Graham Sustainability Institute

Social and Environmental Sustainability Grant Award


Required Application Materials

There are a total of TWO components that need to be submitted in order for this application to be considered complete.

  1. Proposal Narrative (not to exceed 4 pages)

    1. Project Description

      1. Clearly describe the significance, nature, goals, and impact of the proposed activity. Be specific in how it enhances research, education, or practice in environmental sustainability and social sustainability (DEI&J) on campus.
      2. Include detailed plan/schedule for accomplishing proposed goals.
      3. Designate if student support/volunteer work is requested and, if so, describe what tasks they will be completing.
      4. State the audience you intend to reach, how you will target that audience, and why.
      5. State your means of acquiring publicity for the event and the steps you have already taken for advertising.
    2. Information about leadership

      1. One paragraph describing the capabilities and commitment of the person(s) leading the initiative.
      2. One paragraph describing the capabilities and commitment of other key players.
  2. Itemized budget (completed budget form)

    1. Please submit this completed budget form before or along with your Proposal Narrative and Project Timeline. This must include a list of itemized expenditures and indicate any non-Graham support that may be either pending or confirmed.
    2. Must indicate any non-Graham support that may be either pending (P) or confirmed (C).
    3. Include a detailed description of cost estimates and how they were derived, as well as an explanation of why each expenditure is necessary.

Application Review

Student applications will be reviewed by board members of the Student Sustainability Coalition (SSC) using the criteria listed below. (NOTE: Faculty, staff, and students employed by the Graham Institute are not eligible to apply for Graham Institute funding.)

Please allow 2-4 weeks for a decision announcement.

Mandatory Requirements:

  • Application is student-generated
  • Application is clear and complete (all elements provided and thorough)
  • Application must advocate, enhance, or otherwise increase environmental and social sustainability at UM

Primary Criteria:

  • Increases University of Michigan campus sustainability
    • Applications should aim to directly increase U-M sustainability. This can be:
      • Environmental sustainability (i.e. energy, water, waste, etc)
      • Social sustainability (i.e. environmental justice, equitable impact),
      • Economic sustainability (i.e. organizational structure, investing) or
      • Educational sustainability (i.e. creating sustainability courses).
    • Projects must reach a broad range of people (students, faculty, staff, non-UM community members). Additional involvement and greater diversity of involvement and/or impact will increase the grant's likelihood of success.
  • Addresses campus/community DEI&J

    • Projects that support the formation and maintenance of equitable communities will be given priority. The goal of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice criterion is to increase SSC’s engagement with underrepresented and underserved communities.
    • We will evaluate the proposal’s connection between campus environmental sustainability and DEI&J and/or social sustainability. Promoting new innovative approaches to improving DEI&J via sustainability initiatives is a high priority.
    • Projects should have a rational benefit (whether material/economic, social, or environmental) for one or more marginalized group(s). The grant application should include the predicted DEI&J benefits of the project, demonstrating the proposers’ consideration of their impact.

Secondary Criteria (not requirements, but are given preference if present):

  • Project focuses on multiple aspects of sustainability
  • Project team has not previously worked in the sustainability field
  • Project increases collaboration among other organizations across campus
  • Team behind the project is strong and possesses the resources/connections to succeed
  • Impact of the project is durable/long-term
  • Project is innovative
  • Project includes a plan for greater accessibility of impacts/benefits
  • Proposal Narrative includes plan for reporting outcomes to Graham Institute and SSC

Grant Recipient Requirements

Team leaders must submit a one-paragraph write-up about the completed project to Additionally, those who receive funds must submit photos to throughout the development and upon completion of projects/events.

NOTE: Failure to provide a report upon completion may result in an investigative review from the Graham Sustainability Institute.