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 Areas

  • Projects that align with Ohio State’s sustainability goals
  • Projects that align with advancing diversity, equity and inclusion goals
  • Projects that provide research opportunities (in all disciplines) to students who have had limited exposure to undergraduate research and experiential learning opportunities

Funding Levels and Eligibility

  • Awards between $10,000 and $50,000 will be given to select proposals.
  • 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.

November 2022: Online portal opens for proposals.

February 10, 2023: Proposal submissions due.

February - March 2023: Applications reviewed.

April - May 2023: Awarded proposals are announced.

May - June 2023: Funding is made available for approved projects.

Application Instructions

Please be sure to complete the application in its entirety. Incomplete applications may not be considered for funding. 

Apply Now

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; and College of Engineering
Ryan Winston; Using campus as a Living Laboratory: Curbing Sediment in Stormwater to Improve Campus Sustainability                         

Planning, Architecture and Real Estate; and Facilities Operation and Development 
Steve Volkmann; Graves Hall Green Space                               

Administration and Planning; Facilities Operation and Development
Ed McGowan; Quietly Mowing Campus with Zero Emission Mowers                               

College of Engineering           
Jordan Clark; Attacking one of the OSU campus's biggest energy sinks: laboratory exhaust fans                          

College of Engineering           
Matilde D'Arpino; Planning Tool for Assessing OSU Options for a Sustainable and Responsible Energy Usage                             

College of Engineering             
Allison MacKay; Sustainable Cities, Equitable Societies – Case Studies to Develop Student Competencies in Sustainable and Just Infrastructure Design                            

Fisher College of Business
Jennifer Heckscher; Evaluating a One-of-a-Kind Experiential Energy Innovation Hub: Human-Centered Innovation Spring for the Energy Advancement and Innovation Center (EAIC Spring)       

College of Engineering           
Gisell Jeter-Bennett; Engineering House Learning Community's Service-Learning Program with South Side Family Farms                         

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

College of Engineering
Shawn Midlam-Mohler; EcoCar Competition                              

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences  
Qian Chen; Post-Occupancy Evaluation of Building Energy & Water Use Intensities                                 

Office of Student Life 
Tom Reeves; Student Video Production Project                         

STEM Impact Collaborative
Courtney Price; WestFest Community Science Day                                

Knowlton School        
Parker Sutton; Praire Baroque                          

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences              
Liam Nigro; The Green Renaissance Project: Sustainable Pathways to Community Wellness and Resilience Through Art                          

College of Arts and Sciences; and Center for Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Andrew Leber; Climate and Cognitive Science Mini-Conference                          

College of Engineering           
Michelle Franco; The Diggers Studio: Cultivating an ethic of social and ecological sustainability in landscape labor                        

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

Ohio State Arts Initiative: $200,000

WOSU Sustainability Programming: $25,000

EmPOWERment Program Capstone Project: $20,000

Hack OH/IO: $15,000

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


Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center

College of Arts and Sciences


Arts and Humanities


Ottoman and Turkish History Lesson Series

College of Engineering


Women in Engineering Program

Fisher College of Business


Distinguished Teaching Fellows


Distinguished Staff and Faculty Recognition Awards

Institute for Materials Research


OSU Materials Week

Office of Diversity and Inclusion


Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Office of Energy and Environment


2018 Climate Engagement Forums

Office of Research


OSEP Research Seed Grant Fund in support of sustainable energy collaborations

Office of Student Life


Collegiate Recovery Community


Women on Fire Retreat


Undergraduate Student Government Sustainability Committee


Student Projects Fund for energy projects that engage Undergraduates


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

School of Environment and Natural Resources


Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability (EEDS) Program

The STEAM Factory


The STEAM Factory

University Libraries


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.