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Student Hardship & Opportunity Fund

About the Award

We understand that students might experience unexpected financial or other challenges while a student at the UW. The Clean Energy Institute (CEI) Student Hardship & Opportunity Fund was created to enable CEI students to continue in PhD/Postdoctoral training, when it may be otherwise challenging due to unmet financial burdens. CEI students will receive this support via one-time payment. Awarded amounts will be based on the hardship or opportunity the student is facing. 

We encourage CEI students to reach out to program staff or faculty for support when needed,even if you are unsure if you qualify for this funding.

Applications will be reviewed by a committee, made up of the CEI Chief Scientist and/or Director, Collaboration Core Administrator, CEI Associate Director of Education & Workforce Engagement, and CEI Operations Manager. All application details will remain confidential and will not be shared outside of the reviewing committee.


The award is open to PhD students and postdocs advised by CEI Member or Affiliate Faculty.

There are many reasons that students might experience unanticipated need financial support and have noted some examples below. Please note that the following examples are non-exclusive. If you feel you are in need of support, we encourage you to  apply or reach out to your program staff or faculty member. 

  • Individual experiences a gap in funding due to visa delay.
  • Individual experiences the loss of a loved one and needs financial support to travel to funeral or support family during the time of loss.
  • Individual faces unexpected medical or dental expenses.
  • Individual has the opportunity to register for an important research society, but lacks the financial resources to join.
  • Individual has the opportunity to attend an important conference in their field, but lacks the financial resources to attend. (Please note that the CEI Student Hardship & Opportunity Fund should be a last resort for travel related requests. Please see CEI Student Travel Grants for information on travel funding.)


  • Student must be a PhD or Postdoctoral student advised by CEI Member or Affiliate Faculty, able to demonstrate their involvement in the CEI community, or involvement in broader CEI Activities.
  • Student must demonstrate need for the award.
  • A short student impact statement will be required within 3 months of the award being granted. The statement should illustrate the impact of the award on the student’s personal circumstances, and/or the student’s growth and development in their field. This statement is important for CEI’s donors and financial transparency, however, private student information will remain confidential. 
  • Impact statements should be sent to


Please submit requests here.

Requests will be reviewed by the committee upon receipt.

Application Questions
  • Student Full Name
  • Email
  • Student ID Number
  • Level of Study
    • PhD Student
    • Postdoctoral Training
  • Advisor Name (Must be CEI Member or Affiliate Faculty) 
  • Please demonstrate your involvement in the CEI community, or involvement in broader CEI Activities
  • What would the award be used for?
  • Please demonstrate your need for the award (financial obstacles or burdens/challenges you are facing)
  • Please define your “ask” for funding (dollar amount)
  • Is there anything else you would like to share with the reviewing committee?
  • If awarded, I agree to provide a student impact statement within 3 months of the award (send to

Other Resources