Graham Sustainability Institute

Planet Blue Student Innovation Fund


Apply for up to $25,000 through the Planet Blue Student Innovation Fund (PBSIF) if you or your student organization is working on a project that addresses a campus sustainability issue and/or enhances campus-wide student engagement with sustainability.

To apply: 

  1. Submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) by email to with the subject line “PBSIF Letter of Intent - [your project’s/group’s name]” no later than 11:59 pm on 11/5/2021. See details for the LOI listed below. Note you MUST submit an LOI to apply for PBSIF funding this year.
  2. One week after you submit your LOI, SSC will respond back with feedback and clarifying questions that you should incorporate into your final application for your best chance of receiving PBSIF funds. 
  3. Submit the full PBSIF Application no later than 11:59 pm on 11/28/2021. See details for the Application listed below. 

PBSIF Letter of Intent

Please make sure to respond to the following in no more than one page:

  1. In one sentence, what is your project idea?
  2. How does your project address campus sustainability?
  3. Has any action been taken previously to address this issue on campus? What do you plan to do differently with your project?
  4. What will you need to make this project come to fruition? Include funding, materials, and where permissions will be necessary (e.g. the Campus Planners need to approve an installation in a specified location).
  5. How will you track and measure the impact(s) of your project?
  6. Which student organization, faculty/staff advisor, or campus unit are you working with, or why is such a partnership unnecessary for your project? Please indicate if you would like our help in finding an advisor!

PBSIF Application

You will need to include the following information in your final PBSIF application (note that the application portal will open on 11/12/2021):

  1. Proposal Narrative (not to exceed 4 pages)
    1. Project Description
      1. Project Name
      2. What is your project? 
      3. What are the vision and long-term goal(s) for this project?
      4. How will this project further U-M’s carbon neutrality and sustainability goals?
        1. SSC defines sustainability as a mindset and approach to ensure current and future resources and prosperity are equitable and accessible for all without the exploitation of people and the environment in the process.
    2. Project Leadership
      1. Please include the name of each team member, their role in the project, their affiliation with the University, any University group(s)/unit(s) they are representing and any other relevant information about the team member(s).
      2. A faculty or staff advisor is necessary for all projects that intend to apply for PBSIF. Affiliation with a student organization is also highly encouraged. 
        1. *If staff advisor is absolutely not necessary please indicate in LOI. Project team members and SSC can meet to discuss further if needed.*
    3. Project Management
      1. Include how you will ensure feasibility and completion of your project.
      2. Include how you plan to transition project work to new students in the event that proposal participants graduate prior to project completion.
    4. Project Evaluation
      1. What are the anticipated outcomes of your project?
      2. What types of metrics will you use to measure your success?
      3. How will the project be durable?
      4. Include a plan for reporting project progress and outcomes to SSC. Please be ready to provide SSC regular updates as one of the requirements for receiving funding.
  2. Project Timeline
    1. Please include a detailed Timeline below your Proposal Narrative. See here for an example. Make sure each action includes a target date and details on what is happening and who is responsible.
  3. Itemized budget (completed budget form)
    1. Please include an Itemized Budget below your Timeline. See here for an example.

Please note: Preliminary approval by the SSC Leadership Team is subject to final approval by other University committees (e.g., U-M Facilities & Operations, Exterior Elements Design Review Committee).