Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 72.61
Liaison Brandon Trelstad
Submission Date Dec. 20, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Oregon State University
AC-10: Support for Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Fionn O'Longaigh
Energy Project Student Technician
Sustainability Office
"---" 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:

The Grand Challenge Scholars Program is a way for students to make progress in professional, interpersonal, and leadership development and encourages sustainability research across disciplines. The National Academy of Engineering created 14 goals required to meet what they believe engineering needs to provide to society in the 21st century. They call for "Continuation of life on the planet, making our world more sustainable, secure, healthy, and joyful," and range from engineering better medicines to improving urban infrastructure. Students in the College of Engineering who enroll in this program are required to complete 60 hours of service learning, and demonstrate competency in a research project focused on one of these 14 topics. Working with faculty in various colleges is encouraged to promote research on all 14 of the goals, and to produce graduates who are committed to building inclusive communities and improving the world.

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:

OSU led in the formation of Oregon BEST (Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center). An independent, nonprofit organization established by the Oregon Legislature, Oregon BEST builds on Oregon’s reputation as a national innovator in sustainability, natural resources, the sustainable built environment, and clean energy.

Oregon BEST's charter is to help Oregon businesses compete globally by transforming and commercializing university research into new technologies, services, products, and companies — all of which translate into new jobs for Oregon’s green economy.

Oregon BEST focuses on the following four focus areas within clean technology innovation:

* Smart Cities
* Precision Agriculture
* Smart Grid
* Advanced Wood Products

Oregon BEST ensures Oregon is a global leader in the green economy. More than 277 Oregon BEST Member Researchers at four universities offer a shared-user network of research expertise and lab tools that help Oregon companies, universities, and students succeed.


Oregon BEST offers funds to partner universities to further the development of clean technology with a high potential for commercialization.


Oregon BEST invests strategically in university research facilities that advance Oregon BEST's mission of economic development and job creation through research and development of sustainable built environment and renewable energy technologies from the Oregon University System (OUS). These investments help Oregon's research faculty, clean-tech industry, and students gain access to cutting-edge research tools and expertise.

Oregon BEST has made facilities investments in nine Oregon BEST Signature Research Facilities that form a statewide network of shared-user facilities. This network represents several million dollars in lab resources brought online by Oregon BEST since early 2009 that are available to Oregon faculty and industry, the two newest of which opened in Corvallis during October of 2014. The nine Oregon BEST Signature Research Facilities include:

* SuNRISE Photovoltaics Laboratory at the UO
* Oregon Process Innovation Center (OPIC) for Sustainable Solar Cell Manufacturing at OSU
* Green Building Materials Laboratory at OSU
* Green Building Research Laboratory at PSU
* infraStructure Testing and Applied Research (iSTAR) Laboratory at PSU
* Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory at the UO in Eugene and in Portland
* High Performance Environments Lab (HiPE) at the UO
* Multipurpose River Hydraulics Research Facility at OSU
* OSU-Benton Country Green Stormwater Infrastructure Research Facility at OSU

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:

The primary goal of OSU’s Strategic Plan Phase II was to provide outstanding academic and research programs that further strengthen performance and pre-eminence in the three interdisciplinary Signature Areas of Distinction: Advancing the Science of Sustainable Earth Ecosystems; Improving Human Health and Wellness; and Promoting Economic Growth and Social Progress. In 2010, the University formed academic divisions to provide greater opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration in teaching and research which advance OSU's signature areas. Around 60 new faculty positions were hired to build capacity within these divisions. OSU is targeting future hires and reorganizing its academic units to become more interdisciplinary and diverse.

Phase III of OSU's strategic plan, which began in 2014 and ends in 2018, continues emphasis areas articulated in Phase II. The continued goal of increasing OSU's reach and diversity has promoted interdisciplinary research. Given OSU's interdisciplinary focus via signature areas, faculty are evaluated positively when they do interdisciplinary research. Furthermore, colleges have began hosting events to promote research projects across disciplines. In April 2018, for example, the Joint College of Forestry and College of Public Health and Human Sciences Ignite Research Colloquium took place between faculty of the two colleges to discuss multidisciplinary projects.

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:

The Valley Library at OSU has research guides and other materials that support the research community. The research guides include subject matter specific to natural resources, environmental science, and renewable materials in wood science, to name a few.

Additionally, ScholarsArchive at OSU makes available and stores the scholarly work of the Oregon State University community. Extensive sustainability-related materials are contained within this resource: http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/

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

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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