Office of Research


Awards from private foundations help Clemson faculty to accomplish projects ranging from improving literacy rates for elementary-school children to developing genetic treatments for patients with cancer. Recent foundation grants awarded to Clemson University include:

Clemson University wins grant for textile manufacturing innovation

The Walmart Foundation and the U.S. Conference of Mayors recently awarded Clemson University a $964,000 grant to support research in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering on energy-efficient processes for the dyeing of polyester fabrics. Clemson was one of this year’s U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund grant recipients, who are focused on innovations in textile manufacturing processes.

Clemson’s research project is led by Dr. Phil Brown, Swetenburg Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Dr. Chris Cole, Professor Emerita, Materials Science and Engineering in the College of Engineering and Science, and will focus on reducing energy use and color effluent in the polyester dyeing process.

“The expertise of our team of Clemson researchers bears great promise for breakthroughs in the polyester dyeing process and commercial dyeing technologies,” said Anand Gramopadhye, dean of Clemson University’s College of Engineering and Science. “We look forward to the outcomes of this project and the significant collaborative opportunities with industry partners in our region.”

Clemson is one of five universities to receive grants from the U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund, which supports research proposals that seek to develop new manufacturing technologies, reduce the cost of producing goods in the U.S., and create jobs that support America’s manufacturing base. The fund will provide a total of $10 million in grant awards over five years.

Support for the Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund is part of Walmart’s larger commitment to help revitalize U.S. manufacturing. In January 2013, Walmart announced a commitment to buy an additional $250 billion in products that support U.S. jobs by 2023.

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Engineering Information Foundation supports project seeking to enhance engineers' communication skills

The Engineering Information Foundation recently awarded a $17,528 grant to a joint project between the Departments of Communication Studies and Civil Engineering titled "Enhancing Engineering Students' Oral and Visual Communication Skills through Cross-Curricular Education." Led by Darren Linvill, Associate Professor and Director of the Basic Courses in the Department of Communication Studies, the project seeks to apply the best practices from communication studies pedagogies to engineering curricula in order to help engineering students develop effective oral and visual communication skills. 

The Eppley Foundation for Research awards $25,000 grant to support exosome research

Terri BruceThe Eppley Foundation for Research has awarded Dr. Terri Bruce (Academic Program Director and Manager of the Clemson Light Imaging Facility (CAFLS) and adjunct faculty member of bioengineering), a $25,000 grant award to support her research on the fundamental pathways involved in how cells package, transport, release and uptake small, signal-packed droplets, called exosomes. Dr. Bruce’s work has the potential to advance understanding of how cells communicate with one another across long distances and to shed more light on the role of cellular communication in a range of biological processes from early development, gene transfer, disease transmission, cancer metastasis and neurological signaling pathways.  By investigating the principles of cellular communication via exosomes, Dr. Bruce hopes to one day be able to manipulate the messages that cells send to one another. The ability to selectively “package” exosomes with specific signaling molecules or drug therapies, could lead to an entirely new realm of disease treatment. Her work is also expected to aid in the development of a “toolbox” of vectors and tagged nanoparticles that may be used to help elucidate the pathways involved in the uptake of microvesicles and ultimately may be instrumental in uncovering the fundamental information needed to make the dream of targeted exosomes as a source of treatment a reality.

Incorporated in 1947, the Eppley Foundation for Research funds projects in medicine, life sciences and the physical sciences. Particular areas of interest include innovative medical investigations and applications, endangered animals and ecosystems, and climate change.  The Foundation was established by Captain Marion Eppley, a Princeton-educated physical chemist, who founded the Eppley Laboratory in Newport, RI, in 1917 to manufacture standard cells.  Under Captain Eppley’s guidance, the Eppley Laboratory also entered the field of thermal radiation and today continues to be involved in both laboratory and solar measurement of radiation.

The PNC Foundation supports Project BEEMS with $50,000 award

The PNC Foundation has awarded a $50,000 grant to Project BEEMS, led by Dr. Sandra Linder, Asst. Professor of Early Childhood Mathematics Education. Project BEEMS (Building Environments for Early Mathematics Success) seeks to provide childcare teachers and caregivers with the skills to create effective environments for building early mathematics success in young children. This project builds upon an earlier pilot study, also funded by The PNC Foundation, which was completed with 12 Head Start centers in the Upstate of South Carolina.  

The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (NYSE: PNC), actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a $350 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.

Community Foundation of Greenville grant shapes future of CVA-G

The Center for Visual Arts – Greenville (CVA-G), located in the Village of West Greenville, opened its doors in September 2013 and aims to positively impact arts accessibility in the Upstate. A $100,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Greenville has allowed the CVA-G to create a space for contemporary art discourse through hosted visual art exhibitions, workshops and community outreach events. CVA-G [Clemson University, Clemson, SC]

As a satellite facility of the Center for Visual Arts on Clemson University’s main campus, the CVA-G partners with a broad range of community stakeholders and a wide variety of arts and culture professionals to support the contemporary art community on the local, regional, national and international levels. The CVA-G is also committed to fostering the development of Greenville’s West side by using the arts to impact audiences that have not otherwise been engaged in social, economic and cultural growth. 

With the Community Foundation of Greenville’s support, the CVA-G has been able to plan and host several evolving exhibitions, which have all been free and open to the public and have featured an educational element to enhance public understanding of arts-related topics. Example exhibits include:

  • Sense of Place: this exhibit used photography to discover and communicate the storied experiences of residents and community members in the Village of West Greenville
  • Works of Paper: using the work of three different artists, this exhibit showcased the vital role that paper has had (and continues to have) in the art-making process.

The Community Foundation of Greenville’s support has also allowed the CVA-G to sponsor a variety of workshops designed to engage local residents and community members in exploring a topic, medium, or process featured in one of the CVA-G’s special exhibitions. In October 2014, the CVA-G hosted Eli Blasko, artist of Diagrams in Flux, who led a workshop with art students from Legacy Charter School’s Early College Program. CVA-G [Clemson University, Clemson, SC]

In addition to the CVA-G’s collaboration with the Community Foundation of Greenville, the Center has also worked closely with other internal and external entities to offer diversified programming focusing on both the visual arts and larger community issues. For example, the CVA-G partnered with the Small Business Development Center to present a “Marketing 101” seminar designed to equip artists and creative entrepreneurs low-cost, high-impact marketing strategies that would expand their client base and audience.

The Community Foundation of Greenville’s valued support has helped establish the CVA-G as a cornerstone of Greenville’s West side. The CVA-G plans to build on their success by continuing to offer exhibits and programs that strengthen the community and dialogue around arts in the city of Greenville.