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Penn State Looks Within for Sustainability Innovation

Penn State has launched the Reinvention Fund, an internal grant program aimed at inspiring and enhancing sustainability innovation and education across more than 20 of its Pennsylvania campuses by its own students, staff, and faculty.

The grant program will be administered by the university's Sustainability Institute, with pre-proposals due October 21. Funding will range from $5,000 to $15,000 in enhancement grants for existing programs and courses to $15,000 to $75,000 in "seed" grants for collaborative research, education program development, and "new program revenue generation," according to grant program literature.

These larger grant projects should "demonstrate trajectory and potential to lead to bigger opportunities," according to published guidelines, and will be peer reviewed by "sustainability leaders across university functions."

"These resources have been contributed from all of our functional units — Student Affairs, Undergraduate Education, Research, Outreach, and Finance & Business, and represent an institutional commitment to sustainability," said Provost Nick Jones in a university release. "We look forward to the excellence, creativity, and leadership that they will encourage."

The three types of projects the grants seek to fund, according to information released by the school, include:

  • The development of new solutions to sustainability challenges;
  • The implementation and demonstration of sustainability concepts; and
  • Projects focused on teaching and learning.

A fourth grant category, student sustainability innovation, has been set aside specifically for student-led project teams. Pre-proposals for this category are due November 1.

About the Author

Kevin Hudson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached at [email protected].

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