Section 4.1 – Allocation of Funds by the Committee

As noted in Section 1.1, all allocation of funds to submitted projects must be decided by a simple majority vote of the voting Committee membership. The Committee may elect to fund only a portion of a proposal.

  • During the project approval process, the CSF Committee reserves the right to request the revision, addition, or removal of items in the project budget and/or to approve only a portion of the project scope.
  • All project teams must receive support and/or necessary permissions from relevant UW stakeholders prior to starting a project. CSF funding support does not constitute necessary approval by relevant UW stakeholders for your project operations.

Section 4.2 – Project Requirements

Projects requesting funds will be evaluated based on the how they address the following:

  • Sustainable Impact: Projects must improve the sustainability of UW’s campus and/or operations. Sustainable impact encompasses both social sustainability - cultural awareness and preservation, representation or engagement of underrepresented communities, diverse and interdisciplinary collaboration – and environmental sustainability – reducing carbon emissions, energy use, water use, waste, pollutants, and toxins, as well as improving living systems, biodiversity, environmental justice and equity. Projects focused on social sustainability should also include an environmentally sustainable component, although this part does not have to be the project’s focus.
  • Leadership & Student Involvement: Staff and student roles must be clearly outlined and reflected in the proposed project budget. Projects must demonstrate some substantial degree of student leadership or student involvement throughout the application and implementation process to be considered for funding. Additionally, projects initiated by students will be prioritized.
  • Education, Outreach, & Behavior Change: Projects must include educational and outreach components that help cultivate an aware and engaged campus community.
  • Feasibility, Accountability, & Sustainability: Applicants must demonstrate that they have or can attain the technical knowledge, necessary approvals, and project management skills to complete projects successfully. The Fund encourages the use of a faculty or staff mentor, appropriate department support, and/or a line item in the budget for project management. CSF funds must be used in a responsible manner—to be determined by the Committee. Projects requiring ongoing maintenance or staffing not funded by the CSF should demonstrate a plan to meet long-term needs.
  • Applicant Eligibility: The applicant must meet at least one of the following criteria:
    • UW Seattle registered student WITH UW DEPARTMENT/ENTITY SPONSOR (this must be a campus entity/department or Registered Student Organization with a budget number who can administer the awarded funds)
    • UW Seattle Registered Student Organization (For student groups of five or more who would like to become registered as an RSO, please visit
    • UW Seattle student that has graduated but submitted an LOI or project proposal within one quarter of their graduation date.
    • UW Seattle Faculty
    • UW Seattle Staff

Section 4.3 – Funding Preferences

The Committee and staff will prioritize proposed projects based on the following considerations:

  • Preference will be given to projects that align with the UW's commitment to sustainability (reference the historic University's Climate Action Plan and current Sustainability Action Plan))
  • Strong preference will be given to projects with a clear, strong student-participation component. For the purposes of this section, postdoctoral researchers and other similar individuals are not considered students. This is evaluated at the discretion of the Committee on several factors, including:
    • Ratio of funded student positions to funded non-student positions;
    • Involvement of targeted student groups and organizations; and
    • Amount of student body potentially involved in project at any stage.
  • Preference will be given to projects that can obtain matching funds from sources other than the CSF, or to projects that are able to repay the CSF through a revolving loan fund or other mechanisms;
  • Preference will be given to projects impacting UW Seattle sustainability "closer to home."
  • Promotes equity and engages diverse, underrepresented groups on campus.
  • Preference will be given to projects that are complete, comprehensive, and ready for implementation at the time of proposal rather than feasibility studies or pilot projects. Any group requesting funding for a feasibility study or pilot project must include the following components in their proposed project:
    • The proposal must include an actionable second phase. The second phase must, to the best knowledge of the group, be realistic to implement given that their study shows it to be feasible.
    • Whether or not the study or pilot shows the second phase to be feasible, the project must result in a written report that summarizes all relevant findings and is submitted to the CSF. The CSF may use this information to aid and inform future projects in whatever way they see fit.
  • For projects containing budget items related to student funding:
    • CSF prefers to fund time and labor expended by UW students working on CSF projects where and when that funding supports the creation of a formal internship under a Faculty member and/or Campus Unit.
    • Preference will be given to projects that clearly explain the project tasks to be completed during any paid time funded by the CSF. In addition, it is strongly encouraged that projects include in their budgets any available information that explains and justifies the requested amount of paid time funded by the CSF.
  • In considering projects that are undertaken by campus departments (whether in close partnership with students or led primarily by staff), CSF prefers to use its funds strategically, investing in one-time transformational interventions in a campus operation, rather than funding routine operations or planned near-term innovations. In considering projects undertaken by campus departments, preference will be given to projects that demonstrate they are not likely to be undertaken in the near future without CSF funding, and are likely to be financially and operationally sustainable over the long term.
  • CSF recommends that projects over $30,000 complete a feasibility study or submit a previously completed feasibility study.
    • Projects may also justify why they do not require a feasibility study.
    • CSF reserves the right to request a feasibility study from any project.
  • Recurring events are eligible for funding, but such eligibility is at the discretion of the committee. Recurring events typically should show one of the following in order to be eligible for funding after the first award:
    • Innovation or improvement upon previous iteration of event; or
    • Additional funding from non-CSF sources.

Section 4.4 - Funding Restrictions

  • Funding cannot be used for time and labor expended by UW faculty working unless it is outside the scope of regular faculty duties.
  • Funding cannot be used for the purchase of gift cards or other forms of compensation to research subjects.
  • While we encourage compensating research subjects for their time, this must come from another funding source.
  • In general, funds cannot be used for food, drinks, or salable merchandise as part of project budgets. Some exceptions may be granted.
  • Line-item requests for travel funding are not encouraged, but will be considered on a case by case basis.
  • Funds shall not be used for research projects unless such projects include an actionable component.
  • Funds can be used to compensate students and non-faculty staff for their time according to applicable.
  • Workday requirements and state/federal rules.
  • Preference will be given to projects that clearly explain the project tasks to be completed during any paid time funded. In addition, it is strongly encouraged that projects include in their budgets any available information that explains and justifies the requested amount of paid time funded by the CSF.
  • Funds can be used for purchasing materials related to the project. Please consider environmental sustainability when making material requests.

Section 4.5 - Mini-Grant Process

Projects asking for less than $5,000 are welcome to submit a request through the Mini Grant process on a rolling basis throughout the school year. Mini Grants must submit the google form application to be considered for funding in the Mini Grant Process; these projects will be evaluated based on this application. Mini Grant applications must contain a detailed budget and timeline. The Committee will review all applications and make a funding decision within two weeks (barring school holidays or breaks).

Section 4.6 - Continuation of Successful projects

The CSF Program Director & Associate Director retain the ability to allocate reserve funding to existing, successful projects at their discretion based on alignment with CSF values and yearly strategic priorities set by the CSF Team. Up to $15,000 / per year / per project may be awarded for up to 3 years, with a maximum total allocation of $50,000 per year (including prior year allocations). Reserves must be available and designated to cover any and all costs. Deficit spending will not be employed here (or in any of CSF operations).

Section 4.7 - Other Rules Governing CSF Funds

  • Funds allocated to a project that has not started within 6 months of the original project timeline may be rescinded by the CSF Committee and reallocated for future projects. Projects may apply for an extension if they wish to amend their timeline.
  • CSF funds are not to be used or reallocated for purposes other than those described in this document and the funded project proposal. A full budget amendment must be submitted to the Committee for approval prior to any further expenditures.
  • Fund recipients must keep a full accounting of their expenditures and report the status of their budget and project to the CSF Program Director on a quarterly basis. At the end of the project, fund recipients will be expected to submit a full report of the impact their project has had on student leadership, student volunteerism, students’ awareness of the issue(s) addressed by the project, and campus sustainability.
  • Should a team or its members behave inappropriately or violate any University code of conduct, funding may be discontinued and/or the team may be ineligible to apply for future funding from the CSF.
  • Project teams are required to submit reports and failure to do so may result in a loss of funding.
  • In the event that a project is in jeopardy, the project team should communicate with CSF Staff to determine a course of action. In the case of cancellation, a team must still complete a Final Report.
  • A project team should notify the CSF of any potential or actual risk to the environment and/or to the physical/mental health and safety of its direct and indirect stakeholders as a result of its project.
  • CSF-related individuals and material are not insured outside of UW campuses.
  • CSF funds shall not be used for research projects unless such projects include an actionable component.
    • An actionable component is, or is similar to, a feasibility study that leads to a project-based, actionable component or pilot project.
  • The CSF reserves the right to discontinue funding for any valid reason at its discretion.
  • The CSF is not focused on supporting commercialization or for-profit businesses. Usually, it also cannot fund projects where Intellectual Property and/or incorporation is involved or is planned to be at a later date, particularly where funding from a third party outside the University is involved. In such cases, the Terms & Conditions of the third party must align with those of the CSF and the UW Policy on Intellectual Property, and be clearly detailed in the application supporting documents.
  • All CSF-funded intellectual and physical materials are co-owned with UW, with the  University keeping the rights as per the UW Policy on Intellectual Property.
  • Any non-compliance with the above terms and conditions will result in a suspension of funding.
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