Campus News

$200,000 Available for Campus Sustainability Projects

Photo of UK campus
William T. Young Library at the University of Kentucky. Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 29, 2017) University of Kentucky students, faculty and staff once again have the opportunity to create and implement sustainability-driven projects through the Sustainability Challenge Grant Program. The program is funding projects this year with $200,000 available to interdisciplinary teams.

The deadline to apply for funds is 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15.

For the past three years, Sustainability Challenge Grants have engaged multidisciplinary teams from the UK community to advance economic vitality, ecological integrity and social equity with creative projects on and off campus.  

“This program has been tremendous because it combines the opportunities and challenges of our physical campus with the intellectual capital of our community to provide unique experiences for our students in the development of real-world solutions,” said UK Sustainability Coordinator Shane Tedder.

Since its inception, $500,000 has been invested in 20 projects, each driving collaboration and student engagement. From improving pedestrian walkways to increasing awareness of sustainably-sourced food, the projects have addressed a range of opportunities.

All members of the university community are encouraged to submit project proposals. Project teams must be led by a faculty or staff member whose home unit/department agrees to manage the dispersal of funds. Teams must include representatives from at least two distinct organizational units. 

In general, proposals should directly address one or more of the following categories:

  • Operations: Using the principles of sustainability to improve material, physical or infrastructural elements at UK.
  • Engagement: Fostering a campus and community culture of sustainability.
  • Research: Scholarship and creative endeavors relating to sustainability challenges of the Commonwealth and beyond. 
  • Academics: Improving the university’s capacity for integrating sustainability with the educational experiences of our students in both curricular and co-curricular activities.

Funds will be available starting January 2018, and the project duration will be 12 months from the time of the award. 

Funding is provided by the Student Sustainability Council, the Office of the Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Vice President for Research. The program is a joint effort of the Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment, UK Office of Sustainability and the President’s Sustainability Advisory Committee.

Complete information, applications and instructions are available online at

Awards will be announced in December. For additional information, please contact Shane Tedder at or 859-257-0014.