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Get funding for your social or environmental research initiative

Concordia students can apply by March 18 for a Sustainability Research Award worth up to $1,500
February 18, 2019
By S. Baker

One of last year’s award-winning projects focused on edible insects and the sustainable food movement at Concordia. One of last year’s winning projects focused on edible insects and the sustainable food movement at Concordia.

Do you have a great idea for the good of our planet that you would like to make a reality? The Sustainability Action Fund (SAF) can help you put it into practice with a Sustainability Research Award.

The awards recognize students currently engaging in research on an environmentally or socially sustainable topic at Concordia. They are open to students from all faculties and all disciplinary backgrounds. SAF will grant recipients a scholarship of $800 for undergraduates and $1,500 for graduate students. The deadline to apply is March 18.

“These awards are presented in partnership with the Faculty of Arts and Science,” explains SAF CEO Mark Underwood. “This year we’re also partnering with the Faculty of Fine Arts, which will allow for an increase in the number of scholarships available from 10 to 12.”

How to apply

To be eligible for the awards, students must complete an application to identify and propose their research topic.

“We select our recipients based on the innovation and critical thinking of their proposed research, the potential for their research to advance sustainability at Concordia and the clarity of the proposal,” Underwood says.

Last year, the 10 research projects chosen spanned various themes in sustainability including food systems, social justice, waste, energy, technology, resources and more.

If the research project tackles lowering Concordia’s greenhouse gas emissions, applicants are eligible to apply for an additional $1,500 of funding from the Éric St-Pierre Sustainability Student Project Fund.

The Entomo Collective

Wondering what types of projects are generally selected? In 2017-18 two students from the Faculty of Arts and Science submitted a project, entitled The Entomo Collective, that explored how to contribute to a sustainable food movement at Concordia through edible insects (or entomophagy).

“Insects have been eaten for thousands of years in several countries but this has never been successful in contemporary North America. We believe it’s time this sustainable protein reaches Concordia,” explained the applicants.

The research project aimed to identify how to raise edible insects so they could be sold to students on campus, for example at the Concordia Farmers’ Market.

“Not only was a goal of this research project to have sustainable food available to students at Concordia, but also to share with others the knowledge they learned in the process. This is why they were selected,” Underwood explains.

The potential of photovoltaic energy

Last year’s winner of both a Sustainable Research Award and the Éric St-Pierre Sustainability Student Project Fund was an ambitious project by graduate student Negar Salimzadeh from the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science.

The project, entitled the Optimization of Building Photovoltaic Potential, looks specifically at Concordia’s campus buildings and how to optimize their solar potential.

Photovoltaic energy is one of the most promising sources of clean energy. Since recent urban developments are mostly happening vertically, there is a considerable potential, especially on high-rise building facades in addition to rooftops,” Salimzadeh explains.

Think your sustainable idea would be awesome in practice? Apply for a
Sustainability Research Award today!




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