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UL Innovative Education Award (ULIEA)

Awards to USA and Canada Nonprofits and Universities for Innovative
Programs that Integrate STEM and Environmental Education

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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UL and the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE)

Deadline Date:

02/21/18 Midnight ET


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Awards starting at $25,000 to USA, Canada, and Territories nonprofit organizations and universities for programs that synthesize K-12 STEM education and environmental stewardship and sustainability. Applicants must register online in advance of the deadline. The purpose of funding is to increase the impact of existing innovative programs that use the environment as a pathway to STEM education.

Eligible programs are those that use E-STEM principles in innovative ways to teach a K-12 audience. Programs must either:
- Use environmental education to address STEM, or
- Use STEM to address environmental challenges

Applicants should submit strong evidence (through writing, photos, videos, and supplementary materials) of how their program advances innovation in the field of E-STEM for each of the following criteria. Remember that applicants should write only about existing programs, instead of plans for future programs unless specifically asked.

1) Advancing STEM Learning
Successful programs promote science learning for young people through research and investigative experiences. STEM learning is prioritized, with an emphasis on creative approaches to problem solving and critical thinking. Ultimately, this activity will help young people acquire 21st century skills.

2) Citizenship and Social Responsibility
Successful programs focus on environmental health, and the fair treatment and involvement of all people and communities in regards to the environment, to engage individuals in community and safety issues. They demonstrate a commitment to disseminating these solutions to people who will benefit from the information. Programs articulate the top civic priorities of their communities and why it is a social responsibility to address them. They encourage active citizenship by serving as role models for their partners and the community.

3) Solutions for Environmental Challenges
Successful programs have identified an environmental challenge in a specific community or region, designed or engineered solutions, and have applied those STEM-based solutions to the issues. Successful programs can demonstrate how they have tackled environmental problems using STEM solutions, and promoted those solutions to others.

In addition to funding, UL employees, including science, engineering, and technical experts, will work directly with the selected organizations to provide expertise, resources, and volunteer hours to help further the winning projects' efforts in E-STEM education.

UL Innovative Education Award recipients will be expected to continue ongoing communications and mentoring with UL for a minimum period of one year after receipt of the award. Required communications include, but are not limited to Six Week Check-Ins, Quarterly Updates, Quarterly Reports, and End of Year Summary.

Additionally, if your organization is selected as a finalist, one to two representatives will be asked to attend a kick-off meeting with NAAEE and UL.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 168077

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

One $100,000 Recognition Award, two $50,000 Recognition Awards, and two $25,000 Recognition Awards.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants can represent either a whole organization or one program within a larger organization.

Programs must be based in the US or Canada. Programs based in territories of the US or Canada are eligible to apply.

Any represented organizations must be a US 501(c)(3) not-for-profit or registered with either the Canada Revenue agency or a Canadian provincial revenue agency as a non-profit organization.

Applicants can choose to participate as an organization or as a program. Operating budgets for applying organizations or programs are capped at $3 million USD.

Applying as an organization, the not-for-profit must have an operational budget of no greater than $3 million USD. However, a not-for-profit with a larger operating budget can still participate if applying as a program. In this instance, the participating program must have an operating budget of no greater than $3 million USD, although the operating organization might have a greater budget overall.

Applicants must serve children in grades K-12, or a subset of that age range, in the US or Canada. Programs may also serve educators working with children in grades K-12, or a subset of that age range, but evidence provided in the application must show the impact on the K-12 students, not just the educators in the program.

University programs are eligible to apply, as long as they meet all of the above criteria, including being operated under a US 501(c)(3) not-for-profit or an entity registered with the Canada Revenue agency as a non-profit organization.

K-12 schools and other institutions that provide formal education are not eligible to apply. However, not-for-profits/not-for-profit programs serving schools remain eligible.

B-Corporations (Public Benefit Corporations) are not eligible to apply.

More on eligibility:

Pre-Application Information:

The first phase is an open-invitation. In this phase, nonprofit or nonprofit program signatories submit online applications by February 21, 2018 at midnight (Eastern Time).

Watch the 2017 webinar:


View select past applications for examples from previous winners:

Program priorities:

More on award amounts and expectations:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Kate Flinner

If you have technical difficulties, please contact Liz Danter at

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

Canada: Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick   Newfoundland and Labrador   Northwest Territories   Nova Scotia   Nunavut   Ontario   Prince Edward Island   Quebec   Saskatchewan   Yukon