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Faculty Grants

Grants to USA and Puerto Rico IHEs for Programs and Courses
in Environmental Sustainability Entrepreneurship

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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VentureWell

Conf. Date:

10/14/20

Deadline Date:

11/04/20 11:59 PM ET

Description:

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Grants of up to $30,000 to USA and Puerto Rico member colleges and universities to support new and existing programs and courses in environmental sustainability-related entrepreneurship. Applicants must receive institutional approval before applying. Successful proposals will involve the formation of student teams, experiential learning, and creative pedagogical approaches. Proposals that focus on curricular development to support innovation and entrepreneurship in topical areas critical to climate change adaptation or mitigation such as reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, pollution, and deforestation, and management of waste, ocean health, transportation, and urbanism are highly encouraged.

VentureWell awards faculty grants to colleges and universities for the purpose of strengthening existing curricular programs and/or building new courses and programs that engage student teams in developing and pursuing scalable solutions to real-world needs through innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E). Through the support of these grant funds, effective courses and programs lead to the creation and support of student teams propagating curricular innovations to expand opportunities for invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship at higher education institutions.

VentureWell grants are competitive, and successful proposals will include the following:

  • Technology innovation/entrepreneurship with a focus on developing environmental and social sustainability-focused technologies and/or incorporating principles of sustainable design. Disciplines or industries not typically considered “green” are encouraged.
  • Experiential learning-by-doing and creative pedagogical approaches to solving real-world problems.
  • The formation of student teams focused on technology invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship with a positive environmental and social impact, and the intention to encourage outstanding student teams to apply to the VentureWell E-Team grant program.
  • Well-defined connections to a supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem for the most promising student teams to pursue commercialization beyond the proposed course or program.
  • A plan for continuation and financial sustainability of the course or program after VentureWell funding as demonstrated in letters of support.
  • If the program focus is outside the campus community or outside the US, a local partner must be identified.
  • A simple work plan or table that outlines major milestones during the grant period.
  • A multidisciplinary approach is preferred but not required.

Examples of sustainability principles and frameworks include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Systems thinking
  • Life cycle analysis
  • Green chemistry, materials, or manufacturing
  • Circular economy
  • Biomimicry

Sustainable design and technologies/fields include:

  • Cleantech sectors: energy, water, agriculture, waste, transportation, urbanism
  • Novel approaches to integration with materials science, biomedical engineering, biomedicine, or other disciplines

A list of eligible expenses is found in Section 2 of Proposal Components, see URL for Full Text, below.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 164694

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants of up to $30,000 total may be requested.

Term of Contract:

Grant periods are 3 years in duration. You may choose to spend the funds in 1 or 2 years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Faculty Grants are awarded to colleges and universities that are:
- US-based. VentureWell does not accept proposals from international universities at this time.
- VentureWell members. Proposals may include non-member partners from education, nonprofits, industry, non-governmental organizations, governments and/or the investment community, etc.

Examples of projects that are NOT strong candidates for SD faculty grant funding include:
- Courses or programs that do not integrate key sustainability principles, tools, concepts, and/or frameworks.
- Courses or programs without a focus on sustainability-focused innovations and entrepreneurship.
- Pure research or single project courses (i.e. where there is no student team ownership or commercialization plan).
- Courses or programs that are unlikely to continue beyond the grant period.
- Existing courses or programs where there is little change or improvement proposed (i.e., ongoing support requests).
- Courses or programs that are disconnected from the entrepreneurial ecosystem on campus and in the community.
- Courses or programs that do not lead to the creation of student teams.
- Proposals that do not demonstrate support for the most promising technologies and teams to move beyond the classroom, lab, or club.
- Proposals that focus solely on extracurricular activities (e.g. hack-a-thons, business plan competitions, etc.)

Examples of ineligible expenses:
- Overhead – VentureWell does not cover institutional overhead.
- Expenses that are unlikely to be sustained beyond the proposed grant period, such as competition prize money, event expenses like food, space rentals or AV; and lengthy student internships.
- Personnel costs over the maximums mentioned above.
- Equipment expenses totaling more than 10% of the total proposed budget.
- Speaker honoraria over $200.
- Wages for students during the academic year.
- Legal and other expenses of business formation or operation.
- Publicity expenses.

Pre-Application Information:

Key dates:
- May 20, 2020 – Submission deadline. All proposals must be submitted online by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the deadline date.
- Late June 2020 – Final decisions and notifications
- Summer 2020 – Funds disbursed and grant start date
- Fall 2020 – Green Launchpad Educators Workshop (GLP; more details below). Please note: The GLP workshop will be held either in-person or virtually as a series of webinars; location & date details TBA.
- Fall 2020 – Launch of Sustainable Design Community of Practice (SD CoP; more details below); location & date details TBA.

VentureWell accepts no more than two proposals per institution. If more than two are received from any individual institution, only the first two submitted will be reviewed.

VentureWell requires proof of institutional support for your proposal. Before you start your application, you should contact your Office of Sponsored Research, or the equivalent, well ahead of the grant deadline to inform them of your intention to submit a proposal. Most universities require a full proposal for administrative review and approval before it can be submitted to VentureWell.

VentureWell will notify all Principal Investigators via email in early summer as to whether or not their proposal has been selected for funding. VentureWell also will send an approved budget and award letter agreement for signature to the Administrative Contact identified in the proposal. Funds will be disbursed once this award letter is signed and returned to VentureWell.

Upon notification you will also receive additional details about the activities that you and other grantees will participate in to help further your work to incorporate sustainability concepts into your course or program. VentureWell expects you will set aside time and grant funding to participate in these opportunities:
- Training: Green Launchpad Educators (GLP) workshop. Participation of at least two faculty members in the GLP workshop is REQUIRED —unless permission is granted— for grant awardees to foster collaborative teamwork. Note: the GLP workshop will be held either in person or virtually in fall 2020; details TBA.
- Communities of Practice (CoP) meetings: Beginning in fall 2020, to support the development of a Sustainable Design CoP, grantees will be required to attend and actively participate in monthly video conference calls to discuss progress to date, plans going forward, and challenges you would like to troubleshoot (estimated up to 2 hours per month time commitment). Ideally two, but at least one faculty attendee to the GLP workshop will be REQUIRED to attend these monthly SD CoP meetings (remote video conference meeting organized and facilitated by VentureWell staff, estimated 1- 2 hours per month time commitment). These peer-to-peer meetings will support grantee efforts to integrate sustainable practices and methodologies into I&E curriculum. Example discussion topics for monthly meetings may include but are not limited to: course/program development progress to date and plans going forward, challenges being faced and how to overcome them, opportunities for collaboration within and across institutions, course content and delivery, etc. A commitment to monthly attendance and active participation in SD CoP meetings is REQUIRED for grant awardees to foster group cohesion and a supportive, collaborative CoP.
- Disseminate your learnings and outcomes at OPEN or a sustainability-focused or I&E focused conference of your choice.

Grants FAQs:
https://venturewell.org/faculty-grants-faqs/

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Register and apply online:
https://community.venturewell.org/VWCommunitiesLogin?target=proposal

If you have any questions feel free to contact Patricia Boynton, Grants Manager, at
413-587-2172 x115 or grants@venturewell.org.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: Puerto Rico (USA)

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