As part of its mission to enhance multidisciplinary scholarship, the Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering (CESE), in collaboration with the Institute of the Environment (IoE), is funding projects to support multidisciplinary environmental research by graduate students (MERAGS). These awards provide support during the Spring and Summer Semesters to encourage multidisciplinary collaborative research and scholarship related to the environment by graduate students (either Masters or Doctoral) and faculty members at UConn. Proposed research or scholarship can include any disciplinary facet of the university (humanities, social sciences, biophysical sciences, engineering sciences, fine arts, law, etc.) with a focus on environmental issues.

These awards are intended to provide supplemental support for new collaborations and activities that are not being supported by current funding. Allowable expenses include a student stipend, travel for field research, and supplies or equipment to conduct the research. Funds may not be used for indirect costs, salaries, publication costs, page charges, textbooks, or attendance at meetings.


Students must be in good standing in a graduate program at the University of Connecticut at the time of application and during the period of proposed activities. The applicant should identify two faculty mentors who will collaborate in the proposed research or scholarship. At least one faculty mentor must be a member of the graduate faculty at UConn, and faculty mentors should be in two different disciplines, preferably from two different departments.


Estimated number of awards: 8-10.

Funding amount: Generally, not more than 8 K per proposal, except in well-documented circumstances and with strong justification.

Timeline: All award funds must be spent before the end of the Fiscal Year (~ 1 June 2023) in compliance with regulations issued by the University Controller. Awarded budgets will not carry forward to the next fiscal year. Please contact Marita Decozio-Wiley (marita.d.wiley@uconn.edu) or Sarah Bothell (sarah.bothell@uconn.edu), who can help you avoid loss of funds by ensuring that you budget appropriate expenses that can be spent before ~ 1 June 2023.

Award Conditions

Awards require the following:

  1.   Possible participation in a multidisciplinary graduate colloquium.
  2.   A final report (i.e., poster) that summarizes accomplishments and future directions.
  3.   Copies of manuscripts, proposals or other products that arise from the collaboration.
  4.   Acknowledgement of CESE – IoE in publications or presentations related to the work.


Submission: Electronic receipt of complete application by 4:00 PM on 17 November 2022 (submit to “environment@uconn.edu”).

Review & Award: Proposals will be evaluated by a Panel of Faculty and Staff members; notification of awards will occur in December 2022.

Proposal Content

Proposals must be submitted electronically by students as a single PDF document.  The pdf “MERGAS Cover Page” (available below) must be completed and inserted at the beginning of the document. Please use the following convention in naming your document (“Lastname_MERGAS_2022.PDF”). To be complete, proposals must include the following materials in the specified order, using the text in bold to identify sections:

  1.   MERGAS Cover Page (1 page);
  2.   Non-Technical Abstract (1/2 page);
  3.   Research Description (maximum of 4 pages);
  4.   Budget & Justification (maximum of 1.5 pages);
  5.   Statement of the Multidisciplinary Nature of the Environmental Research (maximum of ½ page);
  6.   Statement that details a Plan for Collaboration with both faculty mentors (maximum of 1 page);
  7.   Statement of the “Relationship of Proposed Research to Thesis or Dissertation” (maximum of ½ page);
  8.   Statement of the “Relationship of Proposed Research to that of Faculty Mentors”, more specifically to each of the two faculty mentors (maximum of ½ page);
  9.   Letters of support from each faculty mentor;
  10.   Curriculum Vitae (CV) of applicant, followed by the CV of each faculty mentor.

Items 2 through 8 must be single-spaced and prepared using 12-point font, with 1-inch margins (top, bottom, left, and right), formatted for 8 ½ by 11 paper. The length of the “Research Description” includes tables and figures, but does not include Literature Cited, which may be inserted after the 4-page description of research.  No other documents or supporting material will be considered during the review process. Proposals received after the deadline, incomplete proposals, and non-compliant proposals will be returned to the applicant without review.


  1.   Right-click (Save link as) The MERGAS Cover Page
  2.   Please read and follow the guidelines on the “Additional Instructions” page.


 Please direct questions to Michael Willig (michael.willig@uconn.edu).