Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.49
Liaison Brandon Trelstad
Submission Date Dec. 8, 2021

STARS v2.2

Oregon State University
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 4.00 Brandon Trelstad
Sustainability Coordinator
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 sustainability research?:

A brief description of the student sustainability research program:
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.

The OSU College of Engineering actively and consistently promotes this program. Students in the College of Engineering who enroll 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.

In another program, the OSU Sustainability Double Degree (SDD) provides academic credit for research conducted with a research mentor. The SDD is open to students in all OSU majors and disciplines. SDD advisors and instructors often help match students with viable sustainability research mentors. The research can be part of a project the mentor is working on or it can be the student's own idea, with approval from the mentor. Students spend roughly 80 hours on research as part of this program and complete a 10-page paper or academic poster about their research and are asked to present their findings. Mentors evaluate work at the end of the term.

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

OSU's ongoing connection with VertueLab includes OSU-hosted informational sessions for VertueLab Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Support programs. The informational sessions come in three varieties:
1. Innovation Day – focused on resources available to faculty and postdocs
2. Innovation Showcase – a portion of which typically provides info on resources for students, faculty and postdocs
3. Women Researcher informational sessions

Via the OSU Accelerator, which supports the regional Innovation and Entrepreneurship ecosystem:
o OSU actively connects its researchers with relevant Federal agency opportunities and supports researchers in each step of the funding and delivery process
o The University shares entrepreneurial educational information
o A regular monthly information exchange occurs between OSU and VertueLab.

VertueLab is a nonprofit fighting climate change by providing funding and holistic entrepreneurial support to cleantech startups. It's mission:
“To unleash innovation and entrepreneurship that will solve environmental challenges and catalyze shared economic prosperity.”

-We unleash innovation by providing the critical funding for cleantech startups where traditional investing fails to invest because of the high risk.

-We solve environmental challenges by providing holistic entrepreneurial support to cleantech startups so they are more likely to reach commercial scale.

-We catalyze shared economic prosperity by dismantling barriers to prosperity for underserved communities.

At VertueLab, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and issues of Environmental, Social, & Governance (ESG) are critically important to our organization. From internal policies, to external practices, it is part of our mission to fight for the growth of diversity and inclusivity across cleantech industries. We are continuously working to improve our own practices and policies. https://vertuelab.org/about

Additionally, OSU Accelerator programs ensures that program participants:
* Are in actual direct communication with prospective end users, decision makers, and stakeholders;
* Rigorously assess prospective new sustainability products and services (aka achieve good "product-market fit" and early-stage adoption strategy). https://advantage.oregonstate.edu/advantage-accelerator

Multiple OSU centers, institutes and programs house multidisciplinary teams of researchers from across OSU and other institutions, focused on sustainability research. Funding for these positions comes through these programs. Examples include the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, Institute for Natural Resources and Institute for Water and Watersheds.

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:

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

A brief description of the institution’s library support for sustainability research:
The Valley Library at OSU has research guides and other materials that support the research community. The research guides include subject matter in specific categories like natural resources, environmental science, and renewable materials in wood science, to name a few. https://guides.library.oregonstate.edu/

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/

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:
Thanks to Beth Filar-Williams, John Sweet and Karl Mundorff of OSU for helping provide information for this credit.

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