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Research Grants

Each year, SIRT awards grants to UW Oshkosh faculty and staff for interdisciplinary projects that address issues of sustainability. Learn about this year’s award winners here.

For information on grant opportunities and UW Oshkosh policies, visit the Grants Office.

The ERIC Lab can provide assistance with standard laboratory testing to support your research.

If you wish to conduct research in the area of biogas generation and use, consult with the staff at the Biogas program.

For information about ongoing research projects related to sustainability, see our Directory.


Current Opportunities:

Call for Proposals: Sustainability Challenge Grants 2022


The Sustainability Institute for Regional Transformations at UW Oshkosh (SIRT), in collaboration with the UW Oshkosh Faculty Development Program, invite proposals to support interdisciplinary research, creative activity, teaching, or outreach in the area of sustainability, broadly conceived. Two grants, which can be awarded to individuals or teams, will be provided, and submissions can have budgets up to $20,000.  

Faculty and staff from all programs and units on all three campuses – including the arts and humanities; social, biological, and physical sciences; business, nursing, and education; and campus operations – are encouraged to apply. The grant can be used to fund any activities that fall within the mission and vision of SIRT (about SIRT). Some examples of how the grant money might be used are: to initiate new research projects or creative endeavors, to develop public outreach resources or programs, to increase the rigor and support of the teaching of sustainability at UWO, and more. Grants can be used to cover expenses including summer salary, course releases, travel, supplies, and student salary. Projects that have already received significant campus resources are not eligible to apply.  

We recommend discussing proposals with SIRT personnel before submission. We know that interdisciplinary sustainability projects are new to many investigators and practitioners. We are happy to help you develop and refine your project. Contact SIRT Director Stephanie Spehar ( to discuss your idea or set up a meeting.  


Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria: 

  • Significance to sustainability. The project must fit within a broadly conceived definition of sustainability, and the proposers must make clear how the project will contribute to the understanding and practice of sustainability (see here for an introduction to the concept and some definitions). Applicants should attempt to situate their project within the discipline and/or practice of sustainability in their project narrative. 
  • Interdisciplinarity. Projects should attempt to bring together different disciplines or areas of expertise to generate new understanding, approaches, or perspectives. This can be demonstrated by 1) describing the interdisciplinary nature of the content or approach of the project itself, or 2) by proposing a collaborative project involving faculty/staff from at least two programs/units and demonstrating how the expertise and perspective of each participant will contribute to the interdisciplinary nature of the project. 
  • Potential to support or establish communities of research or practice. Projects should strengthen intellectual connections and foster long-term collaboration across our campuses and with our broader community. Examples could include the establishment of interdisciplinary research groups that study a key sustainability issue; campus working groups that collaborate to address sustainability problems; establishment of collaborative relationships between the university and community organizations; and more.  
  • Inclusion of social justice. Priority will be given to projects that attempt to address racial, ethnic, and gender disparities in the area of sustainability (for example, issues like disparate environmental impacts and lower access to the outdoors for communities of color; lack of diversity and representation in sustainability-related fields; and so on) through project focus, hiring, outreach, accessibility and application of results, etc. If you are unclear on how your project can do this and it feels like a barrier to applying, please reach out to SIRT for help. 
  • Involvement of students. Priority will be given to projects that involve students in meaningful ways- through opportunities to conduct research, gain hands-on experience, or similar. 
  • Local impact. Priority will be given to projects that demonstrate the potential to impact Northeast Wisconsin, as well as those that include partners outside the university. 


Proposal Components: 

  • cover page including project title, a 500-word project summary, and list of key personnel 
  • five-page, single-spaced project narrative including project description, timeline, feasibility, outcomes, and significance of project for sustainability 
  • one-page budget, including brief justification 
  • two-page CVs for each key personnel 

Submit these items as a single PDF file to by the deadline. 

Deadline to apply:
April 15, 2022, 5:00 pm 
Project Timeframe:  June 2022-June 2023 (longer project periods may be allowed if justified) 
Final Reports: due August 31, 2023. Grantees will be ineligible for further grants from SIRT unless a report is filed or an extension granted. 


For more information, please contact Stephanie Spehar, SIRT Director, 

Contact Info:

(920) 424-0440
SIRT Office: 4483 Sage Hall