Sustainability Projects Fund Building a culture of sustainability on campus, white text on light green background

How to Apply

All current members of the McGill community are encouraged to apply for funding! Before you do, here are some things you should know.

Jump to: Application Process - Project Eligibility & CriteriaNon-Eligible Projects and Other Funding Opportunities

Application Process

There are four paths to applying to the SPF: Tiny Stream projects (under $300), projects under $5,000, projects over $5,000, and projects over $100,000. The SPF Governance Council determines the allotment of funds.

Learn more about the different paths to funding below:

Under $300  (Tiny Stream)

Some changes come in big waves; others start with a single drop. The Tiny Stream is a simpler, faster application process for ad-hoc initiatives like sustainability-focused events and project that contribute to a culture of sustainability at McGill.

Successful Tiny Stream projects in the past have included Purchase of Reusable Dishware (SP0181) and Research Sustainability Network Launch Speaker Series (SP0173).

Important Dates: Applications for Tiny Stream Projects are due on the 1st of every month. Please apply at least one month before the start date of your initiative.

Click here for more details and to submit an application.

Under $5,000

For a project requiring Under $5,000, start with a Cover Page and Project Plan. Once they have been submitted, SPF Staff will get back to you with feedback within two weeks. Sustainability-focused events that contribute to a culture of sustainability at McGill may apply for funding through the Under $5,000 Stream. 

Successful Under $5,000 projects in the past have included Garden Inside 365 (SP0185) and Little Free Libraries (SP0166).

Important Dates: Applications for Under $5,000 Funding are accepted on a rolling basis.

Click here for more details and to submit an application. 

Over $5,000

The more efficiently you plan, the quicker you’ll hear back! There are two steps to file an application for Over $5,000. First, submit your Cover Page and Project Overview (Part 1). Within two weeks, SPF Staff will get in touch to walk you through your next step: the Project Plan (Part 2), which includes all the nitty-gritty details of your initiative.

Successful Over $5,000 projects in the past have included Macdonald Campus Orchard (SP0188) and Sign Better, Sort Better (SP0206).

Important Dates: Applications for Over $5,000 Funding are accepted on a rolling basis.

Click here for more details and to submit an application.

Over $100,000 (Big Wave)

The Big Wave funding stream supports large-scale, transformative projects that have a long-lasting impact on McGill's campuses needing between $100,000 and $400,000. Due the scale of these projects, teams will have the opportunity to receive a portion of their funding for the design phase, before moving on to project implementation.

Successful Over $100,000 projects in the past have included SAVR Initiative and Gault Nature Reserve Community Access.

Important Dates: The Big Wave Stream accepts pre-applications on the 1st October, 1st February, and 1st June of each academic year.

Click here for more details and to submit a pre-application form. 

Green Lab Expansion

The Green Labs Expansion is a $50,000 envelope of SPF funding to assist labs on McGill campuses to adopt sustainable best practices learned from previous SPF projects. Approved funding will be available to teams for one year to assist them in creating a proof of concept to secure long-term funding for these practices.

To learn more about past Green Labs projects funded by the SPF, check out Green Labs Initiative at the Neuro (SP0208) and McGill-Wide Green Labs Initiative (SP0240)

Important Dates: Applications to participate in the Green Labs Expansion are due on the 1st of every month, beginning August 1, 2021, while funding lasts.

Click here for more details and to submit your application

Project Eligibility & Evaluation Criteria

Sustainability can mean many things. We recommend that you become familiar with the SPF Sustainability Brief and McGill's Climate & Sustainability Strategy 2020-2025 to see where your project fits in.

In order to be eligible for funding, projects must be:

At McGill

Projects are led by a current student, administrative staff, or academic staff and primarily impact the McGill campus community.


Projects focus on one or more dimensions of sustainability (i.e. environmental, social, economic) and advance sustainability on campus.

In Need of Seed-Funding

Projects are either new initiatives or ones that complement, build upon or scale existing initiatives.


Projects are action oriented and aim to make tangible change happen on McGill campus(es). These typically do not include research projects.


Scope and scale are taken into account when the Governance Council evaluates project applications. Typically, projects are evaluated on:


A need or issue has been identified, best practices and other funding sources have been researched, and other projects have been consulted for lessons learned.


The project creates a positive change and its impacts will be shared with the community on a long-term basis, institutionalization, or potential to scale, when possible.


The project is well-planned, has realistic goals, activities and timeline, mitigates risks, and has a budget that makes sense.


The project is inclusive, collaborative, interdisciplinary, and considers the voices of all McGill community members.


The project team has consulted with relevant stakeholders and gained their support and permission if needed.

Capacity Building

The project is a learning opportunity for stakeholders, and includes training, volunteerism, job creation, or complementary applied student research.

Non-Eligible Projects and Other Financial & In-Kind Support

Unfortunately, the SPF cannot support all sustainability-related projects on campus. Before you apply, check out the list of non-eligible projects below, as well as the non-comprehensive list of other funding options available to students.

  • Research

  • Feasibility studies

    • Exception: A feasibility study may be funded through the Big Wave (Over $100,000) stream during the pre-application phase, only to preface a project's implementation.

  • Projects requesting ongoing operating expenses

  • Projects that solely benefit an individual and not the community, group, or project

  • Projects where a one-off event is the primary focus (e.g. symposium, case competition),
    • Exception: Sustainability-focused events, funded through the Tiny Stream (Under $300) and the Under $5,000 Stream.
  • Projects that have already been completed
  • Projects that involve take-back recycling box programs
Back to top