Project Funding

The SSI Board advises the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute on the distribution of its Small Scale Grants, which are awarded to student groups seeking assistance for projects promoting environmental sustainability on campus. Funding for events will be considered. 

To apply for a grant for your student group or project, up to $2500, please follow the instructions below and note the minimum requirements.

Application Instructions

  1. Look at our Funding Criteria (below)
  2. Fill out the Online Application
  3. Fill out and upload this PDF on the Graham Institute website.


  • Zero Waste: “Waste diversion from campus events is a SSI funding priority for the 2012-13 school year.  Please see our streamlined Zero Waste Grants for materials and composting for events with fewer than 100 attendees.  Larger events should fill out the standard grant form.”
  • Food/Beverages: “The SSI Board strives to fund as many projects as possible with limited funding availability.  Due to this, funding food is not a priority in the delegation of grant funds.  The Board favors projects that use food as an educational tool for sustainability, as opposed to food being used purely as a means to attract participants to an event.  SSI does not fund alcohol.”
  • Response Time: “Grant applications should allow a minimum of 6-10 business days prior to an event for the application to be considered and any allocated funding dispersed.  Please remember that our funding is on a rolling cycle and may run out prior to the end of the school year.  The SSI Board requests that applications apply as far in advance as students are able to maximize the chance of funding.”

Minimum Requirements:

  • Applications must be student-generated
  • Applications should advocate, enhance, or otherwise increase sustainability at UM
  • Proposed projects / events should benefit more than a single group of UM students

Evaluation Criteria

All applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

The project addresses SSI roundtable shared priorities

The SSI roundtable will vote on top priorities and the board will give precedence to applications that work on addressing these priorities. Non-priority projects with potential to expand or enhance the SSI's collaborative work will also receive preference.

For the year 2014-2014, the priorities include zero waste events, sustainability education, and community awareness.

The project enhances or publicizes University of Michigan campus sustainability

Applications that aim to directly increase Umich sustainability will receive more points. This can be physical sustainability (, water, waste, etc), social sustainability (i.e. organizational structure, investing), or educational sustainability (i.e.creating sutsainability courses)

Potential to reach students is important. Projects must reach (in a meaningful way) a minimum of 50 people (students, faculty, staff, non-UM community members). Additional involvement thresholds will increase the grant's likelihood of success, with thresholds at 100+, 250+, and 500+ people reached.

The project increases cross-campus collaboration

One of SSI's goals is to promote collaboration between groups with shared interests. Preference will be given to multi-member projects and proposals, with additional weight allocated per additional collaborator. Project plans should include a brief description of how collaboration will be initiated and followed through.

The application is clear and complete

  • Goal specified so the board can fully understand short-and long-term effects of project / plan
  • Members listed along with resume of leader
  • Detailed budget provided and all expenses reasonable
  • Application explains how it addresses roundtable priorities and campus sustainability (if applicable)
  • Project / event timeline provided
  • Timeline includes plan for reporting outcomes to Graham Institute and SSI Roundtable (optional; extra credit)


Questions? Comments? We'd be happy to work with you to make the application process short & successful. Send us an email!