Summer Challenge Fellowship


Sustainability, living in harmony with the natural processes of the planet, is the central challenge of the twenty first century. No part of that challenge is more pivotal than addressing global warming, the alteration of earth’s climate dynamics.

The mission of The Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design is to promote leadership in sustainability within The Cooper community. As part of that effort, the Institute will award a student fellowship for scientific and visual research on a chosen theme of sustainability.


Three fellowships in the amount of $1,500 per project will be awarded in the spring for use during the summer and the fall semester. Awards will be made on the basis of merit to students who have attended The Cooper Union for at least one year and who will be enrolled for the full academic year. Fellowships are intended to provide a stipend to students involved in sustainability research. Students who are awarded the fellowships must agree to exhibit their work publicly during the following academic year.

Interdisciplinary teams of two or three students from the various schools will be given preference (although individual submissions will also be considered).


Land-Use 2016

As the second year of the Institute’s fellowship competition, we invite students to expand on the theme of Visualizing Climate Change to consider Land-Use. We call for project proposals that focus on the relationships between the earth’s biological systems and human activities such as agriculture, deforestation, urbanization, and resource extraction.

Each project should combine scientific research with a visual component that invents a way to represent research findings to a larger audience. The projects will be exhibited at The Cooper Union in the fall of 2016.

For all details, look here.


Visualizing Climate Change 2015

In its inaugural year, The Institute’s fellowship competition took the theme of Visualizing Climate Change. The CUISD invited project proposals that focus on understanding global warming and illuminate leverage points for addressing it. Projects aimed to investigate a specific phenomenon related to climate change and its effects on geography, economics, security, and/or social stability. Each project sought to combine scientific research with a visual component that invents a way to represent research findings to a larger audience. The projects were exhibited at The Cooper Union in November 2015.


  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.