How do you structure the proposal for your GO?
We analysed four of the best proposals (from Berlin, Hildesheim, Cologne and TU Delft) that have been written to lobby for sustainability hubs based on the GO Model and developed a sample outline that you can use to write your funding application.
Here we go:
1. Cover page
This includes the title of your proposal, the GO logo that you might have already developed, links to a blog or Facebook page that you have already set-up for your GO initiative, as well as some photos.
2. Executive Summary
What information do your readers need to know about the proposal that you can summarize in one page? The executive summary is very important, since more people will read it than the whole proposal
3. Table of contents
For longer proposals, it helps to have a Table of Contents so that the reader can orient themselves in the text.
4. Universities as change makers to advance sustainability transitions
Describe what you mean by sustainability and what role your institution can play to address sustainability challenges in your community, region and (inter)nationally. For instance, you can also identify which Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are relevant for your institution and what role it should / can play to implement those.
5. Situational analysis: The institution and its context
5.1. Overview of existing sustainability initiatives
Develop a table to list all sustainability initiatives that you find at your institution. This can include a first overview of courses, research projects, publications and research institutes related to sustainability, student initiatives, inter-departmental working groups, sustainability policies, or current projects to refurbish buildings and install solar cells on rooftops.
Analyse the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of existing sustainability initiatives at your institution. Such an analysis is important as it shows your in-depth understanding of the current situation. Read on Wikipedia on how to conduct such a SWOT analysis.
6. Strategic options
6.1. Governance options
Describe the different options that the institution has to strengthen existing sustainability initiatives, mobilize opportunities, address weaknesses and risks. This can include hiring more sustainability staff, improving communications through social media, organising networking events to connect actors, etc. For an overview of different options, visit our FAQ section “What are the alternatives to a GO?” Also our blogpost about the institutionalisation of sustainability efforts at the University of Tübingen can provide you with some inspiration.
6.2. GO Model as suggested solution
There are different reasons why a GO can help you bring the sustainability transition of your institution to the next level. Read our blogpost about the 8 reasons your university should care about a GO and pick the reasons you find most applicable to your context.
7. Our Sustainability Hub based on the GO Model
List the short (1-2 year), medium (3-5 year) and long-term (7-10 years) goals that you want to achieve with your GO.
Provide an overview of the different activities that you will implement in the period that you apply for funding.It helps to divide activities in the major domains of an institution of higher education, including education and research, operations, governance, community and communication.
To get some inspiration on what projects you could do, have a look at the overview of GO projects we developed in 2015. Finding relevant activities is very important to illustrate to readers what you are actually going to do! Again it helps to cluster your activities into education, research, operations, etc.
Describe in detail how the 6 GO Principles will be adapted to your institution to provide the institutional support for the GO. For this, you can just consult the 19 pages report that we wrote on how to adapt the 6 GO Principles to any institutional context.
7.4. Internal organisation
Depict the way you want to internally organise yourself to give readers an impression that you know how the hub is going to work. This includes the division of roles and responsibilities, meeting frequency, location of office space, etc.
After you have made a plan of the projects you want to realise and the structure of your GO, then you can calculate your cost structure, including student and staff salaries, office space, projects, training, etc.
8. Statements of supporters / Signature list
A good practice from the University of Hildesheim is to include statements of supporters, such as a statement from the head of the Students’ Union or Facility Service, as well as a professor on how important your proposal is. You can also include a list on which students, staff, faculty and external partners signed their names in support of your proposal.
Acknowledge and thank all those that have helped you write the proposal.
Reference the open-source documents that you have used from rootAbility to write the proposal, as well as any other literature used.
Anything that you need or want to attach?
Text by Felix Spira. Photo by Meaghan O’Malley, Flickr Creative Commons