Apply for Sustainable Project Funding

As we strive to create a sustainable campus, our office established Supporting UTSA Sustainability Through Action, Initiatives and Narratives (SUSTAIN), a university program that funds projects advancing campus sustainability. UTSA invests approximately 3 cents from scheduled course hours to sustainable initiatives. This allows us to accept proposals from students, staff and faculty each year. If you have a project idea that supports the three pillars of sustainability, where the interconnectedness of economic, social and conservation come together to create a better tomorrow for our campus, apply for funding!

We encourage you to make an appointment with the director of Sustainability at least 30 days before submitting your proposal to ensure your project meets the requirements. Once you have all materials together, email your application and upload your proposal as a PDF document. Make sure you read the program rules and requirements below thoroughly before beginning your proposal.

  1. Call for proposals are announced by the Office of Sustainability.
  2. Call for proposals are advertised on our website and communications channels.
  3. Call for proposals are released annually in the fall semester. It is possible that the SUSTAIN program may have a second call for proposals during the year.
  4. Proposals are only accepted from current UTSA students, staff and faculty.
  5. Preference is given to proposals that improve the campus-built environment. Examples include: hydration stations; waste reduction or innovative recycling; conservation projects that reduce energy or reduce/reuse water; projects that reduce carbon; and academic programs that result in increased student understanding of sustainability.
  6. Students may apply for up to $1,500 in funding for a sustainable program, initiative or project.
  7. Up to $10,000 in student proposals may be accepted annually.
  8. Students may co-propose grants over $1,500 if they are co-administrated with a faculty or staff member.
  9. Funded projects must be completed in the year they are awarded.
  10. Funding for proposal is dependent upon available funds in the program. Complex projects that might take a long time to develop may request funding for future fiscal years. However, due to the possibility of unforeseen issues, such as a worldwide pandemic, funding may not be guaranteed.
  11. Funding may not be used for food, drinks or gift cards.
  12. SUSTAIN funds must be used by Aug. 31 of the year in which they are awarded.
  13. Programs funded through SUSTAIN must acknowledge the source of funding on media releases, posters, research papers and publications.
  14. Proposals must have a UTSA staff or faculty member as advisor. Advisors must have, or establish, a UTSA cost center to receive funds.
  15. Proposals must contain required criteria before they are accepted for funding; see scoring criteria. We strongly recommend that proposers request an appointment with the director of Sustainability to review proposals for completeness. Incomplete proposals may be denied.
  16. Student proposals are reviewed and recommended by the Student Initiatives Review Committee (SIRC).
  17. Not all proposals meeting the scoring criteria are awarded for funding.
  18. The director or SIRC may reduce or increase award requests at their discretion.
  19. No funding will be provided directly to students.
  20. Funding must be transferred to a UTSA department with a 3105 account.
  21. The final determination of award is determined at the discretion of the director of Sustainability.
  22. Expenses and actions will follow university protocols.
  23. Funding for students will follow university protocols as it may have an impact on a student’s financial aid.
  24. Proposals should be submitted electronically in PDF format to the Office of Sustainability. Use the subject line SUSTAIN RFP Year (e.g., SUSTAIN RFP 2022) and proposal title when emailing proposal.
  25. Proposal titles must have the project name and point person’s name at the top of the page.

We invite you to submit a proposal that incorporates economic, environmental and social sustainability, and is focused specifically on making UTSA more sustainable campus.

Projects not exceeding $1,500 must include:

  1. Narrative: Briefly explain the project. Include details on how the project is sustainable, a benefit to campus sustainability, and describe milestone and deliverables.
  2. Name and contact information for those leading the project.
  3. Project Advisor: Name and contact for project administrator. Every project must have a current UTSA staff or faculty advisor who will monitor the project from concept to completion.
  4. Account: An advisor must have access to a UTSA 3105 account number.
  5. Cost Estimate: Provide details on how funding will be used. Details should be included in the project narrative. The cost estimate should be in an Excel document with a format broken down by months, showing milestones and deliverables. Funds should be used no later than Aug. 31 in the year they are awarded. 
  6. Timeline: Tell us key milestones and the dates you intend to complete them. Details should be should be in an Excel document broken down by months, listing milestones and deliverables. Project timeline and deliverables must be completed by Aug. 31 in the year funding is awarded.

Projects exceeding $1,500 are scored by committee and recommended for funding according to the SUSTAIN Scoring Criteria for projects more than $1,500. We will not accept incomplete proposals. Make sure you should read the scoring criteria explanations carefully. We highly recommended that you contact the director of Sustainability to review your proposal prior to the submittal deadline. Make sure to give yourself enough time to update your proposal after your review. This process can take up to three months depending on the complexity of your proposal. If you have additional questions about proposal requirements email the director of Sustainability

Requirements and Scoring Guidelines





Project description. Describe how your project is sustainable and explain the social, economic and environmental benefits to the campus. Include the name and contact for all project administrators. Provide the name and contact for the project advisor (staff or faculty advisor with a UTSA 3105 cost center). The narrative should not be longer than 300 words.


Stakeholder Approvals

Identify applicable stakeholders for your project. Provide an email or scanned signed document from each stakeholder showing they reviewed the project and have determined the project is compliant with rules and requirements of the respective UTSA departments. If it does not comply, proposers must work with the departments to bring their proposal into compliance before submittal. The signature page must state: The “project name” from “proposer’s name” complies with all university rules under the authority of the “department name.” Signed: __________, title, contact info. Proposals will not be accepted without approval from all stakeholders. Stakeholders are university department heads, leadership or anyone that could/will be impacted by, or have oversight for, the project. See Stakeholders Contacts tab below for a partial list of potential stakeholders. It is the proposer’s responsibility to identify stakeholders. The Office of Sustainability will assist proposers in identifying stakeholders during scheduled consultation.


Cost Estimate

Provide an outline of how you will use your funding. If the project involves construction, events, movers, electricity, audio visual or any other university function, your cost estimate must be approved by that department in writing. The university does not pay tax on most products and services. Approved contractors and vendors are required. A complete and vetted cost estimate is required before submittal. The Office of Sustainability will assist you in identifying costs during your consultation. It is the proposer’s responsibility to identify all costs.


Return on Investment

Will the project have a return on the investment for the campus? While the benefit may be intangible, most of these points are awarded to projects that result in a financial benefit for UTSA, such as energy savings.



Create a timeline in Excel of key deliverables on your project, e.g., materials ordered, materials arrive, event date, construction begins, etc. Include start and completion dates. Projects must use funding in the year it is awarded. NOTE: Proposals are accepted for award that include a project for the next fiscal year, depending on availability of funds. 


Risk Plan

Proposers are responsible for developing a risk plan. There are numerous examples online. In general, provide a solution for any foreseeable issue with your project. Examples: fire, theft, electrocution, injury, rain, high winds, safety of participants, flood, etc. Detail how organizers will respond, contact information, chain of information to report/respond to the issue, etc. Risk plans must be approved by the UTSA risk manager.



Below is partial list of stakeholder contacts that can help you complete proposals for funding. This is not a complete list. For assistance identifying stakeholders on your project, email the director of Sustainability to schedule a consultation meeting.



Risk Management


Fire and Life Safety


UTSA Facilities


UTSA Police Department












Students have an opportunity to evaluate and score SUSTAIN proposals, as well as make recommendations for funding the projects, through the Sustainable Initiatives Review Committee (SIRC). The committee consists of five students, two standing members (UTSA SGA president and Sustainability representative) and three open positions. SIRC members also occupy the student positions in the UTSA Sustainability Council, and are required to attend council meetings and review proposals throughout the year.

If you are interested in being a SIRC member and a student representative of the Sustainability Council See information on the Sustainability Council page to apply for open seats or email the Office of Sustainability.