three students and an instructor discussing a project in front of a table full of colored sticky notes

Tiger Challenge helps students and community partners build more equitable and joyful societies. Taking place inside and outside of the classroom over multiple years and pathways, students and advisers address complex societal issues in partnership with nonprofit and government partners. Teams develop lasting innovations across education, health, sustainability, social justice, and civic life.

The program is grounded in design thinking, a body of techniques that unlocks empathy, creativity, collaboration, and open-mindedness. Learn about the design thinking methodology.

Innovation through innovation can take many paths, and so can this program. Opportunities include: 

  • A 10-week, full-time summer immersion experience
  • The Community Project Studio course for academic credit
  • Independent work where students conduct impact evaluations of their designs

Go ahead, change the world

3 students chatting with a guest and an advisor in front of 3 laptops

Tiger Challenge model

Contextualization (SUMMER)

Immerse broadly in the challenge area to identify unmet needs and frame new opportunities:

  • Ethnographic techniques
  • Review of literature and prior work
  • Conversations with advisors and partners
  • Create maps of information

How to meet these requirements:

  • Summer Tiger Challenge program OR
  • Academic year Tiger Challenge program OR
  • Another project-based course or equivalent experience (by application)


Develop, test, and adapt novel ways to address the opportunities and problems identified:

  • Brainstorming techniques
  • Prototyping methods
  • Pilot planning

How to meet these requirements:

  • EGR 250 / 251 - Community Project Studio course (1 course per semester during academic year)


Execute a pilot and pilot study, testing the intended and unintended impacts of designs:

  • Project management tools
  • Impact evaluations
  • Working with partners to create plans for durability

How to meet these requirements:

  • Summer Tiger Challenge program OR
  • EGR 251 / 350 / 351 - Community Project Studio course (full academic year) OR
  • Departmental independent work (junior papers/theses) or graduate research


  • Participants will learn how to practice human-centered design and design thinking in a real-life project
  • Assignment of well-established community partners, plus Princeton advisor per team
  • Targeted workshops and lectures open only to Tiger Challenge participants
  • Networking opportunities with social innovators, designers and consultants
  • $5,000 stipend per team member
  • Summer internship counts towards Entrepreneurship (ENT) certificate practicum
  • End-of-summer presentation to the public
  • Participate in Princeton Research Day
  • Housing on campus (dependent upon the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions currently in place)
  • Co-working space in the Princeton Entrepreneurial Hub (dependent upon the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions currently in place)


Princeton University graduate and undergraduate students of all departments; I-9 not required.

Key Dates

  • December 9, 2022: Application begins
  • February 3, 2023: Application ends; interviews begin
  • April 15, 2023: Late application - contingent on available spots
  • Early-May, 2023: Teams finalized
  • Early-May, 2023: Welcome / orientation
  • June 5, 2023: Summer Program Kickoff Barbecue
  • August 2, 2023: End-of-summer presentations


Check out the challenges for Fall 2023!

  • Casa Extendida - Fostering a sense of community for Latin American international students
  • Downpour Detour - Closing the storm resiliency gap for underserved Princeton residents
  • generaZn Nexus - Breaking intergenerational trauma cycles in East Asian American families
  • Hear My Voice - Tackling the myth of Asian Americans as a "docile" community







Jessica Leung
Design Program Manager; Lecturer, Keller Center
Manda Ryan
Program Coordinator, eLab and Tiger Challenge