Research News

Limited Submission Opportunity: VentureWell Spring 2021 Faculty Grants Program – Sustainable Design

Applications due April 22, 2021. These instructions are for VU investigators. VUMC investigators should visit the OOR funding opportunity site.

Vanderbilt University may submit two proposals for the VentureWell Spring 2021 Faculty Grants Program – Sustainable Design application cycle.

VentureWell is on a mission to cultivate a diverse and inclusive pipeline of inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs driven to solve the world’s biggest challenges and create lasting impact. VentureWell has pursued this work—at the intersection of science and technology (S&T) and innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E)—for 25 years. VentureWell strives to do so in a way that fosters sustainability-focused I&E, advances equity and consistently upholds its organizational values: to collaborate for impact, to live innovation, to bring integrity always, to interact with consideration and candor and to deliver excellence.

VentureWell awards up to $30,000 grants (with a duration of three years, no overhead allowed) for the purpose of strengthening existing curricular programs and/or building new courses and programs that engage student teams in developing and pursuing scalable solutions to real-world needs through I&E.

Committment to sustaintability

The Spring 2021 Sustainable Design Faculty Grants cycle will support faculty and staff who are committed to cultivating I&E dedicated to positive social impact and environmental sustainability (see appendix for definitions on the Eligibility page), and will integrate sustainable design concepts tools and frameworks into their I&E curriculum. VentureWell is seeking proposals with innovative ideas related to the development of new courses and programs, or to strengthening existing courses and programs that incorporate key sustainable design concepts with the end goal of developing novel inventions and technologies. Special consideration will be given to proposals that demonstrate clear support for student innovations that are dedicated to climate change solutions (i.e. mitigation and/or adaptation), as well as innovations to existing products or systems that address an opportunity to become carbon neutral or net zero energy or reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, pollution and waste.

Examples of sustainable design concepts, tools and frameworks include, but are not limited to, the following:

Sustainable design and technologies/fields include cleantech sectors: energy, water, agricultural and food production systems, waste, transportation, urbanism and materials science.

Proposals may include plans for creating or improving an individual course, course sequence, minor, major, certificate program or other co- and extracurricular programs that support I&E- focused course and program efforts.

Webinars will be offered by the sponsor. Find more information at the following link: Register for April 19.

Please note: For the spring 2021 cycle, VentureWell is accepting proposals only for courses and/or programs described above. If you would like to submit a proposal on another topic, please submit to a future cycle (deadline in fall 2021).

See the full guidelines for more information.

Internal application instructions

Interested faculty should visit to submit an application for the internal LSO competition and to find additional information about the opportunity.  The deadline for the internal competition is April 22, 2021.

Any questions about this opportunity or the LSO process may be directed to