Student Project Grant: 7 projects funded

We are delighted to announce the 7 winners of the Student Project Grant 2015.

Each year the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability, in partnership with EUSA, run the Student Project Grant which provides a small amount of funding to support student-led projects focusing on sustainability and social responsibility.

This year we were overwhelmed with applications, and were impressed with the broad range projects that were proposed. After a great deal of deliberation, the panel decided to grant funding to 7 projects. These cover a wide range of sustainability issues including food, renewable energy, education, energy efficiency and awareness raising.

Find below a full outline of the 2015 Student Project Grant finalists.


Fridge Friends: Mobile app designed to reduce food waste and bring people together

This app, which is being created by students who met during a recent Sustainability Jam, will allow users to create an online profile which includes their eating preferences and location. Users will be able to contact friends and those in their local network to tell them of food they have that needs to be used before it expires.  They can give away unwanted items, or choose to follow smart recipe suggestions based on ingredients being shared in the network. People with ‘matching’ ingredients can choose to get together and cook. The app not only tackles food waste, it also addresses food education, social and health issues.


Outdoor Education Research Seminar: 3 day residential programme for PhD students, focusing on outdoor and sustainability education.

This project is an initiative of PhD students from Outdoor Education Group, Moray House School of Education. The seminar will provide a change from the everyday learning environment, and will generate a more creative collaboration on outdoor, environmental and sustainability education research projects. The aim of the 3 day programme is to: enhance the connection between PhD students and staff members; give an opportunity for students to present and improve their research; provide workshop sessions relevant for specific needs of Outdoor and Sustainability Education researchers; and establish a strong ‘Outdoor and Sustainability Education PhD’ community with the aim of future collaboration.


Rootmap: Illustrated map featuring the best places to buy and eat ethical and sustainable food in Edinburgh.

Rootmap is an illustrated guide for those wanting to eat and buy food from places that work hard to source the best local and sustainable ingredients and products. The project is a collaborative effort from students from the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh College of Art. Rootmap was officially launched on Monday 7 December at an event which brought together businesses, students, and general public from around the city. The map will be available to buy in print, and will soon be launched online through the Rootmap website, where users will be able to find more detailed information on the featured businesses.  


Social research on off grid solar: Bringing together academics to share their experiences and establish new partnerships for future research in off-grid solar energy.

This project will explore solar technologies from a social perspective, looking at areas such as politics, economics, sociology and anthropology. The project will bring together researchers to share their experiences and establish new partnerships for future research in the area. At the centre of the project is a two-day small conference to share and promote research, establish new partnerships and produce a policy brief to inform the UK government who are showing increasing interest in this area too. The project aims to discuss and debate ideas and activities that surround solar technologies; ranging from business and technology design to user experience, effects and impact of their adoption through to the role of policy in facilitating and enhancing the spread of solar. Through this project, the team intended to put Edinburgh at the forefront of this solar revolution.


Sustainability in Latin America: A one day event bringing together students and local community to explore the impact and effectiveness of sustainability in Latin America.

The project aims to promote sustainability issues in Latin America to students, and also the wider community. Organisers intend to engage with local schools, and invite pupils to come along and participate at the event. The programme, which will be split into two sessions, will be an opportunity for attendees to learn more about social responsibility and sustainability issues beyond the UK, examine the geographical impact of sustainability initiatives on their success, and explore benefits/consequences of institutionalising sustainability solutions. This event is being organised by both the Latin American Society and the Sustainable Development Society.


Take one action film nights – Social Policy Society: Free monthly film nights focussing on policy issues such as income inequality, environmental project and food security. 

The Social Policy Society plan to deliver a series of film nights, which are run in partnership with Take One Action and other student groups. These events aim to inspire and challenge students through a series of thought provoking films., and encourage attendees to reflect on how they can adapt to reduce the impact they have on the natural environment. The schedule of films, which will be shown from January – March, tackle issues such as income inequality, the environment project, food security and modern slavery.  


Thermal Audits: Tackling energy efficiency issues in student accommodation.

Old, poorly maintained buildings are often poorly insulated and inefficient to heat. This leads to high energy bills, unhealthy living conditions, and also has a negative impact on the environment.  Led by a team of engineering students, this project will audit student flats to find common traces where heat escapes and find out how to mitigate it. Data will be collected from a larger pool of samples to establish cost effective ways to increase the quality of insulation in flats. Solutions (which are likely to be low cost, high impact!) will be compiled in a brochure/leaflet that will be made available to students.


If you would like more information on any of these projects, or to be put in touch with the organisers, please contact Claire Martin.

Claire Martin

Projects Coordinator for Events and Student Engagement

Contact details


  • Before joining the team in September 2015, Claire was the Events Manager for the UK Green Building Council, a leading sustainability NGO based in London. Prior to that she work at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), where she produced events and conferences on a broad range of policy areas. Claire is responsible for delivering the annual calendar of SRS events and student engagement activities.