Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 69.69
Liaison Deborah Steinberg
Submission Date Feb. 7, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Carnegie Mellon University
AC-10: Support for Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Abigail Owen
Assistant Teaching Professor
History Dept & Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research
"---" 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 research in sustainability? :

A brief description of the student research program, including the incentives provided and any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

Carnegie Mellon’s Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research encourages student sustainability research through a variety of programs, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Undergraduate research is supported and advanced through research funding available from the Carnegie Mellon undergraduate research office by engaging students in campus greening projects that relate to their academic work and research and support of student projects through the Steinbrenner Institute SEED grant program.

The Steinbrenner Institute staff also serve as judges for the Environmental Research Award at the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, or the "Meeting of the Minds." Each year in May, this a university-wide celebration of undergraduate research. All Carnegie Mellon undergrads engaged in research and creative projects are encouraged to apply.

Graduate research in sustainability is supported by the Steinbrenner Institute graduate fellowship program which provides support for three or four Ph.D. students each year. Support is also provided through special fellowship programs such as the U.S. Environmental Sustainability Fellowship.

Information on positive outcomes of student sustainability research can be found via the following websites:

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

A brief description of the faculty research program, including the incentives provided and any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

The Steinbrenner Institute was formed in 2004 as a campus-wide organization to facilitate, promote, and advance Carnegie Mellon education, research initiatives and campus operational practices related to the environment and sustainability Recent innovations developed by CMU researchers funded by Steinbrenner grants include: measurement and modeling of fine air particles, real-time sensing in drinking water supply networks, treatment of groundwater contaminants with engineered nanoparticles; optimization of environmental controls for clean coal technologies; catalysts for more environmentally benign paper-making and industrial cleaning and energy-efficient commercial buildings. In addition to leading-edge research, the Steinbrenner Institute offers competitive fellowships to talented graduate students, issues developmental grants to researchers, promotes and supports environmental initiatives throughout the CMU campus and fosters connections and coordinates new research initiatives.

In 2017-18, the Steinbrenner Institute at CMU and the Humanities Center at the University of Pittsburgh supported the founding of a new series, the Environmental Humanities Research Seminar series. This series provides a venue for research on Humanities dimensions of the Environment, with particular focus on interdisciplinary conversations across disciplines and institutions. The goal of the seminar is to create a sense of intellectual community, and a unique space for inquiry, for environmental thinkers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. This research seminar series will be continued into 2018-19, and we are currently anticipating a special year in 2019-20 with funding for a related topic in the form of a Mellon Sawyer Seminar series: "Bread and Water: Access, Belonging, and Environmental Justice in the City."

The Steinbrenner Institute also has a SEED grant program to support proposal development, workshops, and equipment acquisition or other support for environmental sustainability research efforts. The Steinbrenner Institute also encourages faculty research in sustainability by hosting periodic events with media to inform faculty about emerging environmental topics, and to provide faculty members with opportunities to engage media representatives about their environmental research.

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 brief description of the institution’s support for interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research, including any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

Carnegie Mellon University’s strategic plan for 2025 specifically highlights the importance of supporting and promoting interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary encounters and collaborations for tenure decisions, and for research, teaching, and social impact. See: https://www.cmu.edu/strategic-plan/goals/strategy/foundational-research-and-creativity.html

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

A brief description of the institution’s library support for sustainability research, including any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

Principal Librarian Lynn Berard of the Carnegie Mellon Sorrell Engineering and Science Library works to maintain the university collections in environmental engineering, science, and sustainability. In addition to her own research, she reaches out regularly to faculty members engaged in sustainability research and education to learn about their needs and recommendations for strengthening the university library resources in sustainability.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support 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.