Living lab projects are not just about checking a box to meet course requirements. Living lab projects are designed with the goal of affecting the “hearts and minds” of participants and enhancing UAlberta’s sustainability performance. This means that living lab projects and participants will be carefully chosen with the following criteria in mind:
- Place-Based. Projects aligns with UAlberta’s vision for sustainability and addresses campus sustainability challenges that have a strong connection to alumni, the city, and the province.
- Shared Responsibility. Projects are complex and involve people sharing responsibly for the outcome through a commitment to collaboration and co-learning.
- Positive Impact Projects will address real world problems, be rooted in practicality, and address two core questions: What real world problem does it fix? How can the project track and report on measurable impact?
- System Thinking. Projects demonstrate an understanding that sustainability challenges do not exist in vacuum and seek to build connections between environmental, social, economic, cultural, and political dimensions of sustainability.
- Continuous Improvement. Projects monitor their progress and show a commitment to continuously adapting to ensure that there is sustainability impact over time, and that living lab projects are high quality learning experiences for all participants.
LEAP projects need to address campus sustainability and should address at least one of the following outcomes:
- Outreach & Engagement. Sharing knowledge, expertise, best practices and lessons learned so all members of the University and the local and global community has the knowledge and tools needed to promote a culture of sustainability.
- Teaching. Building opportunities for engaging and educating students, faculty and staff so that everyone has the opportunity to participate in formal learning about sustainability.
- Research. Supporting innovative research and inquiry that improves understanding related to sustainability, leading to real-world solutions and problem-solving.
- Facilities & Operations. Developing strategies and objectives that conserve resources, decrease the production of waste, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, minimize ecological footprints, and build sustainable supply chains.
Students and faculty are eligible to apply. Getting started is easy:
1. Review past projects
2. Identify a project that interests you that is connected to campus sustainability
3. Select a program that best fits your needs
Undergraduate Research Initiative
This program supports the involvement of University of Alberta undergraduate students in research activities. Several research stipends focusing on the Living Lab are available each year. URI offers individual consultations with students to explore their interests and needs.
Apply to URI
This program integrates service-learning into existing courses in diverse subjects and disciplines. Students are paired with campus and community partners where they contribute in real ways to the organizations and gain valuable working experience. Students and faculty can integrate sustainability into this learning experience with the collaboration of the partner organizations.
Additional project funding may be available through Green Grants and the Sustainability Enhancement Fund.
Apply to CSL
This program generally supports volunteer-led initiatives focused on curricular efforts. Funding could be used to explore sustainability in capstone projects, create demonstration sites, enable office green teams or develop behaviour change pilots. Grants range up to $2,000.
Apply to Green Grants
Sustainability Enhancement Fund
This fund is made possible by the savings generated from energy efficiency projects at UAlberta. The program supports collaborative projects that improve the university's operational performance and demonstrate the viability of best practices and technologies.
Letters of Interest from teams including students, faculty and/or staff are accepted twice a year. Awards range from $2,000 up to $50,000 per project. Projects requiring additional funds will be considered where there is a tangible payback to our institution.
Apply to SEF
4. Submit your proposal