Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.61
Liaison Makayla Bonney
Submission Date Feb. 26, 2020

STARS v2.2

Indiana University Bloomington
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Amanda Keene
Data Tracking Assistant
Sustain IU
"---" 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:

1. 2020 Sustainability Scholars
Now in its fourth year, the 2020 Sustainability Scholars program launched in 2015. The Office of Sustainability partners with a variety of other units on campus to provide undergraduate research scholarships for 15 first and second year undergraduate students each year. Each student works with a faculty mentor and gains hands-on research experience. Total support for faculty mentors and students is approximately $26,000.

2. Sustainability Research Development Grants
This award program supports collaborative efforts of Indiana University students and faculty to develop new, externally funded research programs related to sustainability. Initially, the program was only open to graduate students, but in 2014 was opened for both undergraduate and graduate student proposals.

3. The School of Public and Environmental Affairs and Office of the Vice President for Research offer seed funding opportunities for graduate student led sustainability related research.

4. Earth and Atmospheric Sciences has many endowed funds for student and faculty sustainability research.

5. The Student Sustainability Council funds capital improvements on campus annually, many of which include a focus on student service learning or research. https://sustain.iu.edu/resources/SSC/index.html

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:

Indiana University's Collaborative Research Grants (IUCRG) support many fields, including support for research comprised of "innovative multi-disciplinary or multi-collaborator approaches, reliant upon quantitative methodologies of the social and behavioral sciences, to issues of local, state, national or international significance; research into effective approaches to K-12 STEM education (not curricular development) or education for sustainability".

IU's Integrated Program in the Environment (IPE) brings together more than 90 faculty members – including world-renowned scientists and instructors. It reaches across 25 departments and 5 schools within IU. IPE encourages collaborations in the classroom, lab, field, outreach, and other activities. Its interdisciplinary nature reflects not only the contributions of the individual scholars, but a commitment to cooperation and shared purpose necessary to prepare the next generation of scientists and leaders.

The Environmental Resilience Institute, funded through Indiana University’s Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenge initiative, is an institute of researchers spanning disciplines at the Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses working together with our partners across Indiana, the Midwest and beyond to lessen the impact of environmental changes and prepare for their real-world effects. Partners include leaders representing communities, governments, businesses, farms and nonprofits. The mission of the Environmental Resilience Institute is to develop the forecasts, strategies and means of communication necessary to enhance resilience to environmental change. The Environmental Resilience Institute, under the auspices of the Office of the Vice President for Research, invites applications for projects to be funded through IU’s Prepared for Environmental Change (PfEC) Grand Challenge Initiative. Projects must align with PfEC goals, and may involve research, engagement, or implementation, with a preference for a combination, on the IUB or IUPUI campuses.

The Sustainability Innovation Fund offers an exciting opportunity to build and leverage existing Sustain IU capacity to generate productive operations-academics solutions for sustainability, all while welcoming new campus collaborators to participate.

Through a competitive process, the Innovation Fund will catalyze campus efforts that fulfill the following goals: leverage Working Group structure to create and fund at least one major innovation per year that measurably advances campus sustainability by using campus as a lab; improve IUB’s score in at least one category of the AASHE STARS metric; provide high-impact learning experiences for students; make measurable progress towards one or more Bicentennial Strategic Plan goals; generate success stories to publish in university and public media to create opportunities for sustainability advancement and donor targets. Projects may include faculty or student 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 copy of the promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:
The promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:

Tenure guidelines state, "With the growth of interdisciplinary research and with the emergence of exciting new fields, not all research/creative activity will fit comfortably into traditional “disciplinary” expectations or understandings. Candidates for tenure and promotion are encouraged to pursue innovation wherever it seems promising, even at the edges of disciplinary boundaries or in between them. Reviewers at all levels should be open to the possibility that work “on the edges” or straddling two fields may eventually transform research agendas in fundamental ways not always easily recognized by the home unit. A candidate’s interdisciplinarity may require that home units adapt their expectations/criteria and procedures. For example, practices for assembling review committees and soliciting external referees may need to be altered in order to insure that all aspects of research/creative activity get assessed by properly knowledgeable judges."

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

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

Resources available on the IUB Libraries website state,"The libraries at IU Bloomington contain resources on sustainable development under many classifications throughout the system and woven into virtually all major subject areas.

"Sustainability is too rich, complex and diverse a topic to be confined to one area of the library or to a couple of different call numbers.

"Looking for a specific sustainability-related topic? These librarians can help pinpoint Web resources and print materials that will best serve your needs in one of the deepest research libraries in North America.
Christina Sheley: Business/SPEA Information Commons, sustainability as it relates to city planning, policy, business, finance and environmental science.
Bob Noel: Swain Hall Library, sustainability related to engineering, energy, physics and climate change.
Roger Beckman: Life sciences, chemistry; green chemistry, invasive species and biodiversity.
Lou Malcomb: Geosciences, government information; water resources, hydrogeology, climate change
Jian Liu: Public Health Library, sustainable consumption, food security and eco-tourism.

"Documentary films on climate, food, agriculture and socioeconomics can be found in the Media and Reserves Services in the Herman B Wells Library."

Website URL where information about the institution’s support for sustainability research 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.