Agents for Sustainable Community Change Grant

Submissions were due May 31, 2022.

Students, apply for up to $1,000 to put toward a sustainability plan!

The grant provides funding for eligible MRS student teams to implement a sustainability-related action plan using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) and collaborate with local partners to catalyze change in their department or university, or serve local public community needs.

17 Sustainable Development Goals to Transform Our World” is a call to action for all countries to improve our quality of life and leave a better world for our children. For sustainable development to be achieved, it is crucial to harmonize three core elements: economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection. These elements are interconnected and all are essential for the well-being of individuals and societies.

Watch Part 1 and Part 2 of our Agents for Sustainable Community Change Webinar and Workshop series to learn more!

Sustainable Development Goals



Eligibility: Students

Submissions are welcome from students, including members of MRS University Chapters. Teams must be comprised of students from the same institution, and at least one team member must have a current MRS membership. 


Funding: $1,000

Five projects will be funded with up to $1,000 (USD) awarded per project.


Project Areas

Your project can be designed to impact one or more of the following. If your project impacts more than one, you should designate one area as primary.

  • Curriculum
    Academic majors, programs, courses in MSE or another academic department, or campus-wide
  • Laboratories
    Infrastructure or research practices
  • Campus engagement
    Student life, university operations (energy use, buildings, water, waste, etc.), employee training, or campus outreach campaign
  • Public engagement
    General public, local government, public schools, community organizations, science centers, not-for-profit organizations, local businesses and industry


UN Goal #17, PartnershipsReflective of Sustainable Development Goal 17, Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development, each project should include at least two partners external to the student team, e.g. representative(s) from industry, another institutional department, local science center or public school, etc.

Projects must connect to at least two UNSDGs in addition to #17.

See Resources for project area ideas and more partner examples.


Evaluation Criteria

  • Project is initiated and driven by students.
  • Measurable outcomes/deliverables are clearly stated and defined (i.e. What will you do? What impact do you expect?).
  • Project addresses a well-defined need and is relevant to sustainability and to the selected UNSDGs.
  • Sufficient information is provided to explain what the chosen primary area is and why it is important.
  • Project meets minimum number of:
    • Two Partners—Including support letters and their defined roles
    • Two UNSDGs—Including a description of how the chosen UNSDGs align with the program
  • Project includes a clear, concise description and logical flow of the program, events and promotional plans, as well as a realistic timeline and plan for successful completion.
  • Proposed funding request does not exceed maximum of $1,000 and includes a clearly stated, reasonable, itemized budget.
  • Project exhibits potential for deliverables that may be useful to others (i.e. academic institutions, local community, MRS in general, project partners, etc.).

Evaluation Process

Proposals will be reviewed and approved by members of the MRS Focus on Sustainability Committee.



Friday, April 15, 2022 – Tuesday, May 31, 2022
Submissions accepted

Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Proposal decisions communicated to authors

Friday, July 1, 2022 – Friday, June 30, 2022
UNSDG grant implementation period

Friday, June 30, 2022
Final reports due



Partial funding support provided by the National Science Foundation Award No.1916860, PPG Industries and Los Alamos National Laboratory ReAct.


NSF Logo


PPG Logo

Contact Natalie Larocco for more information on the MRS United Nation Sustainable Development Goals: Agents for Sustainable Community Change Grant and/or how to submit a proposal.

The Materials Research Society Foundation operates as a program of the Materials Research Society. The official registration and financial information of the Materials Research Society Foundation may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

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