Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.49
Liaison David Cullmer
Submission Date Dec. 17, 2020

STARS v2.2

Pennsylvania State University
AC-9: Research and Scholarship

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 12.00 / 12.00 Mary Easterling
Assoc Director, Analysis & Assessment
Sustainability Institute
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total number of employees that conduct research:
2,113

Number of employees engaged in sustainability research:
408

Percentage of employees that conduct research that are engaged in sustainability research:
19.31

Total number of academic departments that include at least one employee who conducts research:
88

Number of academic departments that include at least one employee who conducts sustainability research:
66

Percentage of departments that conduct research that are engaged in sustainability research:
75

A copy of the inventory of the institution’s sustainability research (upload):
Inventory of the institution’s sustainability research:

Attached is a list of researchers including, for each, their departmental affiliation, website, and brief description of sustainability research area.


A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the research inventory:

The list of research faculty was compiled from a number of different sources as follows:
(1) the list from our 2017 STARS submission was reviewed, updated, and verified
(2) a list of sponsored research projects for the period 2017-2019 was reviewed, and sustainability-related projects were identified by searching through project titles and, in many cases, the project abstracts. PIs on these research grants were cross-referenced with those on our previous STARS list. Faculty/ project websites were also consulted.
(3) Faculty affiliates from selected interdisciplinary research centers and institutes (e.g., Institutes of Energy and the Environment, Smeal Center for the Business of Sustainability, Institute for Sustainable Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Science) were reviewed. This helped to capture some of the newer faculty hires.
(4) Occasionally, news articles about research projects (which tend to use lay-persons' terms and focus on applications) were used to identify faculty doing sustainability-related research.
(5) We expanded our definition of "research" to include creative accomplishments, as is done for promotion and tenure decisions, so that faculty from the arts were eligible for inclusion. [Note that, for consistency, we included faculty in the arts in our counts for both the numerator (sustainability researchers) and the denominator (all researchers). The same was true for counts of departments.]
(6) For each faculty member on the list, a brief summary of their sustainability research area was developed from information on their departmental or research institute website, and/or from projects listed in the research database described in (2) above, and/or news articles describing their research and its applications.

Note that the above process was quite time-consuming and, unavoidably, somewhat subjective. A new tool has recently become available that will improve the objectivity, repeatability, and ease with which sustainability researchers can be identified for future STARS reports: Elsevier has developed a series of search terms for each Sustainable Development Goal that can be easily applied to the Pure research database to extract researcher names, expertise, and publications associated with each SDG. See: https://pennstate.pure.elsevier.com/.

The total number of employees that conduct research was from a Fall 2018 headcount of all tenure line faculty, including those at the assistant, associate, or full professor rank. It also includes non-tenure line research faculty: Researchers, Associate Research Professor, and Assistant Research Professor. It does not include Lecturers or Instructors.

The total number of academic departments with at least one faculty member who conducts research was assumed to be the same as the total number of academic departments reported in PRE-5. The list of sustainability researchers' departmental affiliations was matched with this list to determine the number of departments with at least one faculty member who conducts sustainability research. Note that a small number of researchers on the list are affiliated only with a research center or institute rather than with an academic department. These institutes/centers were not included in the counts.


Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability research is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.