(CLOSED) VentureWell Sustainable Design Faculty Grants (Spring 2021)

Sponsor Name: 
Description of the Award: 

VentureWell awards up to $30,000 grants (with a duration of three years) to colleges and universities for the purpose of strengthening existing curricular programs and/or building new courses and programs that engage student teams in developing and pursuing scalable solutions to real world needs through innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E).

The Spring 2021 Sustainable Design Faculty Grants cycle will support faculty and staff who are committed to cultivating I&E dedicated to positive social impact and environmental sustainability (see Appendix for definitions), and will integrate sustainable design concepts tools, and frameworks into their I&E curriculum. We are seeking proposals with innovative ideas related to the development of new courses and programs, or to strengthening existing courses and programs, that incorporate key sustainable design concepts with the end goal of developing novel inventions and technologies. Special consideration will be given to proposals that demonstrate clear support for student innovations that are dedicated to climate change solutions (i.e. mitigation and/or adaptation; see Appendix for definitions), as well as innovations to existing products or systems that address an opportunity to become carbon neutral or net zero energy, or reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, pollution, and waste.

Examples of sustainable design concepts, tools, and frameworks include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Systems thinking & whole system mapping
  • Environmental impact measurement methods (i.e., Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Cradle-to-Cradle Certification, etc.)
  • Greener materials development and/or selection (i.e., green chemistry, materials science, or manufacturing)
  • Engineering for One Planet (EOP) Framework
  • Circular economy

Only University Park and Penn State Berks faculty may apply to this competition as they are VentureWell members.

Limit (Number of applicants permitted per institution): 
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
May 19, 2021
OVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Interested applicants should submit notification through the InfoReady portal linked below to include:

Cover Letter (1 page, pdf):

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • PI name, departmental affiliations(s) and contact information
  • Co-PI's names and departmental affiliation(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Title of this funding opportunity
To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
Penn State OVPR NOI Deadline: 
Tuesday, April 27, 2021 - 4:00pm
This limited submission is in downselect: 
Penn State may only submit a specific number of proposals to this funding opportunity. The number of NOIs received require that an internal competition take place, thus, a downselect process has commenced. No Penn State researchers may apply to this opportunity outside of this downselect process. To apply for this limited submission, please use this link: