Grants & Awards

TGIF Fall Cycle Applications (Posted 10/15/18)

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) Fall Cycle Applications open TODAY, October 15th and close Friday of Week 6 on November 9th!

TGIF grants aim to fund undergraduate student projects that have a clearly-defined, measurable outcome to promote environmental and/or social sustainability on UCSD’s campus.

For more information on the TGIF application process, a TGIF info session will be held in the SRC on Wednesday of Week 4 (October 24) from 12-12:30 pm.


For any further questions, please contact the TGIF & Finance Director, Sara, at

The Sustainable Action Costa Rica program explores specific Global Goals, the challenges that give rise to them, how local NGOs are working towards solutions, and what this means in terms of career possibilities for interested students.

The Sustain Grant offsets the program fee and expedited passport fees (if needed) — eligibility requires an academic focus on sustainability or related majors.

The application deadline for both opportunities is October 17th.

Triton Innovation Challenge (Posted 9/6/2018)

The Triton Innovation Challenge, now in its sixth year, is a business competition focused on fostering creativity and bringing to the spotlight commercially promising, environmentally focused technologies generated by the finest minds at UC San Diego. Supported through the generosity of The William and Kathryn Scripps Family Foundation Inc., the program is presented through a partnership of the Rady School of Management, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the Jacobs School of Engineering.

The competition awards cash prizes totaling $20,000 to support new and innovative ideas that relate to the environment (comes from, inspired by, or directly impacts nature.) Social innovation ideas and those with or without a prototype are encouraged to apply. All participants are also eligible to compete for up to $300,000 in investment funding from the Rady Venture Fund and Triton Technology Fund. Anyone (students, faculty and staff) affiliated with UC San Diego is invited to apply.

EMIES UnWasted Food Awards (Posted 8/22/18)

San Diego Food System Alliance launched Emie Awards in 2016 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act. This federal law encourages donation of food and grocery products to non-profit organizations for distribution to individuals in need by protecting the donor and the recipient agency against liability, excepting only gross negligence and/or intentional misconduct. In addition, each state has passed Good Samaritan Laws that provide liability protection to good faith donors.We are soliciting nominations from businesses, institutions, government and food recovery organizaitons in San Diego County who are demonstrating exemplary food waste reduction and recovery practices. Awardees will be recognized in front of peers and community members at our upcoming Food Waste Solution Summit IV at the Jacobs Center in San Diego on September 25, 2018.

Submittals will be considered by sector: government, K-12 Schools, Hospitals, Universities, Restaurants, Hotels/Resorts, Stadiums & Large Venues, Food or Beverage Manufacturing, Food Recovery, Donation Distribution & Meal Service Programs, Farms, and Gardens. We ask you to describe your organization’s current practices in any of the following Three Categories: Preventing Waste, Food Donation, and Composting/Recycling. Applications that demonstrate activities higher on the Food Waste Hierarchy Pyramid (see below) will be ranked higher. The pyramid shows how to capture the highest and best use for food.

Anyone may nominate an organization for this award. Providing details about the organization’s efforts to reduce food waste makes the application more competitive and gives us information that can be used to inspire peers to replicate those efforts (information will only be shared with nominees’ permission).

Self nominate or nominate another great organization for EMIES UnWasted Food Awards by Thursday August 30th.

John G. Watson Quick Pitch Competition (Posted 8/21/18)

San Diego Venture Group (SDVG), Tech Coast Angels (TCA), and Cox Business are pleased to announce the upcoming 12th-anniversary celebration of the John G. Watson Quick Pitch Competition being held October 24, 2018, 5:00 – 8:30 pm.

One of the most recognized angel investor events in the nation, Quick Pitch showcases talented entrepreneurs given two minutes to pitch their business to an expert panel of judges and audience of investors, business executives, and community leaders.

The finalists will receive invaluable coaching from experienced SDVG and TCA members, and the winners will be awarded cash and business services from generous sponsors. As recently reported in the San Diego Business Journal, this will be the biggest Quick Pitch ever with Cox Business joining the organizing team to create a $75K cash prize!

Now Accepting Applications until August 31, 2018

Early Bird tickets for guests are now on sale.
Register to attend by August 31 for Early Bird tickets.
Guests Register Here

American Made Solar Prize (Posted 8/2/18)

The American-Made Solar Prize is a $3 million prize competition created by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and operated by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) that is designed to accelerate and sustain American solar innovation through a series of three contests: the Ready! Set! and Go! Contests.

Ammar Qusaibaty, who supports DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office, will join us on August 30 to discuss the new prize competition. The challenge encourages innovators to identify and take action to develop solutions that address critical needs for the solar industry. The presentation will address eligibility criteria, prizes, and the application process for each of the contests. Applications for the first contest (the Ready! Contest) are due October 5.

Cleantech San Diego is supporting this initiative through its San Diego Regional Energy Innovation Network.

SD Green Building Council 2018 Sustainable Design Awards (Posted 7/26/18)

Deadline August 2nd


This year the 2018 San Diego Green Building Conference and Expo, held on September 21st, will be followed by a networking event and the San Diego Sustainable Design Awards. Join us for this exciting opportunity to promote and celebrate our local industry leaders and their projects!
You can submit projects within the following categories:
  • Sustainable Leadership (People and Organizations)
  • Sustainable Patron Award
  • Sustainable Company / Organization / NGO Award
  • Sustainable Buildings (Certification Systems)
Submission Instructions

All projects shall be submitted electronically in the PowerPoint template provided on this page. 

Each submission shall include:

  • Completed Awards Project Credit Form and Project Information Sheet.  The forms and supplementary instructions will be available via email from SDGBC.

When you have completed your entry, email all the entry materials to: SDGBC Office Email:

#YouthStepUp Climate Solutions Contest (Posted 7/15/18)

Are you a young person with bold and creative ideas to fight climate change? Do you want to participate in the upcoming Global Climate Action Summit and challenge the status quo? Then apply for the #YouthStepUp Climate Contest today!

The contest, organized by Our Climate, invites young people from across the United States to submit their ideas for bold solutions to combat climate change via a creative project and essay. Winners will receive prizes of up to $5,000 and an all-expenses paid trip to attend the summit in San Francisco onSeptember 12-14, 2018. The goal of the contest is to engage young people from across the U.S. in international climate discussions, and accelerate even greater levels of youth action on climate solutions.

Submissions are due August 3. Check out the contest website for the prompt, submission guidelines, how to apply, and more! If you have any questions please email

Biomimicry Launchpad (Posted 5/7/18)

The Biomimicry Launchpad is an accelerator program that helps early-stage entrepreneurs bring nature-inspired innovations to market. Biomimicry is an emerging practice that applies lessons from nature to human design problems in an effort to create truly sustainable solutions.

Targeted towards early-stage biomimicry startups and pre-startups, the Launchpad offers entrepreneurship and biomimicry training, mentorship, networking, exposure to strategic partners, and opportunities to showcase breakthrough innovations to the media and the public. Each year, Launchpad teams are eligible to compete for the $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize®, sponsored by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation.

We’re looking for start-up or pre-commercial teams with a nature-inspired product, service, or technology that contributes to the social or environmental good. We are particularly interested in solutions that address any aspect of climate change adaptation or mitigation, or carbon sequestration, in any sector of the economy.

The Biomimicry Launchpad is an accelerator program that supports early-stage entrepreneurs working to bring biomimicry innovations to market. Previously, this opportunity was invite-only, but you can now apply directly to join this program.

We’re looking for a new kind of entrepreneur – one whose early-stage bio-inspired idea helps create a more resilient future, who is motivated to contribute to the greater social and environmental good, and who is energized to join a cohort of fellow biomimics with big ideas and the determination to see them through.

The Launchpad offers:

  • In-person Biomimicry and Business bootcamp
  • Hands-on entrepreneurship training (webinars and guest speakers)
  • Mentoring and access to subject matter experts
  • Pro bono legal advice
  • Access to free design software
  • Opportunity to compete for the Ray C. Anderson Foundation’s $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize® and additional prizes.      

The application deadline is: June 1, 2018.

Seven $4,000 UC Scholarships – Global Food and Carbon Neutrality Initiatives (Posted 5/7/2018) 

  • Global Food Initiative –  Three students will be selected for the Research Fellowship.  One student will be selected for the Student Ambassador Fellowship – which includes an additional $500 for program funding.
  • Carbon Neutrality Initiative – Two students will be selected for the Research Fellowship.     One student will be selected for the Student Engagement Fellowship – which includes an additional $1,000 for program funding.

Due Date is Monday, May 21, 2018. No faculty recommendation letter is required. Awards pay in 2018-2019.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Becky Obayashi – Financial Aid/Scholarships  (858) 534-1067



#MyLastTrash Grants (Posted 3/7/18)

We are accepting applications for our second round of #MyLastTrash mini-grant applications. #MyLastTrash is a communications campaign to raise awareness and support of UC’s zero waste goal by funding projects that engage the broader campus community to achieve physical outcomes that align with CNI, zero waste, GFI, and Healthy Campus Network goals. The focus of the campaign this time around will be on the intersections between waste and climate change. $3000 grants are available for teams involving students AND staff or faculty. More information is available on the MLT website.

The grant application can be found here.

Applications are due by 11:59PM on March 19th 

Excellence in Environmental Research Award (Posted 2/20/18)

The Second Annual Fundraising Dinner for the IEA Research and Education Foundation will be held on Thursday, April 26, 2018, at Living Coast Discovery Center in Chula Vista, CA. During this dinner, we would like to honor undergraduate and graduate college students in the Southern California Region for their Excellence in Environmental Research. We are soliciting submittals for these awards, which will be given during the dinner.
Research projects can be from any major, but must be centered around an environmental topic or issue. Students involved in the IEA Research and Education Foundation are eligible for an award. However, projects receiving funding from the Foundation will not be eligible for a monetary award. Two $500 monetary awards will be given. To submit a research project for award, please provide the following information.

Please send submittal to Joelle Burila by March 2, 2018, by either of the following:
Email: with “Excellence in Environmental Research Submittal” in the subject line.
Fax: (619) 522-9005
U.S. Mail: IEA, 1330 Orange Avenue, Suite 100, Coronado, CA 92118

People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Student Design Competition (Posted 1/23/18)

EPA’s P3 – People, Prosperity and the Planet—Program is a unique college competition for designing solutions for a sustainable future. P3 offers students quality hands-on experience that brings their classroom learning to life. The competition has two phases. For the first phase of the competition, teams are awarded a $15,000 grant to develop their idea. They showcase their research in Spring at the National Sustainable Design Expo. Successful Phase I teams are eligible to compete for a Phase II grant of up to $75,000 to implement their design in a real world setting.

Details here.


Project Innovation Grant (Posted 1/22/18)
Is your non-profit working to create technology-based community solutions? The NBCUniversal Foundation is partnering with NBC and Telemundo owned stations to launch Project Innovation, a new grant program recognizing local non-profit organizations that are leveraging technology to solve everyday problems.

This station will be awarding $225,000 to exceptional non-profit programs that are addressing local community issues in an innovative way.


  • Igniting Civic Engagement – programs that support volunteering and community engagement, especially those leveraging the use of media and technology.
  • Skills for the Digital Economy – programs that support advanced skills development with a focus on workforce training and promoting technology focused skills opportunities.
  • STEM/STEAM Youth Programming – programs that support youth STEM and STEAM education and help advance the next generation of K-12 students with a focus on these in-demand skills (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math)

Submit an application online. Applications are open from January 12 until 11:59 p.m. ET Friday, Feb. 2, 2018.

The Campus Kitchen Project (Posted 1/16/18)

Looking to bring a Campus Kitchen to your school? We have several Launch Grant Opportunities throughout the year to help make this possible!

If your school is interested in receiving one Launch Grants to help plan and start your Campus Kitchen, check out the following opportunities (details here).

  • CoBank Launch Grants

An opportunity for colleges, universities, or high schools in rural communities to win $5,000 to start a Campus Kitchen. The deadline to qualify for this competition is April 20, 2018. Click here for more information about the upcoming grant competition.

For any questions, please email Alex Peterson (

  • Sodexo Launch Grants

The deadline for this grant competition has closed. Check back for more information about the next Sodexo Launch Grant Competition in the Summer of 2018.

Read about our Fall 2017 competition here.

  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America World Hunger Grants

Deadline: Rolling

An opportunity for any ELCA college or university or any school with a dedicated ELCA campus ministry to win a $5,000 grant to start a Campus Kitchen.

Please visit our ELCA grant page to learn more and begin the application process.

Made possible by the Evangelical Church in America World Hunger Program.

ca student sustainability coalition

Nico Linesch Boundary Crossing Scholar’s Award, California Student Sustainability Coalition (posted 01/04/18)

The California Student Sustainability Coalition and the Linesch Family are pleased to announce the first annual Nico Linesch Boundary Crossing Scholar’s Award. Nico died in January 2017 just as he was finding himself professionally at the intersection between data informed urban planning and public health. He loved to engage communities for a safe, healthy and environmentally sustainable future, especially in marginalized areas of Los Angeles, the city where he was raised and which he loved.

The Nico Linesch Boundary Crossing Scholar’s Award will provide $4,000 stipends for students who design interdisciplinary internships in agencies whose budgets limit their capacity to offer compensation.

Click here to learn more about the award and apply.


San Diego Regional Energy Innovation Network, Cleantech San Diego (Posted 11/09/17)

The San Diego Regional Energy Innovation Network is a free program for startups that are developing solutions to help California meet its energy goals. The program provides access to the resources and facilities of a number of regional partner organizations (listed below) and connections with industry in order to accelerate the commercialization of emerging energy technologies.

Accepted companies receive access to: Industry Connections; Research and Testing Facilities; Pilot Project Opportunities; Regulatory and Policy Guidance; Market Intelligence; Mentoring; Workshops/Training; Marketing Support; Capital Providers; IP and Export Assistance; and more.

Eligible companies must: 

  • Have a registered business office in California and presence in San Diego, Imperial, Riverside, or San Bernardino county
  • Have a breakthrough electric energy technology that ultimately delivers benefits to California ratepayers

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Apply here.

TWS SoCal Travel Grant, Southern California Chapter of The Wildlife Society (posted 10/30/17)

The Southern California Chapter of The Wildlife Society is now accepting applications for our Travel Award Program for students and new professionals to attend the 2018 Annual Meeting of The Western Section of The Wildlife Society in Santa Rosa, CA. Applicants can apply for up to $1000 in travel funding.

Deadline: November 22, 2017

Application and details can be found here.


My Last Trash Grant, University of California (posted10/09/17)


Our goal is get everyone on campus to ask themselves: Could my next piece of trash be #MyLastTrash?

To do that, we need to get people thinking about waste and what they can do every day to help UC reach its goal of zero waste by 2020. We want to engage UC campus communities with fun activities and events. We want you to share stories, experiences and lessons learned. The mini-grant fund, supported by UC vendors and the Global Food Initiative, is designed to support grassroots campaigns on your campus. For the concept and the delivery, we’re relying on the creativity and passion from you.

Here are two example of what has been done so far at UC campuses:

  • Students at UC Santa Barbara made #MyLastTrash a Snapchat filter for move out
  • UCSC brought Artist Benjamin Von Wong to campus to speak at an event during Earth Week

What else can you do?

Events, trainings, talks, art installations, competitions, tabling for pledges, research projects, data collection and analysis, social media drives…

We want you to be creative, so, as long as the idea speaks to waste reduction, follows University policy and standards, and uses the #MyLastTrash campaign tagline or visual elements, it can be considered for funding.

Deadline: November 11, 2017, 11:59 p.m. PDT 

Click here to learn more about the award and apply.

uc san diego logo

Chancellor’s Research Excellence Scholarships, UC San Diego (posted 9/20/17)

The UC San Diego Strategic Planning process has identified four research themes to focus on as we build the student-centered, research-focused, service-oriented public university of the future. These themes are:

  • Understanding and Protecting the Planet
  • Enriching Human Life and Society
  • Exploring the Basis of Human Knowledge, Learning and Creativity
  • Understanding Cultures and Addressing Disparities in Society

To support these research priorities and continue the university’s investment in access and affordability for all students interested in an exceptional educational experience, in 2015 UC San Diego launched a pilot program known as the Frontiers of Innovation Scholars Program (FISP). After three years of the successful pilot, the now-permanent funding opportunity will be known as the Chancellor’s Research Innovation Scholarships (CRES). Like FISP, this program will build the interdisciplinary expertise necessary to address society’s greatest challenges and forge new intellectual enterprises, which increasingly rely on the ability to work across diverse disciplines, either individually or as members of multidisciplinary teams.

Deadline: October 12, 2017, 11:59 p.m. PDT

Find additional information here.

triton innovation challenge


Triton Innovation Challenge, Rady School of Management (posted 9/20/17)

The Triton Innovation Challenge, now in its sixth year, is a business competition focused on fostering creativity and bringing to the spotlight commercially promising, environmentally focused technologies generated by the finest minds at UC San Diego. Supported through the generosity of The William and Kathryn Scripps Family Foundation Inc., the program is presented through a partnership of the Rady School of Management, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the Jacobs School of Engineering.

The competition awards cash prizes totaling $11,000 to support new and innovative ideas that relate to the environment (comes from, inspired by, or directly impacts nature.) Social innovation ideas and those with or without a prototype are encouraged to apply. All participants are also eligible to compete for up to $300,000 in investment funding from the Rady Venture Fund and Triton Technology Fund. Anyone (students, faculty and staff) affiliated with UC San Diego is invited to apply by October 16, 2017. Find the application here.