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Frequently Asked Questions

|| At Brown

How can we link students and faculty to projects?
Three ways of communicating are:
1) reaching out to existing contact people as listed on the website;
2) sending an email to;
3) attending weekly meetings of the CCURB Think Tank, which meets every Sunday night at 9 pm, in Wilson 302;

Can we use a co-op on campus as a learning experience to teach community members how to make their homes energy efficient?

There is a lot of faculty doing interesting things at Brown. At some point will there be a resource list so we know who to go to for what?
Yes. That’s part of what we’re working on through this process.

Will there be another information session about this program?
Yes, on October 20, 2009. The place and time will be announced when determined, through thiw website, on Morning Mail, and the community calendar.

Is everything developed at Brown restricted to ownership by Brown?
The Brown Technology Partnership will help to develop patentable projects. Ideas that are replicable can be used elsewhere without a patent.

Is the CCURB application and funding process possible to use as the framework for a thesis?
The preference is for teams, but there will still be individual components suitable for a thesis.

|| Carbon Use Reduction

Are we going to need to know emissions calculations by the deadline to submit a letter of interest?
No. Just give an indication of the type of reduction you think you might target. The early spring workshops will help to identify the calculations needed. A workbook may also be developed.

Will projects that educate people about the harmful effects of some forms of reduction efforts be supported?
Yes. Education as part of the project will be supported, but ONLY if the project will also result in clear and significant greenhouse gas reductions.

Would a supply chain project, such as finding an alternative source of water other than bottled, be supported?
This is a good supply chain project. There are carbon flows associated with this and resources at Brown who can speak to how this can happen.

How are the projects going to be evaluated?
Primarily by dollars per metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents ($/MTCDE) reduced. They must also meet a broad range of awareness and educational goals.

How do we attribute and calculate $/MTCDE reduced on projects where this grant is only paying a portion of the project?
If Brown contributes $50,000 and a corporation contributes an additional $100,000 to a project that reduces 5,000 MTCDE, the cost per ton equates to $10/MTCDE for Brown. If the corporation contributing the larger portion of the funding wants the credits, however, Brown cannot also claim the credits.

Is installation and training to use programmable thermostats appropriate for this grant?
Yes. It’s along the lines of a CFL project, but adds another level of complexity.

|| Community Engagement

Would a project that involves getting people to pledge to take the bus for a certain period of time if they live and work in Providence apply to this grant program?
We could make that work. A key hurdle we had in getting people to board the bus when we started the RIPTA program was lack of a swipe card. Now that they’ve been implemented we have seen an increase in commuters. Another good project along these lines is to measure how many cars we are reducing through the RIPTA program.

How do we figure out who to target or do any planning of community projects if we can’t talk to the community members until after we submit a Letter of Interest?
Your Letter of Interest can be discussed with members of the Swearer Center, who can provide guidance on community relations.

How far can we reach out geographically?
That can be determined by sharing your Letter of Interest with the Swearer Center. The CCURB Committee defined “the community” as the state of Rhode Island.

Does “the community” include Brown?
It depends on the nature of your project. The goal of this Grant is to reduce direct emissions rather than emissions that are being addressed through Facilities.

Will it be offensive to community members that we’re targeting them to reduce their emissions rather than focusing on Brown?
If they are not approached with grace and humility it could be offensive to them, so it’s important that these projects be a coordinated effort and that it’s made clear that Brown is and has been working on reducing their own footprint.

Are biking and alternative mechanisms part of Brown’s footprint?
No, which makes them suitable for the CCURB program. The website provides information that can be used for people who are interested in developing an idea around these topics.

Are athletic facilities included in Brown’s footprint?
Yes, which makes them outside of the scope of the CCURB program.

|| Procedural

Is this going to work?
We think we can facilitate real sustainable change with this program. This hasn't been done anywhere before and could be a model for other institutions to copy, but this hinges on good projects.

If we don’t have a specific idea or project in mind, how should we get a Letter of Interest together to get the guidance we need?
Get the letter in with as much of your idea as you have ready by the deadline. There will be a development period between then and when grant applications are due. We are looking for measurable results and will provide assistance in developing ideas.

Can we send emails to CCURB with our names and ideas even before our letters of interest are ready to submit?

Will a grant proposal be accepted prior to submission of a letter of interest?
We want to see the letter of interest. This is a key first step.

Should we specify a budget in the grant application?

If we have a budget bigger than $350,000, can we still apply?
Yes. Projects that qualify under this grant program can be used to leverage other sources of funding.

Can we still apply if the plan will take longer than one year but includes a carry-over plan?
Yes. We’re looking for longevity and persistence. If a proposal speaks to a successful path forward over a period of time (i.e. five year plan) it would be appropriate.

What if I’m working on a project that needs to start sooner than when the grant awards will be announced?
A committee will be formed to review proposals. If some are identified as needing to move forward more quickly than the announced timeline, we will award them sooner.

Is there a fast track for projects that have an expiration date?
Yes. First get the idea in through a letter of interest. If it qualifies, it can be fast-tracked.

I missed the information sessions. Is the presentation available?
Yes: CCURB InfoSession Presentation.

Can you provide some resources that might help participants develop their ideas?
Resources can be found at the web page.