Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 47.15
Liaison Drew Dullen
Submission Date Nov. 24, 2020

STARS v2.2

Brock University
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Elenore Breslow
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Management and Environmental Sustainability Research Centre
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an ongoing program to encourage students in multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct sustainability research?:

A brief description of the student sustainability research program:

The Sustainability Science and Society (SSAS) graduate program offers students two paths to study environmental sustainability. Students can tailor their program to specific career and research interests through enriching classroom learning with practical experience (Scheme A) or intensive research experience (Scheme B). Students in the SSAS graduate program (both Schemes) are eligible for full-time funding from the University. Through this program students will earn a Masters of Sustainability in 16 or 24 months.

At the undergraduate level, students in any discipline may obtain a Minor in Environmental Sustainability within their degree program by completing the following courses with a minimum 60 percent overall average: ENSU 2P01: Introduction to Environmental Sustainability; ENSU 2P02: Environmental Sustainability in Practice; ENSU 3P90: Contemporary Environmental Issues; and Any 2.5 credits from an approved list of courses in many disciplines (course list is available in the University Calendar). All of the Minor in Sustainability courses include research components, more specifically, ENSU 3P30: Contemporary Environmental Issues conducts a research paper at the end of the course.

The Howard Martin Memorial Award by The Niagara Falls Nature Club which is an In-Course Award valued at $500. It is awarded to a full-time Brock University student in second, third or fourth year of study. Candidates must demonstrate an interest and involvement in the natural environment. Candidates must also have satisfactory academic standing and demonstrate financial need and Ontario residency requirements. Applicants must submit a statement (approximately, one page in length) indicating their specific involvement in the area of the natural environment (including any specific activities, affiliations, experiences, etc., which detail their passion and dedication to the environment).

Rovinelli Family Bursary in Environmental Sustainability – This bursary will be made to an entering graduate student(s) at Brock University studying in the Master of Sustainability program who demonstrates financial need and meets the Ontario residency criteria. The Rovinelli Family Bursary is valued at $645.

The TD Bank Group Scholarship in Environmental Sustainability - Awarded to a(n) undergraduate student(s) at Brock University in Environmental Sustainability who demonstrates academic excellence. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and meet Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) residency requirements. Annual endowed amount of award differs, however as an example, for the past 3 years, 8 to 10 students were awarded over $1,000 each annually.

Toromont CAT Scholarships – In 2018, Toromont CAT Construction donated $5,000 to the University to encourage and foster sustainability education and research at Brock. The Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC) along with Facilities Management awarded these scholarships to students enrolled in the Master of Sustainability program, three scholarships of $1,000 each were awarded to students in good academic standing. For students who have declared a Minor in Environmental Sustainability, two scholarships of $1,000 each were awarded to students in good academic standing.

Does the institution have a program to encourage academic staff from multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct sustainability research?:

A brief description of the faculty sustainability research program:

To support and encourage sustainability research, the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre was established in 2013, along with 4 other new transdisciplinary research units (TD hubs) - the Advanced Biomanufacturing Centre; the Brock‐Niagara Centre for Health and Well‐Being; the Centre for Lifespan Development; and the Social Justice Research Institute. Each hub was provided with $1 million in funding over a five‐year period. Through the TD hubs, Brock’s most recent strategic plan and additional initiatives, like the Niagara Community Observatory, Brock undertakes important community-focused research that is relevant to Niagara and beyond, and sustainability has become one of the key areas of focus, in large part due to TD hub funding.

The Environmental Sustainability Research Centre’s Strategic Plan 2018-2023 was developed through TD hub funding, which has helped create a transformative and creative transdisciplinary community dedicated to research and advancing environmental sustainability locally and globally. The ESRC provides a focal point for environmental sustainability research, education and engagement. The 25 Faculty Affiliates (Core and Participating) and Librarians come from 16 units across Brock University. They are joined in the Centre by Adjunct Professors, Affiliate Members, staff, and students. Undergraduate and graduate academic programs are offered at Brock University by the ESRC. In 2017, the ESRC launched a Minor in Environmental Sustainability. Research and education provides the basis for multi-faceted engagement by the ESRC. One of the main objectives is to engage in knowledge mobilization and foster knowledge impacts, this is achieved through innovative partnership development, consistent web presence, as well as the hosting and of events and activities (Brock University Sustainability Committee, Brock-Lincoln Living Laboratory, RAMSAR Working Group, etc.). Looking forward, the ESRC is excited about the future and continuing to make important contributions to science, education, and society.

Has the institution published written policies and procedures that give positive recognition to interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research during faculty promotion and/or tenure decisions?:

A copy of the promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:
The promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:

The Brock University Faculty Association Collective Agreement clearly articulates the tenure and promotion process for faculty members at Brock University. There is not a stipulation that faculty must undertake interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary and/or multi-disciplinary research and instead, individual faculty members direct their own research and for many the aforementioned research types are of high importance. For those faculty members who focus on interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and/or multi-disciplinary research, they would then be expected to provide evidence of research excellence during the tenure and promotion process. As mentioned in the above section, Brock University has clearly supported these types of research through research funding for faculty undertaking transdisciplinary research.

Does the institution have ongoing library support for sustainability research and learning?:

A brief description of the institution’s library support for sustainability research:

Brock University has a Liaison Librarian, Heather Whipple, who assists in sustainability research for many programs and topics across campus, including Environmental Sustainability, Geography and Tourism Studies, and Sustainability Science and Society. Whipple’s liaison website also has resources for students to learn more about sustainability.

Website URL where information about the institution’s support for sustainability research is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.