UPDATE: We are now accepting Yakama Nation Endowed Fund for Student Support applications on a rolling basis. Apply anytime! Allow three weeks for reply with an award determination letter.

Tom and Arline Hinckley established the Yakama Nation Endowed Fund for Student Support to help in the recruitment and retention of prospective and enrolled undergraduate and graduate Yakama Nation tribal members pursuing environmentally related studies at the University of Washington, and to deepen the connection between UW and the Yakama Nation through informal and formal gatherings, exchanges and co-learning.

Direct support of tribal members

Who is eligible to apply?

Yakama Nation tribal members who are registered or matriculated students at the UW in an environmentally related program or pursuing studies or research focused on the environment. Official documentation of tribal enrollment or affiliation is required.

Environmental programs include all of the course and degree programs in the College of the Environment, and select degrees within the College of Engineering (e.g., Civil and Environmental Engineering) and the College of Built Environments (e.g., Community and Environmental Planning).  However, there are many examples of students who are pursuing environmentally related studies for one or more quarters even though their degree is not concentrated on the environment (e.g., a student spending the quarter at the Friday Harbor Marine Laboratories or elsewhere conducting field work; a student working on environmental policy; a student completing a minor in Environmental Humanities).

The fund can provide awards of up to $5,000 to be used for any reasonable expense supporting the recipient’s academic progress at the University of Washington. Examples of “reasonable expenses” include, but are not limited to:

  • Room and board (i.e. housing, food, utilities)
  • Transportation
  • Child or other dependent-care necessary to allow the student time to engage in classwork, field trips or other academic scholarship
  • Books and supplies
  • Tuition and fees
  • Research expenses

Award recipients may re-apply in subsequent quarters or years for additional funding up to a maximum of three awards.  Please note that:

(1) in the event released funds are utilized for purposes other than those expressed in the approved application, it is the responsibility of the awardee to notify the College of the Environment in advance of proposed spending changes;

(2) if funds are utilized on costs other than those expressed on the awardee’s application without prior approval, the student’s eligibility may be cut off.

Required proposal content – Individual applications

  • A copy of your transcript (unofficial is fine)
  • A statement of rationale, no more than 1-page in length, that includes how much money you are requesting, what expense(s) the award will be used for and how the award would specifically support your academic progress.  That is, how would your academic work and progress towards degree be furthered by this funding?
  • A letter of support from an advisor that should a) attest to your good academic standing and degree progress and b) confirm there is an environmental-related aspect to your academic interests and studies.
  • A follow-up statement indicating that the funds were used for its intended purposes

Required follow-up content – Individual applications

  • An advance request to reallocate part-to-all of the award to other expenses, should the need arise.
  • A follow-up letter indicating how the funds were used.

Support of recruitment, retention and co-learning activities

Quarterly, proposals for up to $2,000 specifically addressing recruitment, retention and/or deepening of connection between the UW and the Yakama Nation may be submitted. These proposals must include stated permission or support from the Yakama Nation to conduct activities on tribal property, as well as a description of how tribal members, including students, experts, tribal government and/or elders, will be involved in the proposed activity.

Funding must go directly to the proposed activity and cannot be used for:

  • Faculty or staff salaries
  • Alcohol
  • Support of individual students (tribal members who are current students at the UW should apply to the Yakama Nation Endowed Fund for Direct Support)

Who is eligible to submit a proposal?

Yakama Nation tribal members, as well as non-tribal staff, students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty from the UW are eligible to apply for funding. The review team will elevate activities that are co-created with tribal members, government and/or schools.

Required content – Activity applications

Please use the bulled list of required content below. The choice of arrangement and formatting is yours. The total proposal should be no more than three pages.

  • Your name and contact information (title, email, phone).
  • Title of the proposed activity.
  • Brief Description of the proposed activity: What the activity is, where it occurs and who is in charge; How the activity either supports the recruitment and retention of prospective and enrolled undergraduate and graduate Yakama Nation tribal members at the UW and/or deepens the connection between the Yakama Nation and UW relative to the study of the environment.
  • Target audience and participants: Please include an estimate of numbers; How members of the Yakama Nation will be involved; All partner organizations, including the UW and their role(s).
  • Timeline: Create a simple timeline for the proposed activity, from planning to advertisement/recruitment (if applicable) to evaluation.
  • Expected Outcomes/Results: What is the intended outcome from this activity? (ex: Yakama high school students applying to UW, current UW students connecting with Yakama Nation students or experts). Please provide measurable outcomes where possible.
  • Statement of Support: Please provide an email or a letter from a relevant member of the Yakama Nation, tribal government and/or tribal school. This letter should include permission and support for the proposed activity if it occurs on tribal property and/or involves travel by Yakama Nation members to UW.
  • Budget: Detail your proposed expenses so that a reviewer can easily understand how much each element costs and how many things you are requesting. For instance, if you are traveling to a field location, your budget could include mileage charges and total mileage to specific field locations, etc.  Include the amount requested and other sources of funding, if applicable. The best way to show a budget is in an excel spreadsheet.

Guidelines for all forms of support

Application process and deadlines

To apply, please send your application materials to the College of the Environment, coenvaa@uw.edu.

Proposal review

Proposals will be reviewed by the College of the Environment Academic Affairs team in collaboration with the College Scholarship and Funding and/or Diversity Committees. The College will also seek the input of Yakama Nation tribal members as appropriate.

Reviewers will score each proposal on

  • How this specific activity will meet the stated goals of the fund
  • Scale of expected outcomes (i.e., how many students impacted)
  • Support of Yakama Nation
  • Budget and need


Following use of the funds and/or completion of the awarded activity, please submit a one-page report that details:

  • Description of academic progress (student support) or activity (recruitment retention and co-learning activities) and outcomes
  • Actual expenditures
  • Any next steps or opportunities for further engagement that you intend to pursue

Unspent funds will be returned to the Dean’s Office unless a specific proposal for extension (workplan and timeline for extension; reason needed) is submitted and approved.