Climate Change Grants

Request for Applications

Program Title: Climate Change Grants

Release Date: Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Key Dates

Proposals Due: Open Solicitation



It only takes a quick web search to find countless articles and reports on health care facilities’ impact on the planet – these facilities use energy and water, rely on the transportation system, utilize various food service options, and produce many forms of waste, all of which impact our planet in different ways. Each of these policy areas must be tackled in some form.  To confront the issue of medical system material waste, specifically, the University of Minnesota Medical School is requesting applications from student-led teams to cultivate novel ideas, conduct research, and develop new, ready to implement technologies to develop compostable materials and reduce material waste in the medical system. Potential target areas include but are not limited to bundled procedural kits, packaging waste, single-use devices, and ancillary service waste.

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The University of Minnesota Medical School is making grant funding available for student-led research projects. The funding will catalyze innovative research and technology development to reduce material waste in medical systems.

Eligibility Requirements

Collaborative research teams led by an MD or PhD student or resident from the University of Minnesota Medical School and an MS or PhD student from the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering are eligible to apply. Teams may include students from other University of Minnesota colleges and programs so as to ensure the team has the expertise needed to successfully develop and implement the proposal. University of Minnesota faculty and staff are not eligible to apply but may act as project mentors to assist students with the development and implementation of their proposals.

Budget Considerations

Requested budget funding is expected to range from $25,000 to $40,000. Smaller funding requests will also be considered. Project duration is limited to no more than one year.  Requests should be structured so as to result in a deliverable technology or methods to reduce medical system material waste. Budgets may include funding for:

  • University of Minnesota core facilities support;
  • Other University of Minnesota support services; and
  • The purchase of supplies and equipment required to implement the proposal.

Budgets may not include funding for salaries, fringe, or travel outside Minnesota.

Application Procedures

Applications must be no longer than 8 pages and utilize 1-inch, standard margins and 12-point Cambria font. Applications must be submitted as a single PDF utilizing the following form. Applications must include the following components:

  1. Cover Page (1 page) with the project title, abstract, and a list of project team members, including (but not limited to) the name and home department of the principal investigators, a list of any coinvestigators and their home departments, and a list of any faculty or staff mentors.
  2. Proposal (3 pages) to include a Statement of the Hypothesis to be tested or the defined research question to be answered, including details on the specific material waste problem(s) to be addressed. Specific Aims must be listed. Proposals must also contain a Background and Significance section. In addition, the proposal should provide an overview of the measures that will be used to determine progress towards reducing waste.  Given the three-page limit, there is not an expectation that details of specific analyses will be included. Include references (not included in the page limit).
  3. Research Experience (1 page) of the principal investigators and coinvestigators should be detailed, including students’ existing research.
  4. Timeline (2 pages) for outcomes, benchmarks, and deliverables over the duration of the project.
  5. Preliminary Budget with justification. Funds will only be allocated for University of Minnesota expenses.

Review Considerations

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness. Incomplete and/or nonresponsive applications or applications that exceed space limitations will be returned to applicants without further consideration. Applications that are complete and responsive to this RFA will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by senior faculty from the Medical School, College of Science and Engineering, and other University faculty as needed. Scoring will include an assessment of:

  1. Significance: Does this project address an important problem? If the aims of the proposal are achieved, how will waste be reduced? What will be the effect of this work on medical system waste? What will the effect of your waste reduction intervention be on overall greenhouse gas emissions?
  2. Investigators: Is the team well suited to carry out this work? Is the proposed work appropriate based on the experience level of the team?
  3. Innovation: Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches, or methods? Are the aims original and innovative? Does the project challenge existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?
  4. Approach: Is the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?
  5. Results: What is the likelihood that the project, once completed, will result in a usable technology or improved methodology for reducing material waste in the healthcare setting? How will this project impact the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profits?


Inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged. The opportunity to clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is welcomed. Direct inquiries regarding eligibility or the review considerations should be directed to Koryn Zewers, Director of Research Strategy and Operations, University of Minnesota Medical School at Questions related to submitting the proposal or general questions on the application process should be submitted to Koryn Zewers at