Skip to content

Division of Research


R-Initiative programs nurture scholarship and discovery at Clemson University by providing funding opportunities and professional development support, while recognizing excellence through awards programs.
From 2017-2022, Clemson University has invested more than $14 million in research projects involving nearly 600 faculty members spread across every college through its R-Initiative funding programs. These funds have helped faculty secure $34 million in additional external funding (several proposals are still pending), acquire 20 new pieces of instrumentation, publish 13 books and 163 journal articles and presentations, and conduct 11 art exhibitions and residencies, among other scholarly activities. Funds also helped 107 students earn PhDs. More proposals are being prepared and numerous R-Initiative projects remain active.
R-Initiative programs available are listed below, including funding opportunities, services and tools, and awards and recognitions.

collage of two images with one image of a field with 3 students and a faculty and another image with 2 students discussing a eureka project

Funding Opportunities

  • Major Research Instrumentation Program

    The MRI initiative provides $50,000 or more to fund the purchase or upgrade of equipment.  

    View more information including the 2024 awardees.

  • Clemson Research Fellows

    Fellows provides funding to support the hiring and training of research faculty and postdoctoral researchers.

    FUNDING: As appropriate and justified


  • Clemson Faculty Succeeds

    CLEMSON FACULTY SUCCEEDS (CU SUCCEEDS) is a competitive internal funding initiative that positions faculty to succeed at various stages of the research process. CU SUCCEEDS provides funding across four programs to support leading-edge research and scholarship that capitalize on the existing intellectual capital at Clemson University. This initiative consists of four programs: (1) Project Initiation/Seed Funding, (2) Collaborate, (3) Project Completion, and (4) Fast Track.


  • Clemson Core Incentivized Access (CU-CIA)

    CU-CIA provides access to core research facilities for electron microscopy, light imaging, micro fabrication, high performance computing and animal research services. 


  • External Review Initiative

    This provides principal investigators with external reviews to strengthen proposals before submission to funding agencies. Applications are accepted any time but must be submitted 12 weeks before the sponsor deadline

    External reviewers of proposals provide valuable feedback that investigators can use to strengthen proposals prior to submission to funding agencies, thus increasing their potential funding success. The Division of Research facilitates and provides honoraria for the external peer-review of grant proposals with the External Review Initiative. Clemson faculty may receive external reviews of grant proposals on which they are the Principal Investigators (PIs). PIs will suggest external reviewers, and ORD staff will coordinate the receipt of written peer reviews. 

    FUNDING: $300 per reviewer, split by a 1:1 VPR/PI costshare

    Call for Proposals
    Rolling deadline

  • Sponsor Travel Grant

    This provides investigators with up to $1,000 to visit agency or foundation program officers to establish relationships and discuss new funding opportunities. Applications are accepted any time.

    The Division of Research will award Sponsor Travel Grants of up to $1,000 for investigators to visit agency or foundation program officers to establish relationships and discuss new funding opportunities. Sponsor Travel Grants are available on a rolling deadline.

    FUNDING: Up to $1,000

    Call for Proposals
    Rolling deadline

  • Doctoral Dissertation Completion Grant

    A collaborative effort between the Offices of the Vice President for Research and the Dean of the Graduate School, this initiative supports students working to complete their doctoral degree. The Doctoral Dissertation Completion Award is not currently accepting applications. 

    FUNDING: Up to $7,500 for a long semester (Up to $4,500 for summer)


  • Industry Engagement Seed Grant Program

    New in 2023, the Clemson University Industry Engagement Seed Grant Program is intended to provide financial support to eligible Clemson faculty with the goal of engaging for-profit companies to foster sponsored project activities.


  • Industry Pilot Project Program

    New in 2023, the Industry Pilot Project Program provides a waiver of indirect costs and GAD for the first two sponsored projects submitted by an eligible applicant to be funded by a for-profit company. 



Services and Tools

  • Research Symposium

    The annual Research Symposium is a gathering of faculty from every discipline to share ideas and form research collaborations, as well as to celebrate our successes in scholarship and discovery. The event features numerous interdisciplinary workshops, panel discussions, networking opportunities and awards ceremonies.


  • Career Academy

    The Office of Research Development’s annual CAREER Academy provides a dedicated support structure for untenured junior faculty who are planning to submit National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) proposals. 


  • Faculty Insight

    The online Faculty Insight database tool provides a platform for faculty to search for potential collaborators and funding opportunities by expertise. 


  • Limited Submissions

    Some funding opportunities limit the number of applications that an institution can submit per cycle. The Office of Research Development works to establish and implement a fair, effective, and timely process for internal competitions for limited-submission funding opportunities.

    Clemson InfoReady Research Portal

Awards and Recognitions

  • Researcher of the Year

    The Researcher of the Year awards recognize the efforts of high-achieving faculty whose work is improving society through the generation and dissemination of new knowledge. Each college nominates one senior faculty member and one junior faculty member who received their terminal degree within the past 10 years. 


  • University Research, Scholarship and Artistic Achievement Awards

    URSAAA was created in 2018 to recognize Clemson University faculty who have achieved rare career milestones, such as: receiving the highest level of national or international recognition in their field; authoring a paper that has received more than 1,000 citations; or expending more than $1 million on research in a fiscal year. 


Division of Research
Division of Research | 230 Kappa Street, Clemson, SC 29634