High Meadows Foundation Sustainability Fund

The Princeton Vertical Farming Project is a recipient of the High Meadows Foundation Sustainability Fund


The High Meadows Foundation Sustainability Fund requests proposals for initiatives with measurable outcomes that will contribute to cultivating a sustainability ethos on campus, in service to the world. In particular, the fund welcomes proposals that focus on advancing sustainability in the following three areas: Academics, Campus Life, and Operations.

Academics: Teaching and research that uses the campus as a laboratory to advance sustainability in campus life and/or University operations, and administration. This could include modest support for faculty research projects; enhancement of courses; student research projects culminating in a junior paper, senior thesis, graduate thesis, or published work.

Campus Life: Activities and events that advance sustainability in the campus community. This could include support for co-curricular and extra-curricular activities and conference participation for students, as well as support for communication and outreach initiatives initiated by faculty and staff. 

Operations: Technical and programmatic solutions that advance sustainability through the University’s operations and administration. This could include one-time support for staff to pilot and assess new programs, materials or small systems. 

Funding Criteria

What is funded: Within one of the three relevant areas above, each proposal should address one or more of the following current sustainability impact priority areas:

  • Strengthened Sustainability Ethos: Instilling a deeply felt sense of social, environmental, and economic responsibility in the University community and maximizing opportunities to reinforce sustainability as an integral cultural priority helps Princeton effect sustainability progress far beyond campus.
  • Meaningful Climate Stabilization Action: To contribute to global efforts to mitigate climate change, Princeton intends to dramatically reduce its carbon footprint by 2046 by reducing carbon emissions through aggressive demand-reduction and efficiency measures, energy efficiency programs, on-site generation of renewables, and strategic procurement of renewable energy sources.
  • Resource Conservation and Reuse: Reducing the consumption and disposal of natural resources and other materials helps to conserve resources, mitigate impacts on local landfills, and reduce the costs and associated carbon emissions of transporting waste.
  • Healthy Ecosystems: The restoration and preservation of sensitive campus lands and the proactive management of urban ecosystems support the ecological health of the region as a whole while also enhancing the campus environment, providing important places for recreation, contemplation, and research opportunities.
  • Efficient Use of Land and Buildings: Conserving campus land resources support the vibrancy of campus environment and the efficiency of campus systems.
  • Resilience: A resilient campus community refers to a system that has the ability to withstand a variety of shocks and stresses, including natural disasters and extreme storm events as well as economic shocks and social risks.

All disciplinary approaches are welcome, especially those that combine the natural and applied sciences and humanities in creative ways.

Ultimately, funded projects should contribute to creating such a powerful experience with sustainability that students will graduate with the attitudes and behaviors to solve humanity’s greatest challenges. 

View previous High Meadows awards recipients.

What is not funded: The fund is not intended for recurring initiatives unless there are obvious enhancements or new dimensions to the initiative or event. Additionally, proposals must comply with the Guidelines Relating to the Tax-Exempt Status of the University and Political Activities (see section 1.5).


Matriculated students as well as faculty and staff members who are benefits-eligible may apply. While we welcome proposals that involve alumni and community members, all proposals must be led by an eligible individual. Additionally, all applicants must remain eligible for funding for the duration of proposed projects in order to qualify for funding. 


  • Proposals with requests of $1-$4,999 are accepted at any time.
  • Proposals with requests of $5,000 and above are accepted three times annually. The deadlines are as follows: July 12, 2018, November 6, 2018 and March 26, 2019.

Please note: We request that no funding request exceed $10,000 without prior discussion. Please contact Ellen Fischer for further details.

Submission Process

All High Meadows applicants should submit their proposals using the application form online.

Students applying for sustainability-related senior thesis or independent work must also submit an application through the Student Activities Funding Engine (S.A.F.E.). Those applying for senior thesis funding should also be sure to apply for funding from the Office of Undergraduate Research.

Review Process

High Meadows proposals will be evaluated by the Office of Sustainability and the Facilities organization. The review process for funding requests can take up to 30 days prior to final approval. Please plan your submission accordingly. Proposed projects should not begin until after funding is secured; funding will not be granted retroactively.

Assessment Report

Award recipients are required to complete an assessment report within 30 days of the project's completion.