Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.20
Liaison Kimberly Williams
Submission Date May 14, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

George Washington University
ER-18: Sustainability Research Incentives

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 6.00 / 6.00 Lisa Benton-Short
Director of the Sustainability Academic Program
Department of Geography
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a program to encourage student sustainability research that meets the criteria for this credit?:

A brief description of the institution’s program(s) to encourage student research in sustainability:

As part of the sustainability minor, students participate in a “culminating experience” and are encouraged to engage in sustainability research under the mentorship of a GW faculty member. We encourage this with a dedicated class: Sustainability 3096 “Directed Research in Sustainability.” Two recent examples of student research: study of caterpillar adaptation to changes in leaf cover due to variations in climate change; study of the economic evaluation of ecosystem services.

Beginning in Fall 2014, the Academic Program in Sustainability will award two $1,000 scholarships to sustainability minors engaged in research or community service. This scholarship comes from a donation by Car-2-go.

Another program that encourages sustainability research among students is the GW Presidential Administrative Fellowship (PAF). The Executive Director for Sustainability has sponsored a PAF starting 2014. The program requires a two-year commitment, during which each fellow receives tuition and fees toward the completion of a master’s degree, a housing allowance, and departmental compensation. The PAF will assist the Executive Director in benchmarking and research, as well as coordinating student opportunities for sustainability research and service among students. http://president.gwu.edu/presidential-administrative-fellowship

Each spring, the Office of the Vice President for Research sponsors a two-day "Research Day". Faculty and graduate students in the School of Public Health are featured on the second day. On the second day, undergraduates and graduates from the other GW schools present their research in a day-long illustrated poster session. Winners are chosen from each school at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Many students who participate are engaged in sustainability research. In 2014, for example, 6 sustainability minors presented posters. Sustainability minor Jesse Schaeffer won the research prize for the Elliot School of International Affairs for his research on food sustainability among Syrian refugee populations in Jordan.

In addition to the URL below for information about student research, also see the following URL for information on "Undergraduate Researchers Present at GW Research Day":

The website URL where information about the student research program is available:
Does the institution have a program to encourage faculty sustainability research that meets the criteria for this credit?:

A brief description of the institution’s program(s) to encourage faculty research in sustainability:

The GW Institute for Sustainability helps to develop innovative, interdisciplinary academic programming. Starting in 2010, the Institute has supported faculty research with grants that provide summer salary or research assistance. The Institute has organized a monthly faculty speakers series to promote interdisciplinary opportunities for faculty. In addition, financial support of "seed money" has been made available to faculty in the early stages of their research. Furthermore, the Institute organizes research workshops and symposia for fellow scholars and the wider public, featuring research papers and findings on websites and coordinating with GW's social media project Planet Forward to create innovative opportunities for scholars to present their work. GW's location allows the Institute to regularly convene federal agencies, businesses, and non-profits to create long-term partnerships that enhance research in sustainability. The Institute helps identify foundations and other external grants and assists in proposal development.

In 2013, GW's Office of the Vice President for Research awarded "Food for Thought" grants totaling $200,000; three of these grants supported research on sustainable food. The aim of these grants was to provide seed funding for GW's community for collaborative research and scholarly activity pertaining to food and nutrition. Each project was required to be collaborative and interdisciplinary with at least two PIs from different schools, or diverse departments within the same school.

The website URL where information about the faculty research program is available:

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.