provided, please explain those provisions in the budget justification section.

Questions about the TIGER program can be directed to either Dr. Delphine Dean, Associate Professor of Bioengineering and Chair of the Dean’s Advisory Council (CES)(; or Terry Rumph, Grants Administrator (CES) (

Key Dates for Spring 2014

March 17 – Call for proposals sent to all CES faculty

April 7 – Written proposals due in electronic form by 4:30pm to Terry Rumph (

April 11 – Faculty notified of presentation schedule

April 28 – Slide presentations due in electronic form by 4:30 to Dana Simpson (

April 30 - May 2 – Oral presentations (5 slides/8 min. max)

May 9 – Faculty notified of funding decisions

June 1 – Funds become available (approximate)