Through Green Seed Fund grants, the UW seeks to engage faculty, students, and staff in opportunities that advance sustainable research while contributing to campus sustainability goals. Successful proposals will use the campus as a living, learning laboratory and help the UW find solutions to the most pressing environmental issues. For highlights of past research teams, see the Green Seed Fund Factsheet.

The UW’s sustainability goals include but are not limited to:

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions (especially as outlined in Section 3 of the UW’s Climate Action Plan)
  • Transitioning to renewable energy
  • Reducing professional travel
  • Eliminating non-recoverable waste

The Green Seed Fund is not currently accepting proposals. We do not currently have a date when proposals will re-open. Thank you for your understanding.


We encourage proposals that work cooperatively in presenting integrated solutions. Grants are open to UW Seattle, UW Bothell, UW Tacoma, UW Medical Center, and Harborview.

Research teams are required to include at minimum:

  • One UW student 
  • One UW faculty member
  • One UW staff member

Each individual should play an active role. Applicants will also be required to provide letters of support from any campus unit (Facilities, Office of Planning and Budgeting, etc.) potentially impacted by the proposed scope. If multiple campus units are affected, please submit multiple letters of support. Letters will be validated after submission. Applicants should also follow their unit or department’s usual internal process for submitting grant proposals, including securing Dean’s office approvals.

Examples of approval letters: Example 1, Example 2

Length of Research Project

Projects should be approximately one year in duration (e.g. February 2015 to February 2016) and should not exceed two years. If a project extends beyond one year, the team will be required to submit interim or draft recommendations at the end of each calendar year and request an extension (see Reporting Requirements below).

Funding Availability

Approximately $250,000 of funding is available for Fiscal Year 2015-2016. The average award will be $25,000-75,000. Funds will be transferred to research accounts in February, 2016. Funds can be used to support research, education, and engagement expenses such as:

  • Graduate and undergraduate student support
  • Equipment, supplies and participant payments
  • Travel expenses associated with conducting the research or educational project
  • Travel expenses incurred to report research findings at a conference
  • Workshops and symposia on sustainability science and/or practice
  • Community meetings to convene stakeholders or disseminate findings

Proposal Format

Proposals should include the following sections or components. Please consult the Detailed Proposal Requirements for additional information on these proposal elements.

  • Abstract
  • Scope, Approach and Methodology
  • Relevance to UW Sustainability Goals
  • Deliverables/Anticipated Outcomes
  • Detailed and Itemized Budget
  • External Funding Sources
  • Timeline
  • Project/Research Team Staffing
  • Investigator/Collaborators Contact Information

Proposals will only be accepted through an online submittal process. Candidates will be able to save proposals in process, and return to them at their convenience. The link to the proposal submission page will be live after 12pm on October 22nd, 2015.

Review Criteria

The following elements will be the primary considerations in evaluating all submitted proposals and in the selection of projects:

  1. Completion of all required proposal components in the correct format. (5 pts)
  2. The extent to which the project/research teams proposed solution has the potential to help the University of Washington achieve its sustainability goals. The review committee will take direction from the Environmental Stewardship Committee in determining priority sustainability focuses for the UW in a given year(s) and award Green Seed Fund Grants with this hierarchy in mind. (50 pts)
  3. Quality and relevance of the interaction with required campus operations department for the completion of the project. (30 pts)
  4. An assessment of the project team’s ability to deliver the indicated service in accordance with the specifications set out in the RFP. (15 pts)

Award Notification

All submitters will be notified of the status of their proposal by mid-January 2016. Awards will be transferred to the lead investigator's general fund account following a mandatory introductory/orientation meeting among the project lead, financial administrator (possibly the same person) and the representatives for the Green Seed Fund Grant. Graduate and undergraduate student funds will be transferred to the major professor/faculty supervisor’s account. Funded proposals should plan to begin work no earlier than February 2016.

Reporting Requirements

Grant awardees will be required to provide brief quarterly updates during the duration of the project. Depending on the nature of the project, the update may be requested as a short written report, in person meeting or PowerPoint. Reporting format will be discussed and determined at the Award Notification Meeting, and can change after the meeting with consensus from the project leads and Green Seed Fund Grant team. At the end of each calendar year, a research brief with the abstract, findings, and recommendations will be required. Recommendations will be submitted to the Environmental Stewardship Committee, the Vice Provost of Planning and Management, and the Provost.

Questions? See the Detailed Proposal Requirements or  Contact us by e-mail.

UW Climate Action Plan

Why is the Green Seed Fund program Important?

The Green Seed Fund grant encourages innovative and interdisciplinary research that contributes to campus sustainability goals found in the Climate Action Plan; to reduce carbon emissions (Section 4) and to develop funding mechanisms for implementation of the plan (Section 6.1). The grant aligns with Strategy 2.1.4. to foster academic engagement in climate change by creating connections between academic research and administrative activities.