Planet Blue Student Innovation Fund Seeks Campus Sustainability Project Ideas (By Nov. 15)

Lisa Pappas
Release Date: 

With an idea submission deadline of November 19, 2012, the Planet Blue Student Innovation Fund (PBSIF) is offering $5,000 to $50,000 in grant funding to students interested in carrying out an innovative, student-led sustainability project at the University of Michigan.

Examples of previous student-led projects—all of which have all been implemented or are in the process of implementation—include a campus farm, a fruit and vegetable food stand on campus, on-campus bike air pumps and fix-it stations, and a reusable containers program for leftovers or carryouts at the Michigan Union U-Club.

"Some amazing sustainability projects have come to fruition on campus, thanks to several bright and motivated students who took advantage of the Planet Blue Student Innovation Fund," says undergraduate student Abby Krumbein, PBSIF coordinator. "Students really do have a unique opportunity to make a positive and long lasting sustainability contribution to the university through this program."

The student-led PBSIF student board will review all submissions to determine the winner or winners of the funding. PBSIF representatives are particularly interested in receiving project proposals with the following characteristics:

  • Promotion of sustainability on campus: Projects must have a significant impact on the ecological footprint of campus or on the culture of sustainability at U-M.
  • Innovation: PBSIF encourages applicants to push the boundaries of what has been done to enhance sustainability at U-M, using their unique vision for Planet Blue to propose creative, original, and inventive projects. Projects should be outside the realm of what U-M Facilities and Operations (F&O) is already doing in terms of sustainability. Funding can be used for operational pilot projects or to demonstrate the feasibility of a project that U-M F&O may be reluctant to undertake.
  • Transformation: Projects should be explicit in how they will propel the U-M campus towards a more sustainable future. Funding will favor projects that have a bold vision of how they will contribute to the transformation of the U-M campus to a culture of campus sustainability.
  • Visibility: Projects should create a heightened physical or cultural presence of sustainability on campus.
  • Feasibility: Applicants should consider the practicality of their project (e.g. land availability, project sustainability over multiple years), and how they will work with U-M F&O, if applicable.
  • Economic payback: While economic payback is not essential, it will be taken into consideration when choosing projects.
  • Expected costs: PBSIF grants range between $5,000 and $50,000. Budgeting funds in a responsible manner will be considered as a factor in determining projects.
  • Timeline: There is no set timeline for project implementation, but successfully completing a medium- to large-scale project necessitates discipline and planning. It is crucial that you submit a timeline and update it regularly as your project evolves and circumstances change.

Final Proposals are due by November 19, 2012 at 5 p.m. (NOTE: the deadline was extended from Nov. 12). Please CLICK HERE for the online application and additional information about proposal sguidelines. At the top, you will find a link to more in-depth instructions regarding proposal content and format. If you have any questions, please contact the PBSIF student board at