Dow Distinguished Awards Large Grant Competition Rating Scale

Project Pitch - 5 Points:
Teams selected to compete for a large grant must give a presentation at the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program Symposium. At the Dow Symposium, one-two members of each team present a 5-minute oral pitch to a panel of judges, peers, and guests. During the pitch, team members make the case for why they should receive more funding, and a plan of work for using additional funds.


Proposed Plan & Budget - 10 Points: A plan for NEW project work to be completed with additional funds must be based on the project presentation and content from the project report, including:

  • A revised, well-written scope of work, milestones, timeline for completing additional work, a complete list of all key members of the project team who will continue working on the project.
  • Identify the specific geographic location of the work (city, state, country).
  • Information about how project success will be measured if a large grant is awarded (e.g., metrics related to the project scope and objectives) and over what time frame.
  • Identify any skill gaps in the existing team and a plan for how they will be filled.
  • Focus on additional engagement activities, deliverables, and potential impact.

A proposed Budget must include:

  • The amount of additional funding requested and a short description of how funding will be utilized.
  • An alternative budget, addressing what could be accomplished with funding at 50% of the level proposed by the team.
  • Note: Additional support may NOT be used to purchase equipment.

Triple Bottom Line - 10 Points: Potential for measurable economic, environmental, and societal impact (triple bottom line) on a defined sustainability goal(s).


Work Completed to date - 10 Points: Project work completed to date that addresses the goals and actions outlined in the original seed grant project proposal ($5,000 support). A succinct and engaging executive summary of no more than two pages in length and should restate the project objective, describe the approach(es) used to meet the project goals and summarize the project results, recommendations and outcomes. In addition, the report should include:

  • Conclusion and recommendations (e.g., lessons learned, impact and possible next steps).
  • Clearly identify all team members and advisors, and demonstrate how team members representing a minimum of three disciplines will contribute to project goals and objectives.
  • The exact geographic location of project.
  • Prominently feature interdisciplinary work, and policy considerations as appropriate.
  • Identify any changes in team members, partners or others.
  • Articulate a new and innovative concept (e.g., process, program, service, product, etc.).
  • Outline the potential for significant societal benefits and sustainability impact.
  • Demonstrate a well-crafted premise with convincing supporting data and/or analysis.
  • Have scalable and/or replicable attributes and a strong likelihood of success.
  • Include a firm commitment stated by the team to implement the project with demonstrable results delivered within one year of large grant funding.
  • Describe how project partners and stakeholders were engaged in a needs assessment to ensure projects are practical and will foster sustainability at the local-global level.