Distinguished Awards for Interdisciplinary Sustainability

Dow Distinguished Awards Project Image - 2017 Deadline May 26Program Factsheet (PDF)Collaborative student teams manage high-impact projects supported by Dow Distinguished Awards. Open to undergraduate and graduate students across the University of Michigan, this competition for applied sustainability projects fosters sustainability at the local, national, or global level. Supported by the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program, teams have the opportunity to compete for up to $50,000. 

Beyond the Campus

The Dow Distinguished Awards for Interdisciplinary Sustainability competition supports student-led projects that focus on compelling and practical efforts. Distinguished Award projects focus on sustainability challenges external to the University. (See Planet Blue support for campus projects below.)

Look for the Call for Proposals/Applications

In January of each year, the program issues a Call for Proposals (Applications) to Proposals should be student-led, faculty advised, and action-oriented, outlining a new product, service, or project that seeks to protect the environment and enhance the quality of life for present and future generations, see: Guidelines.

We encourage proposals spanning the full breadth of sustainability topics, including but not limited to energy, water, communities, food, built environment, and transportation. Teams identify a client or organization, develop a needs assessment, scope of work and timeline of activities and deliverables.

  • Project proposals in partnership with external organizations are welcome. 
  • The first 15 proposals that meet the seed (small) grant criteria will be supported.
  • Applications close by the deadline specified or after 15 viable projects are received, whichever comes first. 
  • Each seed grant project team has the opportunity to compete for additional support.

The 2018 Application is Closed - Please Consider Applying in 2019 

Sustainability: The University of Michigan defines sustainability as solutions-driven scholarship and practice that seeks to safeguard the planet's life-support systems 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 the Planet Blue Student Innovation Fund.

Find Funded Projects