Planet Blue Student Innovation Fund

Student Sustainability Coalition-awarded funding of up to $25,000 per semester for ambitious, student-initiated projects that reduce U-M's environmental footprint and promote a culture of sustainability on campus.

Apply for up to $25,000 this semester through the Planet Blue Student Innovation Fund (PBSIF) if you or your student organization is working on a project with a long-lasting impact that addresses a campus sustainability challenge and enhances campus-wide student engagement with sustainability. Project and application must be student-generated and student-driven.

Past PBSIF initiatives that have received funding include the U-M Campus Farm, the Maize and Blue Cupboard, the Strawbale Building, and the Food Recovery Network.

Applications are accepted in one cycle each per Fall and Winter semester.

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Note: the deadline for the Winter 2022 application cycle has passed.

  1. Submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) by email to sustainability.coalition.core@umich.edu with the subject line “PBSIF Letter of Intent - [your project’s/group’s name]” no later than 11:59 pm on [FALL SEMESTER DEADLINE PENDING]. See details for the LOI listed below. Note: you MUST submit an LOI to apply for PBSIF funding.

  2. One week after you submit your LOI, SSC will respond back with feedback and clarifying questions that you should incorporate into your final application to the best of your ability.

  3. Submit the full PBSIF Application no later than 11:59 pm on [FALL SEMESTER DEADLINE PENDING].

Please respond to the following in no more than one page:

  1. In one sentence, what is your project idea?
  2. How does your project address campus sustainability?
  3. What has been done previously to address this aspect of campus sustainability? How does your project impact sustainability in a way that is different from past and ongoing efforts?
  4. If your project requires any sort of implementation or installation on campus, have you communicated with campus units that you would need to work with? If not, what is your plan and timeline for doing so? For example, an on-campus installation may need approval from the Campus Planners.
  5. How will you maximize student engagement with this project?
  6. Please provide an estimated budget and what items these funds are going towards.
  7. In order to transfer funds to grant recipients, having a student organization, faculty/staff advisor, or campus unit that you are working with is very helpful. Do you already have such a partner, or would you like our help in finding one?

  1. Proposal narrative (not to exceed 4 pages)
    • Project vision
    • How it will be carried out
    • Impact on campus sustainability
    • Impact on student engagement with sustainability
    • Evidence that the project can be done and can receive necessary permissions to be implemented and/or installed on campus
    • Long-term continuation of project 
  2. Include how you plan to institutionalize the project or transition project work to new students in order to continue the project long-term
  3. Project timeline (see here for an example)
  4. Itemized budget* (see here for an example)
  5. Project leadership: Please provide each team member's name, email, related involvements/experiences, and capabilities
  6. In order to transfer funds to grant recipients, having a student organization, faculty/staff advisor, or campus unit that you are working with is very helpful. Who is your affiliated organization and/or advisor?
  7. If you are selected for funding, please be prepared to provide SSC regular updates on your project status. 

*Please note we do not award funding for compensating students' time or budget items not justified as necessary. 

Preliminary approval by the SSC Leadership Team is subject to final approval by other University committees (e.g, U-M Facilities & Operations, Exterior Elements Design Review Committee).

Banner photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash