SIRE Award Program

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The Office of Sustainability is charged with promoting sustainability research and education on the UW–Madison campus and creating intersections between UW–Madison campus operations, and the research and education enterprises that promote sustainability. The Sustainability Innovation in Research and Education (SIRE) awards program was created in 2012 to support this mission and to stimulate innovation in research and education related to sustainability on the UW–Madison campus.

Each year the SIRE awards have focused on specific topics, including food, energy and buildings, curriculum development, and metrics to measure campus sustainability efforts. Interdisciplinary proposals are given special consideration. Past SIRE award recipients >> 

Historically, the SIRE awards program has offered four award types to support projects that meet different aspects of the program’s goals:

SIRE Educational Innovation (SIRE-ED)
SIRE-ED awards are intended to foster new curriculum and educational opportunities as articulated in the Campus Strategic Framework, such as the creation of new courses, integration of sustainability into existing courses, online and distance-delivered courses, and development of new pedagogical tools for sustainability-related education.

SIRE Research Initiation (SIRE-RI)
SIRE-RI is a seed award program intended to nurture research ideas that can subsequently be developed into larger, extramurally-funded initiatives. This intent is coupled directly with the campus objective of responsible stewardship of resources as articulated in the Campus Strategic Framework.

SIRE Major Extramural Initiative (SIRE-MEI)
The SIRE-MEI is a planning grant program intended to provide faculty with the resources necessary to prepare competitive proposals for major interdisciplinary sustainability grants.

SIRE Research Experience for Undergraduates (SIRE-REU)
The SIRE-REU initiative is a supplement program analogous to REU supplements offered by the National Science Foundation. The intent is to enhance research expertise in undergraduate students and to develop recruiting pipelines for undergraduates to pursue graduate degrees at UW–Madison in sustainability-related fields.


The SIRE awards program is expected to resume in 2016. For more information about the program, email us at

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