Carnegie Mellon University

UPLift Challenge 

Have you dreamed of making improvements to the CMU campus to benefit you and your friends or colleagues? 

Then keep reading. 

The Task Force on the CMU Experience is eager to tap into the innovation and creativity available in our campus community to help make our shared spaces more engaging, supportive, and fun. During this first year pilot of the CMU UPLift Challenge, which celebrates and promotes the importance of University Placemaking here at Carnegie Mellon, we're offering up to $20,000 for experimental and temporary campus infrastructure projects that can meaningfully influence our campus culture for (up to) one year. To learn more about the process of placemaking, please visit the Project for Public Spaces.

We welcome any CMU students, faculty, or staff to submit proposals for enhancements on the Pittsburgh campus. Proposals can be ideas for creating brand new indoor greenspaces or experimental experiences; plans to renovate gathering spaces, or shared "nooks;" outdoor experiences like giant chess sets or pop up lounges—just to name a few ideas! Basically anything you feel can enhance our shared environment within the budgetary limit is welcome! It's anticipated that up to three projects (at minimum one) will be selected based on viability, impact, need and transformative potential. If selected, we will fund and execute your vision, in partnership with Campus Design and Facilities Development (CDFD), Facilities Management Services (FMS), and others. 

Proposals are sought for the following three priority areas, but innovative ideas that go beyond them are equally welcomed.

  1. Health and Wellness: new infrastructure, spaces and installations that promote increased well being on the CMU campus and that help to foster an integration of whole body and mind practices;
  2. Recognizably CMU: projects that amplify the community's pride and spirit through creative placemaking and campus branding; and
  3. Crossroads of the Mind: infrastructure that enhances CMU’s unique history of interdisciplinary exchange; projects designed to bring people from all over the campus together in collaborative, cooperative and meaningful encounters that advance this tradition.

Completed applications should be submitted no later than midnight on Monday, May 1st, 2017A select few applications will advance to a second round and a final decision will be made in the summer by a committee of students, faculty, staff, and senior leadership.  

You may complete your application here. If you have any questions as you complete the application, please contact

*This project is dedicated to the work of the late University Professor Larry Cartwright, whose heart was in mentoring and working with students to improve the student experience through various placemaking projects.