SCIF FAQ

  • Do SCIF projects have to be on campus?
    • SCIF projects must be either on campus or directly associated with campus. There have been off-campus projects with University partners in the past. For more information, see past annual reports.
  • What is a Sustainable Project?
    • A sustainable project is a project that contributes to one or more of the following areas of consideration.
      • Greenhouse gas reductions
      • Energy conservation
      • Water conservation
      • Sewage and storm water output reduction
      • All types of pollution reduction
        • Hazardous waste
        • Solid waste
        • Liquid waste
        • Gaseous emissions
      • Operations improvements that decrease environmental impacts
      • Environmental procurement practices
      • Environmental leadership development within the University
      • Number of individuals with improved environmental literacy and increased levels of participation in conservation/sustainable activities
      • Education of and reputation building with surrounding community
      • Creative ways to convey and communicate aspects of conservation and climate change to the larger university community
  • Who can apply for SCIF grants?
    • Undergraduate students
    • Graduate students
    • Faculty
    • Staff
  • How can I use SCIF grant money?
    • There are all sorts of projects that utilize SCIF funding. For more information, read the selection criteria and past annual reports.
  • What is the best size grant for my project?
    • Your grant size (small, medium, or large) should depend on your budget needs.
    • Those working on projects for course credit are recommended to apply for small or medium grant awards.
    • Those who have the flexibility to work on a project over multiple semesters (such as Block U final projects, theses, or departmental projects) are invited to apply for all three sizes of grants.
    • Medium grant projects that require a high degree of campus approval or have a high degree of complexity may be asked to apply with large grants so applicants can have increased levels of support during the design and implementation processes.
  • Do I need to work with any other departments on campus?
    • Many project ideas require collaboration with other departments on campus. These cross-departmental collaborations can occur with a range of the departments, including:
      • Facilities Management (including Energy Management, Landscape Maintenance, and Recycling)
      • Dining Services
      • Housing & Residential Education
      • Academic Affairs
      • Academic departments
      • Athletics
      • Student Services
      • Undergraduate Research
  • Can I apply for more than one SCIF grant?
    • Yes, you are able to apply for additional grants as long as past grant contracts are fulfilled.
    • Students who have been successful on previous projects have a higher likelihood for success on larger/more-complex projects
  • What do I need for SCIF?
    • To be a student, faculty member, or staff member
    • A project idea
    • An advisor
    • A budget
    • An application
    • To contact the SCIF coordinator
  • Who can be an advisor?
    • Any University faculty or staff member.
  • Does SCIF give me credit?
    • No, but some classes have SCIF projects built into their curriculum.
  • Who decides whether or not a SCIF project receives funding?
    • There is a seven-person committee, called the SCIF Allocations Committee, comprised of a cross section of campus that makes decisions for all grants over $1,000.
      • See more information on the SCIF Allocations Committee
    • For all projects less than $1,000, the decisions are made by the SCIF Micro-grant Committee, which is comprised of the deputy chief sustainability officer, a student representative, and the SCIF Coordinator.
  • What is the process?
    • The application process is as follows: 
      • Set up a meeting with the SCIF Coordinator.
      • Plan and design your project.
      • Contact all relevant parties – SCIF Coordinator can help.
      • Submit rough draft of application and proposal to the SCIF Coordinator for review.
      • If you are planning on doing a project that will change the landscape or is permanent, please refer to the SCIF Landscape Structure Checklist.
      • Once feedback is received, revise your application and submit final draft to SCIF Coordinator.
      • All final drafts will be sent to the Allocations Committee.
      • The Allocations Committee will meet to discuss the project. During this time it is common for the committee to provide questions and feedback for the applicant.
      • The applicant will have one week to draft responses that will then be submitted to the Allocations Committee for final decision.
      • The Allocations Committee will vote on all submitted applications (this process can range between 1-2 weeks).
      • The SCIF coordinator will inform all candidates about the decisions and then all approved projects will begin
  • How do I complete a SCIF project?
    • Make sure you gather and submit all of the following
      • A line-item budget and copies of all receipts/invoices
      • At least 5 photos of the project
      • A 100-200 word abstract summarizing the project
    • Fill out the final report form and submit it to the SCIF coordinator – found here.