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Sustainable Impact Program: Application process

Here you can find further information on the requirements for the funding programme and the evaluation criteria.

Submission Deadlines 2024

Applications for new projects can be submitted until the following submission deadlines: 

  • 19.03. (grant decision on 17.04.) 
  • 01.10. (grant decision on 14.11.) 

SDG Award: Students can submit their Bachelor's or Master's thesis for the SDG Award until 7 July.
The award will be presented on 27 August as part of the Swiss Green Economy Symposium.

Which Projects Will be Considered?

Eligible projects are student, teaching and research projects in the field of sustainable development that support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda, the 17 SDGs or the ZHAW's Sustainability Strategy. The project must relate to at least one of the three dimensions of sustainable development: Environment, Society or Economy. 

The following applies to research projects: As a rule, independent projects are given priority over preliminary projects in preparation for other project applications or participation in larger projects. 

Direct cooperation between staff and students is also possible, e.g. in the further continuation of a student research project or a thesis.  

Funding can also be requested for projects that have already started, provided that the added value in the area of sustainable development created by SIP funding is clearly indicated in the application. 

SIP projects can also benefit from cooperation with the Zurich Knowledge Center for Sustainable Development (ZKSD), a research-oriented cooperation platform for sustainable development between the cantonal universities of Zurich. The ZKSD offers a networking venue for inter- and transdisciplinary networking and exchange as well as coworking spaces. For further information, please contact

Application and evaluation process

  1. Project coordinators submit their applications via the submission platform by the communicated deadlines. Consultation is possible in advance; please contact 
  2. After the submission deadline, ZHAW sustainable carries out a formal pre-selection of the applications received. The exclusion criteria include: Lack of a clear link to sustainability, no clear link between budget planning and project design, too much similarity to a previously funded SIP project (no repetitions), lack of transparency or difficulty in understanding the project, and lack of the school’s involvement (only for staff projects).  
  3. The SIP Board evaluates the submissions according to the below criteria. If necessary or upon request, the SIP Board may call in further experts from academia, business or society for the evaluation. 
  4. The ZHAW's Sustainable Development Committee (SDC) reviews and approves the final selection of projects to be supported.  
  5. Following approval by the SDC, the project leaders receive all administrative details and project funding can start at the requested time. 
  6. The Sustainable Impact Program should be listed as a partner of the project in all communication, ideally with logo and web link (details will be provided with the confirmation of funding). An article about the project is published on the sustainable blog during or after implementation. 
  7. After completion of the project, a final project report with information on the use of funds is due.  

For further questions on the application procedure, please contact  

Important for teaching and research projects:

The participating ZHAW schools are expected to contribute at least 20 percent of the total ZHAW-funded budget (i.e. the maximum SIP funding plus the school’s contribution, excluding third-party funding) of the project in order to anchor the culture of sustainable development in the individual schools. 

Evaluation Criteria

Contact persons