The UBC Sustainability Initiative (USI) Interdisciplinary Education Grant Program provides support to small teams of faculty members to design and build interdisciplinary sustainability curricula.

Applications are now closed. 

Collaborate with your peers to design innovative curricula to enrich sustainability learning across the disciplines. The UBC Sustainability Initiative (USI) Interdisciplinary Education Grant Program provides support to small teams of faculty members to design and build interdisciplinary sustainability curricula.

University graduates are entering a world characterized by major global trends like growing climate change, diminishing or hard to access fossil fuel resources, and economic and social instability. These concerns, along with other sustainability challenges, are systemically linked. Learning about and addressing these key issues requires interdisciplinary perspectives, innovation and enterprise.

The Interdisciplinary Education Grant program supports faculty teams who wish to build or refine curriculum focused on a sustainability issue that demands input from more than one discipline. This program supports UBC’s new priority strategy to transform learning by facilitating the development of integrative, problem-focused learning.

Lead grant holders participate as USI Sustainability Fellows, and meet once a month throughout the academic year to collaborate with their peers and work on shared curriculum goals.

Apply by July 9, 2018 and begin work on your interdisciplinary, sustainability curriculum project in September 2018.


We accept proposals focused on developing or refining curriculum that address a sustainability issue or topic and demands input from more than one discipline.

Curriculum projects can be at any scale, but must focus on a for-credit option. For example, proposals can be to revise or create a course, revise or create a cluster of courses around an issue or theme, or develop a minor or a major program. Field and summer courses or programs are within scope.

The proposed curriculum must be accessible to students (undergraduate or graduate) from two or more Faculties.

Building and implementing interdisciplinary curriculum can be a challenge. Here are two examples of current UBC offerings to inspire your ideas:

  • ASIC 220 – Introduction to Sustainability (Arts and Science Interdisciplinary course)
  • New Sustainable Food Systems Minor (Offered by the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, to be available to Arts, Science and LFS students as a minor)

Eligibility & Roles

Current UBC-V faculty members with an ongoing role are eligible to apply.

Two faculty members (project leads) for each curriculum proposal are required. Project leads must be from a different Faculty, Department or discipline. Teams should identify which lead will be responsible for holding the Interdisciplinary Education Grant.

Project leads must commit to participating as a USI Fellow for the duration of the project over the academic year (Sept-April). Each Fellow receives a $2,500 annual stipend (in addition to the grant).

Additional faculty members are encouraged to participate in the project, but only the project leads will act as USI Fellows. There is no limit on team size.

Budget & Duration

Grants are awarded for a one or two year period. Proposals up to $10,000 per year are accepted. If you are applying for a two year grant, a maximum of $10K in year one and $10K in year two will be awarded.

Proposals should reflect the scale and scope of the project. For example, a proposal to revise or create a new course will likely require less funds than a proposal to develop a new minor program. A budget must be provided.

Funds can be used for curriculum project work, including hiring consultants, staff and students, attending conferences, purchasing resources, and a teaching buy-out if approved by the grant holder's home Department and/or Faculty.


The UBC Sustainability Initiative (USI) funds the Interdisciplinary Education Grants.

Additional USI support includes:
- Management of the USI Fellows program (note: project leads must commit to being a Fellow)
- Provision of UBC-wide information on sustainability courses and interdisciplinary themes *
- Provision of resources related to development of sustainability curriculum at UBC, such as UBC’s Sustainability Education Framework and general resources
- Provision of co-curricular student engagement options
- Linking faculty to curriculum experts, including Senate representatives
- Helping to promote sustainability curriculum

* We encourage applicants to consider that UBC already has a wide-range of courses which address sustainability-related issues and topics. The USI curates a data base of these 600+ courses. By request we can organize these courses by interdisciplinary theme and we can expose access (e.g., pre-reqs) and availability (e.g. course popularity) barriers. We believe there is an opportunity to leverage this robust collection of courses to improve interdisciplinary sustainability curriculum.

Application Procedure

Complete and submit by July 9, 2018:

  • Application Form (ensure all required signatures are provided)
  • Curriculum Vitae (short CV form - maximum five pages)

The Selection Committee includes the Executive Director of the USI, the past Chair of the USI Fellow program and the Directors of USI Teaching, Learning & Student Engagement.


For more information, please contact the Directors of USI Teaching, Learning & Student Engagement (Jean Marcus/Alison Munro) at