Annual OSEP Awards

Annual OSEP Awards

In 2017, The Ohio State University and Ohio State Energy Partners (OSEP) entered into a comprehensive energy management partnership, launching an unprecedented energy efficiency program and establishing the university as an international leader in sustainability.

As part of its commitment to academic collaboration, OSEP will contribute $810,000 annually to the university or affiliated philanthropic causes. Working with OSEP, the Office of Academic Affairs will engage Ohio State faculty, staff and students through a request for proposals to advance important university priorities and promote interdisciplinary and community collaboration.

Focus Area

Successful proposals will align with Ohio State’s sustainability goals and support the continuation of successful initiatives or the development/implementation of new programs or research projects that continue the trajectory of meeting the stated goals.

Funding Levels and Eligibility

  • Awards between $10,000 and $50,000 will be given to select proposals. Funds must be spent by June 30, 2023.
  • Applicants must consider the current operating environment of the university and our community as a result of COVID-19.
  • Proposals must be submitted by an active member of the Ohio State faculty, staff or student body. If a proposal is from a student, a letter of support from an advisor is required.
  • Proposals that focus on coal energy or on political advocacy are not encouraged.


The OSEP Academic Collaborations awards program follows a standardized process. Applicants are invited to submit an application for review. A detailed timeline is provided below:

November 2021: Online portal opens for proposals.

February 11, 2022: Proposal submissions due.

February/March 2022: Review teams evaluate proposals and develops a list of funding recommendations to share with OSEP leadership and the provost for their consideration.

April 2022: Awarded proposals are announced.

May 2022: Funding is made available for approved projects.

Application Instructions

An informational seminar will take place on Jan 11, 2022 at 1 p.m. Click here to register for the seminar.

Click here to apply. Applications are due Feb. 11, 2022. For assistance or questions, please contact Jody Poth at

Ohio State Mansfield
            $50,000             Dawn Kitchen; Developing STEM leadership in traditionally underrepresented groups through near-peer mentoring, role modeling, and experiential learning

College of Engineering/Knowlton School
            $50,000             Jacob Boswell; Sustainable Ohio Urban Landscape Lab (SOULL)

Wexner Medical Center
            $50,000             Lauren Koch; Zero Waste initiatives at Wexner Medical Center locations

College of Arts and Sciences
            $49,959             Amy Youngs; Emerge: The Network for Prototyping the Future

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences/School of Environment and Natural Resources
            $46,241             G. Matt Davies; An ecosystem carbon account for OSU’s forest properties – towards a budget for carbon storage, sequestration and offsets

College of Engineering
            $44,000             Michael Groeber; Workforce Development for a Digital World

Administration and Planning
            $42,976             Ed McGowan; Creating a greener campus through zero emission landscape equipment

College of Engineering
            $35,000             Ramteen Sioshansi; Convergent Graduate Training and EmPOWERment for a Sustainable Energy Future

College of Arts and Sciences/Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center/Center for Applied Plant Sciences
            $13,075             Courtney Price; WestFest 2021: The West Campus Science & Sustainability Festival

Office of Student Life/Recreational Sports
            $12,698             Brian S. Gaydos; Semester-Long Bike Rental Pilot Program

College of Arts and Sciences
            $10,000             Barbara Harvey; Career Accelerator Fund for Visual and Performing Arts

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences/Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics
            $10,000             Sathya Gopalakrishnan; Professional Development for Sustainability Leadership

In addition to the above, the Ohio State Energy Partners supported the following projects this year:

  • College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Scienes and Ross Heart Garden Project: $250,000
  • Deliver Black Dreams in partnership with Greater Columbus Arts Council: $50,000
  • Holistic Building Data Gathering for Optimized Energy Usage: $50,000
  • Wexner Center for the Arts: $31,051
  • Residence Hall Energy Competition: $10,000
  • Hack OH/IO: $5,000

Student Advocacy Center

           $100,000           Student Emergency Fund

College of Public Health

            $75,000            Community and Partner Response/Recovery

College of Arts and Sciences

            $60,000            Mid-east Studies
            $12,884             Dance in Conversation with Global Issues         

College of Medicine

            $50,000           Office of Research for COVID-19 Projects

Office of Diversity and Inclusion

            $50,000           Education Abroad Access and Affordability Initiative
            $20,000           Hale Ambassadors Leadership Development Program
            $12,500            A Symposium on Leadership for Women of Color in Higher Education

College of Engineering 

            $48,350          STEAM Interdisciplinary Outreach and Research Program in Sustainable Urban Systems
            $47,831            Building Energy Living Lab Digital Twin Pilot
            $42,000          Olentangy River as Campus Laboratory
            $35,000          NRT Program Coordinator     
            $25,000          Fuel Cell Test Station Refurbishment and Access for All                  

Fisher College of Business

            $30,000           Distinguished Teaching Fellows
            $30,000           Staff and Faculty Recognition Awards

Office of Industry Partnerships

            $30,000           UDIP Conference Support

College of Nursing 

            $30,000           Expanding Mental Resilience and Wellbeing Utilizing MINDSTRONG

College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences

            $26,690           Environmental and Social Sustainability Lab: Campus Sustainability Survey
            $14,000            Zero Waste Initiative at the Parker Food Science and Technology Dairy Store Café

Department of History

            $20,900           1619 and Beyond: Explorations in Atlantic Slavery and its American Legacies

Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center

            $6,400             WestFest
            $6,000             Creating a Culture of Care: a collaboration between OSU Harding Hospital and Office of Student Life

Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center
            $8,000             WestFest

Center for Automotive Research
            $30,000           Student experiential learning programs

College of Engineering
            $2,000             Engineering Recharge Retreat
            $50,000           Women in Engineering

College of Social Work
            $10,000           LiFEsports Youth Leadership Academy

Department of Dance
            $10,000           National dance collaboration

Department of English
            $24,000           Scholarly research database

Fisher College of Business
            $30,000           Distinguished teacher fellows
            $30,000           Staff and faculty recognition awards

Kirwan Institute and Moritz College of Law
            $70,000           Virtual toolkit for community resilience

Office of Academic Affairs
            $200,000         Campus Student Sustainability Challenge

Office of Diversity and Inclusion
            $50,000           Create Education Abroad Access and Affordability Initiative

Office of Outreach and Engagement
            $900               Community Engagement Conference

Ohio State ADVANCE and Office of Research
            $50,000           REACH for Commercialization

School of Earth Sciences
            $24,000           Mirror Lake Water Science Learning Lab

School of Environment and Natural Resources
            $10,000           Campus bike parking at Kottman Hall
            $80,000           Ohio State forest research

School of Music
            $13,500           Music and Science Colloquium and Teaching Seminar

Institute for Materials Research
            $10,000           Annual Materials Week conference

Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory
            $70,000           Waterman Farm sustainable food-waste disposal

            $25,000           WOSU

Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center

            $25,000          Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center

College of Arts and Sciences

            $50,000          Arts and Humanities

            $10,000          Ottoman and Turkish History Lesson Series

College of Engineering

            $50,000          Women in Engineering Program

Fisher College of Business

            $30,000          Distinguished Teaching Fellows

            $30,000          Distinguished Staff and Faculty Recognition Awards

Institute for Materials Research

            $10,000          OSU Materials Week

Office of Diversity and Inclusion

            $50,000          Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Office of Energy and Environment

            $25,000          2018 Climate Engagement Forums

Office of Research

            $100,000       OSEP Research Seed Grant Fund in support of sustainable energy collaborations

Office of Student Life

            $50,000          Collegiate Recovery Community

            $20,000          Women on Fire Retreat

            $50,000          Undergraduate Student Government Sustainability Committee

            $50,000          Student Projects Fund for energy projects that engage Undergraduates

            $60,000          Support for sustainability-related Undergraduate, Graduate and Professional student organizations

School of Environment and Natural Resources

            $50,000          Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability (EEDS) Program

The STEAM Factory

            $50,000          The STEAM Factory

University Libraries

            $100,000       Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum

Application Instructions

The next application cycle will open on November 15, 2019. Please check back then to submit your proposal through the online portal.