Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 61.04
Liaison Shoshana Blank
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Tufts University
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Jill Parlee
Assistant Director
Tufts Institute of the Environment
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an ongoing program or programs that offer incentives for faculty in multiple disciplines or departments to develop new sustainability courses and/or incorporate sustainability into existing courses?:
Yes

A brief description of the program(s), including positive outcomes during the previous three years (e.g. descriptions of new courses or course content resulting from the program):

The Tufts Institute of the Environment (TIE) has an incentive program called the Venture Fund, which is specifically designed to encourage faculty involvement in sustainability education:
https://environment.tufts.edu/funding/venture-grants/

About TIE's Venture Grant
The goal of this opportunity is to foster new environmental education and research across departments and schools, assist interdisciplinary faculty teams in the pursuit of external funding, or support preliminary planning for new TIE educational programs or degrees. Examples of initiatives that could be funded under this program include:

Emerging area-targeted symposia
Interdisciplinary research center planning grants
Workshops
Cross-disciplinary degree or certificate program
Brown-bag seminars/guest speakers
Preliminary planning grants for new TIE educational programs
Individuals interested in applying for a Venture Grant should consult the guidelines and requirements to familiarize themselves with the application process and the funding procedure.

The Venture Fund has recently resulted in a funded project on science diplomacy and the need for cross-disciplinary learning within science, culminating in a symposium held at Tufts (report attached), and an ongoing project focused on awareness of environmental justice and community engagement on the issue by integrating visual and performance arts with soil testing and reporting.

Additionally, the Diversity Fund specifically addresses Diversity and Inclusion topics, but includes social justice and campus social climate, which are related to sustainability topics. This fund accepts applications from a broad array of topics and funded the Food Waste Symposium in 2017, highlighting its relationship to sustainability themes.

The Diversity Fund is intended to support proposals from faculty, staff, or faculty/staff collaborating with students that focus on issues related to social justice, diversity, and campus social climate that will enhance our campus community in lasting ways. In particular, the committee is interested in funding programming that brings together members of the Tufts AS&E community for cross-group dialogue and substantive interaction that might not otherwise occur. By "group" we refer to individuals of different demographics and social identities; departments, programs, centers, and organizations; and/or individuals with different roles on campus (e.g., students, faculty, and staff).

Finally, direct funding from the Tufts Institute of the Environment has led to sustainability themed courses in the Experimental College, including three in the Fall semester of 2018:

EXP-0002-F Planting Seeds of Curiosity and Justice: School Gardens in our Public Schools
3 semester hours, Letter-graded
This course is cross-listed with Child Study and Human Development as CSHD-0143-09.

EXP-0004-F Global Health: A Practitioner's Approach to Real-World Problems
3 semester hours, Letter-graded

EXP-0021-F From Bees to Beetles: Insect Pollinators and Real-World Science
3 semester hours, Letter-graded
This course has been approved by the Academic Review Board to count toward Natural Sciences distribution credit.


A brief description of the incentives that faculty members who participate in the program(s) receive:

Faculty members that apply to either the Venture Fund or the Diversity Fund receive direct grant funding for an initiative, course, workshop, etc. The funds are monetary assistance and sponsorship, but do not provide personal benefits directly to the applicants.

Guidelines and Eligibility
TIE Venture Grants are only offered to faculty teams led by a TIE Affiliated Faculty member, but faculty teams can engage and collaborate with faculty inside or outside of the Tufts community.
Funds are only available to support the creation of new environmental educational/research collaborations and opportunities.
Funds may only be used to support direct costs and will be distributed in accordance with the actual expenditures of each approved budget category and amount. The lead investigator (TIE Affiliated Faculty member) will be responsible for managing the grant, while grant subaccounts will be maintained and distributed by TIE. The budget must be consistent with the policies of the Affiliated Faculty member's home school(s) and Tufts University. TIE may adjust budgets, consistent with internal expense guidelines and limitations.
Expenditures for salaries (summer or academic year) and/or course release time are permitted according to school policies and appropriate approvals for each participant. Fringe benefit charges for personnel should also be included. Student assistants may be supported (including graduate, professional, and undergraduate students), with stipends and fringe rates consistent with associated school/departmental policies. Proposals may also budget for TIE intern assistance (at a rate of $11-14/hr).
Grants may range from $500 to $10,000.

Tufts Diversity Fund grants are typically $2000 on average, not exceeding $5000.


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

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