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Director's Chair

Supporting graduate student innovation

Dear Colleagues, 

I want to extend my warmest wishes in welcoming you back to another semester and a new year! While we are still adjusting to the disruptions caused by the pandemic, we are looking forward to facilitating another great year of revolutionary research advancements and partnerships.  

Often behind every great Principal Investigator is a great graduate student. Every year, Clemson University's Graduate School grows with more students looking to advance their careers and knowledge. We have seen countless graduate students fundamentally change their industries through innovation and work to move research forward. As we embark on this new year, I want to emphasize the value of graduate students’ involvement in research, the campus resources available for enriching their research, and the support resources CURF can provide.   

We believe that all graduate students should be involved in research. Participating in applied research allows students to obtain hands-on experience in their field of interest and synthesize knowledge that expands beyond a traditional classroom. It allows for further development of critical thinking abilities and equips students with valuable research skills to ensure their success after graduation. Additionally, graduate student research groups can provide faculty members with beneficial support for innovative research. 

Clemson University provides numerous resources for supporting graduate student research. Examples of this include, but are not limited to: 

  • Creative Inquiry: Creative Inquiry courses are team-based investigations that facilitate undergraduate student participation in research. While the course must be faculty-sponsored, graduate students can have the opportunity to lead these courses and provide mentorship to young researchers. For more information on how graduate students can get involved, click here. 
  • GRAD 360°: The GRAD 360° program provides graduate students with comprehensive professional development resources. This program includes hosting research-oriented workshops throughout the academic year. For more information on GRAD 360°, click here. 
  • Graduate Student Travel Grants: Graduate Student Travel Grants are available to graduate students to attend academic conferences, workshops, and field experiences to further their research. For more information on how to apply, click here. 
  • Research Events: 3-Minute Thesis Competition (Fall) and Graduate Research and Discovery Symposium (Spring) are graduate student research events sponsored by the Graduate Student Government that challenge students to compile and showcase their research. They also provide research networking opportunities. 

In addition to the campus wide resources available for graduate student research, here at CURF, we are dedicated to providing support. Examples of how CURF can assist graduate students include, but are not limited to: 

  • Connection to Industry: CURF can connect graduate student inventors interested in direct pathways from their research at Clemson University to industry to business partners and faculty mentors. This support can provide job security after graduation and industry networking capital. Graduate students looking to partner with CURF should submit an Inquiry Intake Form here. 
  • CURF Internships: Every year, we provide internships to graduate students interested in learning more about the commercialization process. Our internship programs provide graduate students with the opportunity to learn more about technology transfer-- including patent protection, technology maturation, marketing, licensing, and more. Internship opportunities typically open during the late spring/summer. More information can be found here. 
  • Technology Transfer Knowledge: We provide graduate student inventors support in understanding the technology transfer process and its value. Our website includes a breakdown of terminology and answers to commonly asked questions that may be helpful to graduate students newly entering the innovation field. To access our knowledge base, click  

While this is not an exhaustive list of resources, we want you to know that we are ready and available to support graduate students at any part of the research journey. If you or a graduate student you know is interested in working with CURF, please request assistance via our Inquiry Intake Form here. 

We look forward to providing continued support for all your research endeavors during this new year. 

Best regards, 


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