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Research Stimulus Program

Student-Faculty Sustainability Research Stimulus Program 

Request for Proposals

Fall 2014


The Institute for Sustainable Solutions (ISS) is excited to announce the opportunity to apply for competitive awards to support the development of student and faculty research proposals for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 12th Annual P3 Award Program, which is a national student design competition for sustainability focusing on people, planet, and prosperity. While this is a student-led national design competition, faculty advisors serve as the Principle Investigator. Additional faculty and students can serve as Co-Principle Investigators, and each team will be asked to identify a student lead. 

The purpose of these stimulus awards is to support student and faculty research teams in preparing and submitting a proposal for EPA P3: Phase I funding by Dec. 16, 2014.  

More on the P3 Award Program: A National Student Design Competition

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of the P3—People, Prosperity and the Planet— Award Program, is seeking applications from student and faculty teams proposing to research, develop, and design solutions to real world challenges involving the overall sustainability of human society. The P3 Program is intended to support science-based projects and designs developed by interdisciplinary student teams that benefit people by improving their quality of life, promote prosperity by developing local economies, and protect the planet by conserving resources and minimizing pollution. The core research areas for this solicitation are: 

  • Energy
  • Built environment
  • Materials and chemicals
  • Water
  • Urban greenwater infrastructure
  • Clean cookstoves

The P3 Award Program is composed of two phases that award grants on a competitive basis. The first phase is a competition for one-year grants of up to $15,000 to test, research, and develop innovative scientific projects or engineering designs that will promote sustainable development. In the spring of 2016, the Phase I grantees awarded from this solicitation are required to present their projects/designs at the annual National Sustainable Design Expo, where they will have an opportunity to be eligible to compete for Phase II grant awards of up to $75,000. The Phase II grant awards are intended to support the further development and demonstration of the sustainability projects/designs created in Phase I. The competitors for 2016 P3 Phase II grants are limited to recipients of Phase I grant awards from this solicitation.

 For more information about the P3 Awards, please read the complete Request for Applications here:

2014 Student Sustainability Research Stimulus Requirements

The purpose of these stimulus awards is to support student and faculty research teams in preparing and submitting a proposal for EPA P3: Phase I funding by Dec. 16, 2014.  $7,500 is available to be awarded; no individual award will be larger than $2,500.  

Priority will be given to:

  • Applications from research teams comprised of a faculty member and at least two students
  • Applications that include at least one undergraduate student on the research team

The following are examples of some of the kinds of activities we hope to support:

  • Honorarium for a consultant or mentor (e.g. former grant reviewer) to review and comment on a proposal or research design
  • Support to hire a student to help prepare a proposal
  • Professional development funds for faculty oversight of the proposal

These examples are not meant to be restrictive. Items that will not be supported by this initiative:

  • Supplies
  • Equipment 
  • Books, journals, articles
  • Software
  • Long term personnel support


You are eligible to apply for these stimulus funds if you are a PSU employee, appointed at 0.5 FTE or greater and ranked in one of the following categories:

  • Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor
  • Research Assistant Professor, Research Associate Professor, or Research Professor
  • Research Associate or Senior Research Associate

Application format

The application should include the following information. Please use single spacing and 12 pt font.

1) Proposed project (2 pages maximum):  

  • Project title
  • Lead PI (Faculty) and Co-PI (Faculty/Student) names and contact information
  • Student Lead (if identified at this point)
  • 150 word abstract
  • Project description

2) Budget: Provide a budget (download budget form here) and justification for how the researcher or research group intends to spend the research stimulus award (maximum of $2,500). 

3) 2-page CV of Lead PI (including relevant funded projects and publications for past three years), and 1-page CV or resume for each CO-I (faculty and/or student investigator).

4) Statement (up to 250 words) from each student researcher about their proposed role on the project and how it will advance their academic career.

Application procedure

Submit proposal by e-mail to ISS Sustainability Curriculum Coordinator, Jacob Sherman (, by 8a.m. on Friday, October 24, 2014. Proposals received after the deadline will not be considered. Indicate “Student Research Stimulus Program” in the subject line. 

Proposal Evaluation

A committee comprised of faculty and ISS staff will review the proposals. Awards will be announced by October 31, 2014. 

Student Research Stimulus Program proposal evaluation will be based on the following:

  • Congruence with EPA P3 priority areas
  • Clarity of research focus and project description
  • Project PI/team record of success
  • Leadership by junior faculty
  • Level of student investment and engagement
  • Strength and diversity of student team


In order to submit proposals to the EPA by the December deadline, this stimulus funding will follow the timeline below.

  • October 2, 2014: ISS opens call for proposals
  • October 24, 2014: Submissions due at 8 a.m.
  • October 31, 2014: Award notifications
  • November 7, 2014: Support funds available
  • December 16, 2014: Proposals due to EPA

If you have questions, please contact Jacob Sherman,, or at 725-9120.