It’s a $100,000 per year sustainability fund that is devoted to making Mason’s campuses more sustainable through infrastructure improvements and student research projects.
Eligible applicants first submit a preliminary application to the committee; if it’s approved applicants are invited to submit a final application. An invitation to submit a final application does not guarantee your project will be approved. Go to the Apply for Funds page to learn more and apply.
Any current student, faculty, or staff member may apply for funds to support a sustainability project. However, research projects must have an undergraduate or graduate student leading the project – research projects led by faculty alone are not eligible. Also, infrastructure projects requesting over $20,000 are strongly encouraged to apply for other grants and/or obtain funding from other Mason departments. Students leading infrastructure projects are strongly encouraged to have a faculty or staff mentor.
Once your application has been approved, the PGF program manager will be available to answer any questions regarding your project. Until then, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you have about the PGF, your project, or sustainability at Mason.
This is contingent upon your field of study. Contact your advisor to find out whether you can use your project as an independent study.
Yes, but they must ideally include an experiential learning component. In other words, the company hired to do the feasibility study (if not Mason students or faculty) must be willing and able to include students in their efforts. The answer would be more affirmative if the study is done by Mason faculty and students.
No, the PGF may not be used for travel expenses. However, you may be eligible to apply for the OSCAR Undergraduate Student Travel Fund.
Do you have to have a specific major/work under a specific office or college to apply? And, can people outside of Mason apply for funds?
All current students, faculty and staff at all Mason campuses are eligible to apply for funds. People outside Mason can not apply for funds unless there is a Mason community member willing to act as the project manager.
This depends on the amount of funding applied for. We strongly suggest that infrastructure improvement projects over $20,000 and research proposals over $5,000 seek other funding sources in addition to the PGF. These sources can be inside or outside of Mason, or may be personally funded through donations. (Note: Donations to any Mason effort will be provided with a donation receipt by the Foundation, for the purposes of tax deduction.)
You can see a list of the projects that have been funded since the PGF began in 2012 on the “PGF Recipients” page.
No, the Office of Sustainability may be able to sponsor or co-sponsor your awareness event, but the PGF is strictly for implementing student research or infrastructure projects. However, research or infrastructure proposals may include educational/awareness components in their budget and the PGF will fund them.
Unfortunately, we are unable to attend all of your project implementation meetings due to time limitations. However, during the process, the PGF program manager will be able to direct you to the right Mason resources to assist you. If you find that you are hitting roadblocks that we may be able to clear for you with the administration, do not hesitate to contact email@example.com, and they will direct your concerns to the Committee Chairs.
Students must be willing to serve a minimum of a one-year term and a commitment of 2 to 3 hours per week. If you’re interested in applying please contact the PGF chairs at firstname.lastname@example.org
I would like to help Mason with its sustainability goals, but I don’t think I can lead a project. Is there any other way I can assist?
Absolutely! There are many ways to become involved in campus sustainability. If you’re a student, check out your options on the Students page. Faculty and staff check out those pages. We regularly present to classes, and enjoy meeting new people, so feel free to give us a call or stop by!
We will fund sustainability projects for classes that are encouraging experiential learning opportunities. We also understand that the turn-around time may need to be quicker than two months. For this, we offer a Quick Fund Award. Quick Fund requests are reviewed by the Chairs of the PGF Committee only, as it allows a 1 to 2 week turnaround time on the preliminary and final proposals. When submitting your preliminary proposal, in the email, be very clear the projects needs a quick turn-around time, and that it is less than $1000.
The PGF Committee will take into careful consideration the logistical and economic concerns of each project. The Committee will choose projects that are likely to create a significantly positive environmental, social, and economic impact and are likely to have the ability to be self-sustaining or institutionalized after initial funding. Additionally, the feasibility and potential for successful implementation and adoption by the campus community will be considered before funding is granted.
What if I want to do a technical project but don’t have any technical expertise, like solar panels for example?
In theory, that should be okay, because Facilities personnel will be assigned to the project if it is approved and they will assist with making sure technical questions are answered. However (and this is a Big however), you will have to be interested in at least learning and assisting the Facilities personnel with whatever they need help with. Otherwise, the project will technically just be another Facilities project. The purpose of the PGF is to get you involved in the process of assessing the feasibility of a project, managing the project, learning some technical skills, and developing a plan to promote the project (through development of sign content, or kickoff events, etc). If you are unwilling to do these things, the project may be considered by the PGF, but passed along to Facilities to see if it is something they wish to fund on their own. The bottom line: The PGF provides an unparalleled opportunity to learn how sustainability really works in an organization, which is a great skill to have if you plan on entering the field of sustainability, or managing any large project with multiple players. So be very careful about the scope of your project – if you can’t manage it, you need to either find someone else who can partner with you, or you need to understand that it cannot be funded.
- PGF funds are available immediately upon the committee funding approval. Project funds must be expended by May 31st unless special permission is requested.
- PGF award funds may be allocated to purchase supplies and/or materials essential to the completion of the project.
- PGF will not reimburse students for items purchased directly. All purchases should go through the university and obey all the purchasing rules. All funds are transferred to university department/office that purchased supplies and/or materials, and are not issued directly to students.
- Infrastructure improvement projects requesting over $20,000 and research projects requesting over $5,000 are strongly encouraged to apply for other grants and/or obtain funding from other Mason departments.
- If you have any questions, email email@example.com for help.