Graham Sustainability Institute

Carbon Neutrality

Distinguished Awards

Dow Distinguished Awards Project Image - 2017 Deadline May 26The Call for 2022 Distinguished Award Letters of Intent and Project Proposals is Open

Project Timeline: January - December 2022.

Collaborative and interdisciplinary student teams manage high-impact projects supported by the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program and the Dow Company Foundation.

The Dow Distinguished Award Competition is open to graduate students across the University of Michigan Ann Arbor campus but is NOT open to current Dow Fellows or Dow Fellows alumni.

Working with Partners Beyond the Campus
The Dow Distinguished Awards Competition supports projects managed by interdisciplinary graduate student teams that focus on challenges external to the university, including 
applied sustainability projects at the regional, national, or global levels. Teams work in partnership with government, businesses, communities, non-profit and other organizations on challenging sustainability projects that seek to enhance quality of life (e.g., reduce carbon emissions, promote circularity, increase energy equity/independence).

Program Focus (2021-2023)
The intersection of a circular economy and climate protection involves managing resources — including air, land, water — and the production of physical products, by reducing or eliminating waste and working toward carbon neutrality. Climate protection includes energy efficiency, renewable energy, greenhouse gas reduction, carbon neutrality planning, and more. Project Proposals must be aligned with the Dow Fellows program focus.

See additional details:


The Dow Distinguished Awards Competition is a component of the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program at the University of Michigan,  supported by the Dow Company Foundation. Dow contributes to sustainable communities by supporting strategic philanthropic investments addressing the world’s most pressing challenges. The Dow Company and Dow Company Foundation have generously supported the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program at the University of Michigan since its inception in 2013. Note: The Seed Grant project awards (small grants) have been discontinued and are not a component of the current phase of the Dow Fellows program and the Distinguished Awards Competition.

Program Administration: The Sustainability Dow Fellows Program is administered by the Graham Sustainability Institute at the University of Michigan (U-M) on behalf of the U-M Provost.

Sustainability at U-M

The University of Michigan defines sustainability as a solutions-driven scholarship and practice that seeks to safeguard our life-support systems and planet and enhance the quality of life for present and future generations. The field is defined by the problems it addresses rather than the disciplines it employs. It draws from multiple disciplines of the natural, social, engineering, design, and health sciences; from the professions and humanities; and from practical field experience in business, government, and civil society.

Planet Blue Funding for Campus Projects: Competitive funding to support student-led projects focused on U-M campus sustainability is available through Planet Blue.