Nov 17, 2015 03:23 PM
Pursuing a deeper understanding of sustainability challenges and solutions.
Conn Center - Biofuels
The Sustainability Council envisions the University of Louisville as a living laboratory of sustainability. This means that faculty and students from all disciplines have the opportunity to study the environmental, social and economic challenges to sustainability that exist right here on campus and in our community...and to research solutions that make sense here.
UofL Sustainability Scholars Roundtable
Research Minute - Solar Powered Car
Research Minute - Invasive Species
Conn Center - Solar Manufacturing
UofL faculty, staff, and graduate students engaged in research related
to sustainability are encouraged to join us for an on-going series of
Sustainability Scholars Roundtables. More info and profiles of UofL Sustainability Scholars here. We gather several times a year to share research
interests, goals, and projects; hear from external renowned
scholars; have roundtable discussions about sustainability research; and discuss specific
sustainability topics of common interest. Our focus at the start has been on "resilience" -- what is it? how do we understand, measure, analyze, and consider it? how is it similar to or different from sustainability? how can concepts of resilience aid sustainability? etc. Other topics will be developed for the future.
The long-term goals of this initiative are to:
- Develop awareness of sustainability research at UofL;
- Develop networks of scholars to enhance collaboration and sharing of ideas;
- Enhance research grant capacity & opportunities through interdisciplinary proposals;
- Improve & increase sustainability-related research at UofL.
is a project of the Sustainability Council's Research Committee. For
more info, contact Tony Arnold.
Many UofL researchers outside of these centers also conduct studies related to sustainability topics. Many of these studies can be identified using our online reference search tool
and are listed in our inventories of sustainability research at UofL:
- Faculty and students interested in researching sustainability are encouraged to apply for UofL's Intramural Research Incentive Grants:
- Multidisciplinary Research Grant (MRG): The
goal of the MRG program is to identify new areas of promising
multidisciplinary research in the university that will lead to
improvements in federally-funded research competitiveness. The focus is
to seed innovative research activities that have potential for competing
in multidisciplinary extramurally funded grants programs. NSF's
Crosscutting/Interdisciplinary programs and NIH's programs in Biomedical
Engineering are two specific examples, but other federal funding
agencies support multidisciplinary research programs in specific high
priority areas as well. Applicants are required to be full-time faculty
members. Awards will be made up to $10,000 for one year. Application Forms and Deadlines
- Vice President for Research Undergraduate Research Scholar Grant (URS): The primary purpose of a
URS is to enrich the research, scholarship and creative arts experience
of the undergraduate student by involving the student in research
collaboration with a faculty member. The student is expected to become
intellectually involved in design and execution of the research project,
not just serve as "another pair of hands." The undergraduate student
writes the URS proposal after he or she has identified a faculty mentor
who is interested in serving as the mentor. The faculty mentor is
expected to make arrangements for the student to receive up to three
hours of course credit for the research or creative activity and
provide a grade for the work completed by the student. Students are
encouraged to present a poster, or an equivalent demonstration of the
research, on the Undergraduate Research Day. The student may request up
to $300 (dry lab/creative activity) or $500 (wet lab) for supplies and
expenses required for conducting the research or creative activity. URS
proposals may be submitted at any time. They will be reviewed on a
monthly basis. The form can be found on the web. Application Form
- Project Completion Grant (PCG):The primary
purpose of a PCG is to assist faculty who are nearing the end of a
scholarly project and need some ancillary support to bring it to
completion. PCG funds may be used to cover the costs of travel required
to complete the project, manuscript preparation, library computer
searches, release from teaching duties, or other reasonable and
appropriate research expenses. Grants up to $4,000 are provided. Application Forms and Deadlines
- Research Initiation Grant (RIG): The primary
purpose of a RIG is to assist faculty in the initiation of new research
projects. Funds may be used for equipment, expendable supplies, travel
necessary for the conduct of the research, student wages, release from
teaching duties, or other reasonable and appropriate research expenses.
In general, priority is given to new faculty, those entering new areas
of research and scholarship and others who have not previously received
an RIG. Grants up to $5,000 are provided. Application Forms and Deadlines
- Research On Women Grant (ROW): This grant is
available to full- and part-time faculty. The primary purpose of an ROW
grant is to provide support to stimulate scholarship on women and
encourage research on women's issues. Funds may be used for equipment,
expendable supplies, travel necessary for the conduct of the research,
student wages, release from teaching duties, or other reasonable and
appropriate research expenses. Grants are provided up to $4,000. Application Forms and Deadlines
- Undergraduate Research Grants (URG): The
primary purpose of a URG is to enhance the research environment of a
unit by involving undergraduate students in research in collaboration
with a faculty mentor. Special consideration will be given to projects
in which the student is intellectually involved in design and execution
of the research. Students will be expected to provide a written report
on their project participation and have it evaluated by faculty.
Students are encouraged to co-author scholarly research papers with
their mentors. Priority will be given to projects involving UofL
undergraduates and no awards will be made to projects in
which students provide just "another pair of hands." URG funds may be
used for undergraduate student stipends and supplies. They may range
from a 10-week summer project to a full year. Grants up to $3,000 are
provided. Application Forms and Deadlines
- The Office of Community Engagement Faculty Grants Program
fosters UofL faculty and staff projects within the west Louisville
community and Jefferson County. This is a great opportunity for those
interested in weaving community-based sustainability issues into courses
The grant focuses on infrastructure development, research and non-research
projects which hold a community participatory action perspective. Full details and grant
The Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research Faculty Research Fund
helps sponsor, stimulate and disseminate research
relevant to the Louisville community and the U.S. South on social
movements, citizen participation, and public policy reforms around
racial and social justice. Proposals that engage one or more social
justice topics (historical or contemporary) such as race, class, gender,
sexuality, religion, ethnicity, environmentalism, disability, and/or
age will be given preference. Any faculty member in the College of Arts
& Sciences is eligible to apply for a grant of up to $1,000 during a
period not to exceed 12 months (this includes term and part-time
faculty). Proposals that represent faculty/community or faculty/student
collaborations are especially encouraged.
- Students can also seek funding through the Anne Braden Institute's Social Justice Research Awards.
Graduate and undergraduate students from any discipline are asked to
engage one or more social justice topics, with a preference given to
papers engaging race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, ethnicity,
environmentalism, disability, and/or age. The best two undergraduate
applications receive $100 each, while the best graduate application
- The Summer Research Opportunity Program provides UofL undergraduate students (preferably juniors or sophomores) who would like to know more about graduate-level education at the university, with a 10-week research-intensive experience in a department that offers graduate degrees. Mentors will provide students with individualized research projects. All UofL departments with graduate programs will be supported. Students will receive a stipend of $3,500 for the 10 weeks and the
mentor is eligible for up to $500 to support the student's research and
costs for production of the poster that is required.
Ali Scholars Program, offered by the
Ali Institute for Peace and Justice to full-time undergraduate UofL
students, is a unique 2-year experience combining training, research
and service in the areas of violence prevention and peace building in an
urban living context. A special emphasis is placed on understanding
and addressing the social conditions that impact those issues.
Scholars will receive a $500 scholarship each semester, for a total
scholarship of $2,000.
- Conn Center Fellows:
Want to be involved in advances in renewable energy? The Leigh Ann Conn
Fellows Program is for grads & undergrads planning to conduct
energy-related research. Areas include Solar Decathlon, Solar
Manufacturing R&D, Biofuels/Biomass R&D, and Materials
Discovery/Manufacturing. Full info and application details here.
- UofL faculty and students are encouraged to apply for grants through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) program: The EPA offers annual research grants to U.S. colleges and universities to engage students in projects to solve our world's most serious environmental challenges. Through its P3 program, students working on teams design sustainability solutions and compete for more funding to take their ideas from the lab to the real world. EPA's P3 program fosters team-based learning, interdisciplinary effort and class-to-real-world experience.
- KREC Competitive Grants Program (FY2008-2011)
The Kentucky Renewable Energy Consortium (KREC), administered by the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center (KPPC) at UofL's J.B. Speed School of Engineering, encouraged faculty research through the Competitive Grants Program. KREC advanced and funded innovative research on renewable energy and energy efficiency that focuses on developing resource-responsible technologies and practices for the energy sector. A total of $864,000 was awarded to seven recipients in the latest round of grants. Though grant funding has expired, you can still join KREC on
Facebook to share information, discuss ideas, ask questions or post items of interest to the renewable energy community and help get the word out about what's happening in renewable energy and energy efficiency in Kentucky!
In our efforts to make UofL into a living laboratory of sustainability, the Council seeks researchers and faculty collaborators from all disciplines to work directly with us and to sponsor students (GRAs, interns, work-study, service learning, class projects, volunteers, etc.) to help us investigate ways to improve and enhance sustainability. If you want to get connected with other researchers or potential projects on campus, please contact the assistant to the provost for sustainability initiatives, Justin Mog, justin.mog (at) louisville.edu. UofL has many concrete sustainability research needs, including the following vital efforts:
- Metrics for Sustainability: Gathering and analyzing data about campus sustainability
- Greenhouse gas emissions accounting, offsetting and reduction strategies
- Socially-Responsible Investment strategies, policies, practices, and opportunities
- Renewable energy pilot projects (biofuels, solar, wind, geothermal, hydro) - design, siting, monitoring, etc.
- Effective communication strategies for behavior modification & culture change (e.g. recycling, commuting, food - local/healthy/less meat, smoke-free campus, on-campus energy/water conservation, etc.)
- Transportation choices, commuter behaviors, parking subsidies, and system improvements
- Human Resource management strategies for sustainability
- Green Purchasing: Product life-cycle analysis (ecological footprints)
- Sustainable Landscapes: Organic campus food gardens & orchards, landscape management, native landscaping, campus trees, wildlife habitat, ecological services, etc.
- Storm water management projects and monitoring (e.g. rain gardens,
vegetated roofs, water catchment systems, infiltration systems, pervious
- Community-scale composting and vermiculture
- Consumer behavior studies around food choices, bottled water usage, waste production, and green purchasing
- UofL EcoReps - Sustainability training, leadership and advocacy strategies
- Campus Farmers Markets - Sustaining markets, engaging customers, supporting vendors, reaching the under-served, etc.
- Diversity & Affordability studies and support programs
- Model Green Room designs, monitoring, user-studies, educational tools, etc.
- Building Dashboards and Conservation Competitions as engagement and educational tools
- Community Engagement strategies for sustainability
- Computer management strategies for energy and resource conservation
- University Housing: Engaging and educating campus residents about sustainability
- Sustainability in Campus Master Planning and building design
- Curriculum development and interdisciplinary education strategies for sustainability
- Waste Reduction strategies and systems