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

Tiger Challenge model


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/EGR 251 B04 - Community Project Studio course (full 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 350/EGR 351 B04 - Community Project Studio course (full academic year) OR
  • Departmental independent work (junior papers/theses) or graduate research


  • Participants will learn how 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.

Key Dates

  • December 22, 2020: Priority application begins
  • January 22, 2021: Priority application ends, interviews round 1 begin
  • March 20, 2021: Late application begins*
  • Early-April, 2021: Late application ends, interviews round 2 begin*
  • Early-May, 2021: Team members finalized
  • Late-May, 2021: Welcome / orientation
  • June 7, 2021: Tiger Challenge kick-off!
  • August 9-10, 2021: End-of-summer presentations

Note: If spots in the program become available after the January selection period, a second round application period will open mid-March. This second round is not guaranteed to open.

Join Our Summer 2021 Teams!

Hard History

Sustainable Reusables


Racist Everyday Technologies

Apply Now!

Tiger Challenge has limited seats left for Summer 2021. Due to a number of applicants asking for an extension, the deadline to apply has been extended to 11:59 pm, April 24, 2021 (Eastern Time). 



Jessica Leung
Design Program Manager; Lecturer