CSF Frequently Asked Questions

Students are highly encouraged to apply for CSF grants. Even though the majority of applications are submitted by faculty and staff, we want to see more engagement and proposals come from the student body. Because students typically do not have grant writing or project management experience, the CSF Committee and Coordinator are available to meet to go over the process and assist students along the way. If both Project Managers are students, a Departmental Representative will need to be listed to supervise the project.

Please watch, read, or listen to our recorded presentation video that discusses the do’s and don’ts of asking for funding as well as what the CSF Committee looks for in an application. Reviewing this page will also give you more detailed information on our evaluation criteria such as student leadership, environmental sustainability, etc. If your project is outside of the Fund’s scope, please review our alternative funding resource page!

Sustainability is like any speciality in that it too can become siloed, or self-isolated, and people find themselves “preaching to the choir.” The sustainability choir refers to the part of the population that is already aware, invested, and involved in environmental sustainability. Sustainability, environmentalism, and climate action requires immense collaboration and intersectionality, which is why the Fund intentionally directs outreach to people outside of this bubble and seeks engagement beyond the “choir.”

Social sustainability relates to the systems and structures that create and maintain a high quality of life through prioritizing equity, accessibility, safety, and diversity. Socially sustainable campuses are committed to increasing involvement, connectivity, and inclusivity. At the core of the practice is the integrated understanding that sustainability issues and social inequalities are deeply interconnected, as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) experience structural and systemic racial disparities and are disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis. Social sustainability identifies and recognizes the obstacles faced by BIPOC and underrepresented communities and aims to remove them.

Social sustainability is complex and includes but is not limited to topics of access to affordable housing, educational opportunities, social and environmental justice, equity, physical and mental health support, safety, sense of community, participation, and social capital.

Environmental sustainability is the strategy to manage and conserve natural resources* for the benefit of both current generations and future ones. This is achieved by meeting our current populations’ needs while neither exceeding the capacity of our ecosystems or by allowing our actions to damage or diminish biological diversity. Solving the challenges posed by the climate crisis is the center of environmental sustainability while building a future that is sustainable and equitable for all of its future inhabitants.
*Natural resources: biodiversity, soil, air, water, animals and plants, mineral deposits, ecosystems, etc.

The CSF student committee evaluates and votes on the proposals. The CSF Committee is made up of students from all backgrounds and majors who are employed by the Office of Sustainability.

The CSF will fund hourly wages instead of stipends to ensure that students are being paid a fair amount for their work. Stipends, also known as fixed salaries, will not be covered by the Fund.

The Fund will not approve a project that is for reimbursement of any kind. Additionally, funds will not be dispersed for materials for a project that were going to be purchased regardless of CSF funding. Funding allocated for projects that are reimbursements will be required to pay back in full.

Mini Grants applications open in both the fall and spring semester while Annual Grants open in the fall semester and close in the spring. Mini Grants receive funding on a rolling basis while Annual Grant funding is released once a year in June following the Committee’s final vote.

Committee members hold virtual Office Hours dedicated for drop-ins! Please utilize them for anything CSF-related, for example:

  • General questions about the Fund and its operation
  • Inquiries about feedback and guidance after an initial application was not approved
  • Questions about your proposal idea and whether or not it fits within the scope of the Fund
  • How to strengthen your proposal

The CSF Coordinator will be in touch with your team about the funding transfer once your project has been approved. They will be responsible for transferring over the approved amount to a designated account. However, the Fiscal Officer your team identifies in the application will be your contact for accessing the money once it has transferred. Please communicate with them to access the funds for your project.

You can apply for both Mini and Annual Grants, as well as submit multiple applications for both during the same funding cycle. However, the Fund may not be inclined to fund multiple projects from one individual or department. Additionally, you may not apply for a Mini Grant to supplement an Annual Grant or vice versa. The Committee strongly suggests that applicants ensure their project may be accomplished within the maximum amount of the funding and seek supplemental funding elsewhere should the project require more funding than the maximum of a Mini or Annual Grant. For example, you may not apply for 2 Mini Grants for different parts of the same project to total $10,000 or combine an Annual and a Mini Grant to total a maximum of $105,000.

The Sustainability Fee is the $10 fee that students pay as a part of their yearly expenses. This fee goes to the CSF to allocate to environmentally and socially sustainable projects on campus.

As the CSF is a program of the Office of Sustainability, and you can keep up to date on all things CSF at the Instagram handle @uarizonasustainability.

If your application is rejected, please review the provided feedback, consider meeting with the CSF Coordinator or drop into the Committee’s Office Hours to go over any remaining questions to further improve your next application. This feedback is meant to be constructive and help you rewrite your application should the idea be within the scope of the Fund, but the proposal itself was missing some key points.

You should apply for funding when the project’s preliminary work has been completed, relevant partners or University authorities have provided consent or input for your proposal, and you have worked out the key elements of your project with a succinct timeline.

Yes! It is always a good idea to look for alternative funding sources and note that in your application. It shows the CSF that you are serious about your project and want to make it happen. If you are not sure where to start, check out our alternative funding resources.

Yes, we highly encourage projects to impact both the UArizona campus and the Tucson Community. Your project must impact the campus community per our evaluation standards.

You can expect the CSF to help you throughout your process of grant writing, strict deadlines to remember, and a lot of time spent planning and incorporating feedback into your proposal. On the website, there is information on the grant writing process, a recorded presentation on what the CSF is looking for, and tips and tricks to writing your first grant proposal. Grant writing is not easy but it is a highly rewarding experience and the CSF is here to help you achieve that. Please email us or stop into our office hours if you have any questions.

Please navigate to our tab “CSF Projects” where you can find active and completed CSF projects. However, that tab will not display the hundreds of projects that were funded by the Green Fund from 2011-2021. If you want to know if your project idea has been attempted before, reach out and we can assist you with more information.