Campus News

$200,000 Available for UK Sustainability Challenge Grant, Applications Now Open

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Sustainability Challenge Grant Program applications for 2020 are being accepted now through Feb. 23. Total project funds available are $200,000 with individual projects eligible to receive up to $50,000.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 14, 2020) — The University of Kentucky Sustainability Challenge Grant Program applications for 2020 are being accepted now through Feb. 23. Total project funds available are $200,000 with individual projects eligible to receive up to $50,000. Application materials can be found on the Sustainability website.

The Sustainability Challenge Grant Program is designed to engage faculty or staff-led, multidisciplinary teams from the university community in the creation and implementation of ideas and projects that address sustainability-related challenges. Sustainability, in this context, is intended to convey the need to pursue activities that are ecologically sound, socially just and economically viable. Proposals with an emphasis on student engagement and impact are prioritized during the review and selection process.

“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 Shane Tedder, sustainability coordinator.

In the first five years of the program, 33 projects have been awarded a total of $900,000 to pursue a wide range sustainability-driven projects on campus and beyond.

The 2019 Sustainability Challenge Grant winners were:

  • Improving Bicycle Infrastructure Using SPIN Bike-Share Trip Data; 
  • Nature Playscape and Native Landscape at the Child Development Center of the Bluegrass; 
  • Just Food: Engaging UK in Racially Equitable Food Systems Development;
  • Tree CATS;
  • Sustainability Module for First Year Experience;
  • Organic Waste Composting Pilot Project; and 
  • Kentucky Integrated Biorefinery​.

“This year’s funding illustrates UK’s continued commitment to a sustainable environment by supporting a program that allows direct collaboration between faculty, staff and students in addressing critical sustainability issues at UK and the broader environmental community,” said Lindell Ormsbee, executive director of the Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment.

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

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The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.