UL Innovative Education Award 2018 for Organizations in U.S. and Canada

UL Innovative Education Award 2018 for Organizations in U.S. and Canada

Deadline: February 21, 2018

Are you using the environment to tackle STEM learning with K-12 students in the US or Canada in innovative ways? Then apply for the UL Innovative Education Award. The Award is a first-of-its-kind initiative designed to invest up to US $250,000 annually in environmental and STEM education, sustainable communities, and youth empowerment. UL offers recognition awards to increase the impact of existing innovative non-profit programs that use the Environment as a pathway to STEM Learning (E->STEM).

Through the UL Innovative Education Award, UL invests in the critical work of non-profit organizations across the US and Canada that are leading the way to inspire a passion for STEM education in young people through a focus on designing solutions to environmental problems. The award program, designed in collaboration with NAAEE, empowers the next generation of leaders to connect with the natural world, develop science-based sustainable solutions for local communities, and nurture a capacity for social responsibility.


  • Applicants can represent either a whole organization or one program within a larger organization;
  • Any represented organizations must be a US 501(c)(3) not-for-profit or registered with either the Canada Revenue agency or a Canadian provincial revenue agency as a non-profit organization;
  • Must be based in the US or Canada. Programs based in territories of the US or Canada are eligible to apply;
  • Must serve children in grades K-12, or a subset of that age range, in the US or Canada. Programs may also serve educators working with children in grades K-12, or a subset of that age range, but evidence provided in the application must show the impact on the K-12 students, not just the educators in the program;
  • Applicants can choose to participate as an organization or as a program. Operating budgets for applying organizations or programs are capped at $3 million USD;
  • Applying as an organization, the not-for-profit must have an operational budget of no greater than $3 million USD. However, a not-for-profit with a larger operating budget can still participate if applying as a program. In this instance, the participating program must have an operating budget of no greater than $3 million USD, although the operating organization might have a greater budget overall;
  • K-12 schools and other institutions that provide formal education are not eligible to apply. However, not-for-profits/not-for-profit programs serving schools remain eligible;
  • B-Corporations (Public Benefit Corporations) are not eligible to apply;
  • University programs are eligible to apply, as long as they meet all of the above criteria, including being operated under a US 501(c)(3) not-for-profit or an entity registered with the Canada Revenue agency as a non-profit organization;
  • All previous applicants who did not receive an award are eligible to apply to the 2018 UL Innovative Education Award, including finalists from previous years. Organizations associated with previous winners may also apply, but only with new programs that have not previously won an award.


The UL Innovative Education Award has two distinct application phases.

Phase 1
The first phase is an open-invitation. In this phase, Non-profit or non-profit program signatories submit online applications. Applicants should submit strong evidence (through writing, photos, videos, and supplementary materials) of how their program advances innovation in the field of E-STEM for each of the following criteria. Remember that applicants should write ONLY about existing programs, instead of plans for future programs unless specifically asked.

Phase 2
Short-listed finalists, will be invited to participate in a second application phase. At this point, Phase 2 applicants may be asked to produce a document and simple video to respond to judges’ questions or concerns about the original application. In May, judges may also schedule a short Skype interview with these finalists as the final step of the ULIEA application.

NOTE: Only finalists identified by the judges to proceed to Phase 2 will need to take part in these additional application steps. Additionally, all finalists will be highlighted on the ULIEA website.

For more information, visit UL Innovative Education Award.