University at Albany

Sustainability Innovation Grant Program

Members of the UAlbany community are invited to submit proposals for innovative academic endeavors or professional development opportunities that promote the core principles of sustainability including environmental stewardship, economic and resource equity, and societal community building.

Funding is for a one time allocation and will range in size up to a maximum of $1,000. Projects must take place between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.

All requests must be received at least two weeks prior to the proposed activity or they will not be considered for advancement.

Areas of Sustainability
The broadest definition of sustainability entails “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland 1987). Sustainability is a practice in which the community works together to create a long-term goal of mutual awareness and respect for the environment. This entails collaboration, engagement and accountability of students, faculty and staff. (UAlbany Student Sustainability Advisory Council working group, 2013)


To assist in comprehending the wide array of topics that would be covered under the definition of sustainability, the following chart was prepared with key words for each element and a corresponding list of viable topics.

Society – Community

Environment - Stewardship

Economics - Equity

Human interaction

Interaction with the natural world

Ecological valuation

Environmental Justice

Preservation of Environment

Valuation of Externalities

Quality of Life

Climate Change

Lifecycle Analysis

Human Health

Carbon Footprint

Fair Cost Accounting


Prevent Pollution

Employment Security

Mental and Social Well-Being

Conservation of Resources

Fair Compensation

Crime Prevention


Human Rights

Labor rights

Community Enhancement

Development of Social Culture


Project proposals may be submitted from academic or academic support units, administrative offices, individual faculty or staff. 

Projects eligible for funding include, but are not limited to:

    • Resources to develop service and/or experiential learning opportunities in sustainability
    • Establishing a symposia, film and speaker series
    • Funding for professional certifications and/or training/workshops
    • Attendance or presentations at conference or workshop centered on sustainability
    • Small scale demonstration projects illustrating a principle of sustainability
    • Fund infrastructure that supports environmentally responsible practices

The award monies will not fund:

    • Food (unless it is a public event)
    • Alcohol
    • Prizes or giveaways

Preference will be given to proposals that:

  • Enhance educational opportunities for the UAlbany community
  • Demonstrate leadership and innovation in sustainability
  • Involve collaboration within or across departments, units, student organizations and/or the surrounding community

How to Apply
Please fill out the electronic form. (Link will ony work in Chrome, Firefox, and Edge)

Award Notification
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all funding has been committed.  All submittals will be acknowledged as received.  If the proposer does not receive an acknowledgement notice within three business days, it is the proposer’s responsibility to contact the program’s administrator at  The successful proposers will be notified by email within 2 weeks of their application.

Responsibilities of Recipients
Innovation grant winners are required to demonstrate the effectiveness and/or benefit of their program.  Recipients will submit an electronic report to at the conclusion of their project.  Recipients are also asked to submit photographs of program for media use (if applicable).  Selected projects may be asked to present their work to the University at Albany community at our Fall Energy Campaign Recognition Ceremony and/or Spring Earth and Wellness Day Event.  Award winners may also be asked to review and assess the following year’s proposals.

Expenditures should be coordinated with Dr. Mary Ellen Mallia in the Office of Sustainability (, CS 15). All expenses must be completed by June 30, 2019. Applicants should review the list of allowable expenses before completing their application.

For questions about the program, contact Director Mary Ellen Mallia at