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Sustainability Engagement & Enrichment Development (S.E.E.D.) Fund

Your Campus. Your Fund. Your Say.

Check out the winning projects of 2019!

information about the UMass Lowell S.E.E.D. Fund:

  1. Overview
  2. Who Can Apply for Funds?
  3. What is Required for your Application?
  4. Approval Process
  5. A Note To Applicants
  6. Past Winners
  7. S.E.E.D. Fund Selection Committee
  8. Apply or Submit a Project to the S.E.E.D. Fund!
  9. Example SEED Fund Grant Proposal

Overview of the Sustainability Engagement & Enrichment Development (S.E.E.D.) Fund

The University S.E.E.D Fund provides funding for projects that promote environmental sustainability, and positively impact and enhance the student experience at UMass Lowell. The Fund supports the sustainability goals outlined in UMass Lowell’s 2020 Strategic Plan. The Fund is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee.

Sample project examples include the increase the use of renewable energy on campus; increase the energy efficiency of our facilities; reduce the amount of waste created and material resources used on campus; encourage sustainable behaviors; and integrate sustainability into teaching, research and service at UMass Lowell.

Who Can Apply for Funds?

Students, faculty, and staff of the University of Massachusetts Lowell community can apply for funds to support projects that will advance the sustainability of the campus. Students who apply for funds can do so on behalf of a student organization or to fund their own projects, however, a student applicant must have a faculty or staff advisor for his/her project. Follow the guidelines on this website to submit your application.

What is Required for your Application?

Formal proposals for funding require the following information in their application. There are no word limits. However, being concise is encouraged.

  • Project Title: Choose a creative, but informative title
  • Requested Amount: Between $1 & $10,000
  • Project Summary: Provide a brief background, describing the project, objectives, and outcomes. Include a description of all groups involved in the project and each of their roles.
  • Project Benefits: Outline the potential benefits of the project and how it will contribute towards sustainability
  • Project Cost & Estimated Budget: Detail how the requested funds will be utilized & outline any additional supporting funds you have identified
  • Project Timeline: Outline your project implementation timeline
  • Additional Supporting Information: Provide any other relevant details
  • Primary Team Lead: Select a primary team lead and provide contact information (most likely yourself)
  • Primary Advisor: If students are the primary applicant, they must identify a staff or faculty advisor who can support your proposal
  • Additional Team Members: Please list additional team members and contact information. Applicants are encouraged to build diverse project teams to support ideas.
  • Attachment: Applicants are required to attach a complete PDF of their application and any additional background material in support of this application for funding (e.g. budget spreadsheets, photographs and diagrams of a project site, etc.). One PDF is encouraged, but if additional files are needed, everything should be compressed. NOTE: Thisis a new requirement from prior years. If technical assistance is required, please reach out to the Office of Sustainability before submitting your final proposal.

Approval Process

Project applications are reviewed by the S.E.E.D Fund Committee and applicants are notified if their projects are awarded following committee selection.

The SEED Fund Selection Committee reviews project proposals based on the criteria and guiding questions outlined below. All criteria and guiding questions serve to support committee discussion of projects. High scoring projects are not guaranteed funding.

  1. Impact on Campus Sustainability Goals (2020 Plan, STARS Score and Greenhouse Gas Emissions)
    • Does this support the sustainability goals outlined in the 2020 Strategic Plan?
    • Does this project lower our greenhouse gas emissions?
    • Will the project increase the university's STARS score?
    • Will it help the university maintain existing points?
  2. Feasibility
    • Given the application and the project team is this project feasible?
    • Have all of the required departments been contacted and the necessary steps been taken to ensure the successful completion of the project?
    • Has a clear timeline with SMART goals been identified in the proposal?
    • What are the long and short term impacts on facilities and maintenance staff?
    • How much additional work is required for other university departments?
  3. Interdisciplinary or Cross-Departmental Interaction
    • Does the project focus on one narrow area or does it bring in a wide audience fostering cross-university collaboration?
  4. Project Visibility
    • Will this project be visible by the campus community?
    • Will the greater community be impacted by the project?
    • If it is not visible, does the project have attractive paybacks or rebates attached to it?
  5. Longevity and Potential for Future Funding
    • Is this a project that will have a long term impact on the campus and/or community?
    • Is the project going to sustain itself after funding ends?
    • Is the project something that could be likely funded in the future in another reiteration?
    • Are there other partner organizations that will assist in the implementation of the project during and/or after funding?
    • Are there plans to secure additional grant funding from other sources and in the future?

A Note To Applicants

It is highly recommended you contact the Office of Sustainability in advance of the application deadline to talk through your application before you submit it. Projects cannot be funded if they are not supported by essential stakeholders. For instance, you cannot propose to construct a green roof unless you have approval from the facilities group (Facilities Management, Residential Life, etc.) that manages that building.

Past Winners

The winners in the Fund's first year, 2017, are highlighted in this UMass Lowell News Article: Nine Sustainability Projects Share $50K S.E.E.D. Fund.

The winners in the Fund's second year, 2018, are highlighted in this UMass Lowell News Article: Students’ Sustainability Fee Seeds 10 New Projects.

S.E.E.D. Fund Selection Committee

The student majority committee meets weekly during the month of March to review SEED Projects and is scheduled to announce awarded projects in the month of April.