GRASP logo.  Brightly colored letters in an Art Deco design.

The Office of Sustainability supports leaders in sustainable research.

The Temple University Graduate Research Award Sustainability Program (GRASP) advances the university's goal of expanding sustainability research by providing funding to a graduate student research project focused on sustainability.

GRASP Recipients

The Award

The award consists of $3,000 to the awardee. Half of the award will be issued at project start and half at project completion of required documents. One award will be given every year during the spring semester to support a research project completed over the following summer and fall. Project funds may be applied to the following activities: materials or products required to implement the project; professional work, installation, or design; research and testing or monitoring equipment; student wages.


Applicants are required to be enrolled in a Temple graduate degree program both at the time of application submission and the following fall semester (the award period). Applicants must identify a faculty mentor prior to application submission. The faculty mentor should be available to provide guidance throughout the award period and will be required to sign off on the final report/deliverable. Applicants from non-STEM majors are especially encouraged to apply.

Project Criteria

Projects must have a research or implementation component and address sustainability on Temple’s campus or in the surrounding community. Projects that address urban sustainability issues will also be considered. Some examples of sustainability related research projects include, but are not limited to: energy reduction, waste minimization, sustainable food options, transportation initiatives, community awareness, health, education and research to inform policy. To determine if a project is sustainability related, please contact the Office of Sustainability.

Expectations of Award Recipient

Report: Upon completion of the project, the award recipient must provide a report. For a research-focused project, the report should be of publishable quality for an industry journal (such as a technical article or white paper). For projects with an implementation component, the report should summarize the project and include results and photos. The award recipient must submit the final report at the end of the fall semester. The final report will be made publicly available on the Office of Sustainability website. Progress Report: The Office of Sustainability will meet with the award recipient throughout the award period to discuss project milestones. The award recipient will be required to meet project milestones and deadlines, which will be outlined in the award agreement. The award recipient must submit a detailed progress report at the end of the summer semester.

Participation in Campus Sustainability Week: During the fall semester of the award period, the award recipient must participate in Campus Sustainability Week with either an educational presentation or demonstration. 


The application will be announced in mid-March and is due April 22.

Past Award Recipients

2022 Award Recipient: Liz Riedman, PhD Student in Geography and Urban Studies - Spatial Stories of Sustainability: The Women Building Philadelphia’s Green Spaces
2021 Award Recipient: Michelle Lee Delgado, MS Student in the Landscape Architecture and Horticulture Department- Harrowgate Park: Nature Based Solutions to Curb Illegal Dumping
2020 Award Recipient: Austin Martin, PhD Student in Department of Geography and Urban Studies - Urban Honey Bees and Forage: The Ecological Dimension of Disinvested Neighborhoods in Philadelphia, USA
2019 Award Recipient: Kyle Schwab, MS Student in the College of Engineering - Sustainble 3D Printing with Soy-derived Bioink
2018 Award Recipient: Katherine Brelje, PhD Student in Department of Philosophy - Free Fauna: Developing a Map of Autonomy for Plant Life 
2017 Award Recipient:Alex Nawotka, MS Student in Department of Earth and Environmental Science - Development of Sustainable Remediation Techniques for Persistent Organic Contaminants 
2016 Award Recipient: Amy Sheikh, PhD Student in Fox School of Business - Healthcare Sustainability: the neglected cause. How we can reduce costs and waste by turning back time
2015 Award Recipient: Rebecca Croog, PhD Student in Geography and Urban Studies - Towards a more inclusive approach to sustainability: Narrating, relating, and transforming sustainability initiatives in the Temple University-North Philadelphia context