Sustainable Development Goal Research Grants Program

SDG Wheel.

SDG Research Grants Program 2022

The Global Programs and Strategy Alliance (GPS Alliance) system-wide Sustainable Development Goals initiative in collaboration with the Office of Academic and Clinical Affairs (OACA), the Office for Public Engagement (OPE) and the MNDrive Environment Initiative is pleased to announce the 2022 SDG Initiative research grant competition.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a globally recognized integrated framework for addressing major social and environmental challenges of the 21st Century. The University’s SDG Initiative and this funding opportunity have been established to support University of Minnesota faculty, academic staff, and researchers in using the SDGs as a framework for research that addresses one or more of these goals, either globally or locally.

Grant proposals should clearly demonstrate how the research project will address known needs locally and/or globally, as well as how it will contribute to at least one SDG including, if possible, linking to specific SDG targets and indicators. Priority is given to proposed projects that most closely align with MPact 2025, the University of Minnesota System-wide Strategic Plan and specifically the three MNtersections.

Specific SDGs of particular salience include:

  • Zero Hunger (SDG #2)
  • Good Health and Well Being (SDG #3)
  • Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG #6)
  • Reduced Inequalities (SDG #10)
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG #11)
  • Climate Action (SDG #13)
  • Life on Land (SDG #15)

The most competitive research projects will be those that involve varied partners to address local and/or global needs. Teams must include multidisciplinary expertise. Projects addressing multiple SDGs will be prioritized.

Award Information

Grants of up to $20,000 will be awarded to support one-year projects.


This funding opportunity is open to current faculty and academic/research staff throughout the University of Minnesota system. Preference will be given to faculty and researchers who have not previously received SDG Initiative funding. 

Further basic requirements for proposal submission are outlined below. 

Grant proposals should clearly demonstrate how the research project will address known needs locally and/or globally, as well as how it will contribute to at least one SDG including, if possible, linking to specific SDG targets and indicators.  

2022 SDG Research Grants

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2022 SDG Research Grants


Completed applications should be submitted to the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance by 4:00 p.m. on September 30, 2022.

Grant applications must be submitted through the application form linked below.

Application Materials

Complete the application form at:

Application Form 

Project Proposal (Required): The project proposal section of the application form describes the research and scholarly focus of the project and includes:

  • Project abstract (150 words max)
  • Objectives and expected outcomes of the research project (500 words max)
  • Justification and link to SDG and known local and/or global need (500 words max)
    • Outline of proposed activities clearly demonstrating the intellectual merit, interdisciplinary nature and connection to the SDGs
    • Likely impact of the project on SDG related needs you are hoping to support (local and/or global)
    • Highlight links to specific SDG targets and indicators Interdisciplinary scope of project (500 words max)
  • External partnerships (where applicable - 500 words max)
  • Methods (500 words max)
  • Future funding strategy (250 words max)
  • Acknowledgement that you will apply or have applied for the University’s Institutional Research Board (IRB) approval for proposed activities (if required) and any travel registration or exception processes have been followed

Supplemental Documents

The components listed below must be submitted via the application form as well.

  • Budget Proposal (Required): Complete the budget proposal form available at SDG 2022 Budget Template. Please include the full budget for your project, even if it exceeds the maximum amount of funds that can be awarded.
  • Biosketch or Two-Page CV (Required): A PI biosketch of no more than 2 pages must be submitted via the application form as well. Projects may include multiple co-PIs, but a single PI must be identified to receive the grant funds. 
  • External Partner Letters of Support (Required where relevant): Letters of support from external research partners including universities, community organizations, private sector or government partners may be included. If the project requires partner support or participation, please include relevant letters of support. Please include a letter (no longer than one page) for each major partner.

Summary of required documents and contact

1. Application Form (Required)
2. Project Proposal (Required)

Supplemental Documents:
1. Budget Proposal (Required)
2. Biosketch or Two-Page CV (Required)
3. External Partner Letters of Support (Required where relevant)

Please contact the SDG grant team at [email protected] if you have any questions.

SDG Logo (color).

The UMN SDG Initiative seeks to support and promote transdisciplinary research, teaching, and partnerships to advance sustainable development in Minnesota, the U.S., and the world. These aims are achieved through grantmaking, information dissemination, and related opportunities linked to SDG targets and indicators. The GPS Alliance is partnering with the Office for Public Engagement, the Office of Academic and Clinical Affairs (OACA), the MNDrive Environment Initiative, and other University centers, institutes, and research groups across all University of Minnesota system campuses in developing this initiative.


Past Grants

  • SDG Rapid Response grants were awarded in 2020 to support SDG-linked work of UMN faculty, research staff, and graduate students. Grants were awarded to support projects involving time-sensitive data collection related to the COVID-19 global pandemic or the global movement to eradicate racism; pilot projects seeking to launch new SDG research; and projects redirecting research agendas to COVID-19 or to Minnesota-based SDG work. The response to the call for proposals came from across the Twin Cities and system campuses with 15 grants up to $5,000 awarded.
  • In Spring 2021 the UMN SDG Initiative launched a second round of research grants as a next step in its efforts to support and promote the SDGs. The 2021 SDG Research Grants Program awarded up to $20,000 to faculty and research staff to support SDG-aligned projects. In August 2021, the UMN SDG Initiative announced the awarding of approximately $120,000 to seven research projects that align with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the University’s strategic priorities, and needs identified by communities. The awarded projects include teams from two UMN campuses, seven departments and six colleges. In total,10 SDGs are represented across the seven projects. Read more about the projects.