Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.61
Liaison Tina Woolston
Submission Date Nov. 2, 2022

STARS v2.2

Tufts University
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Tina Woolston
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:

Matriculated students at any of Tufts University's graduate programs and professional schools are eligible to apply for Tufts Institute of the Environment (TIE) fellowships to conduct interdisciplinary environmental research projects. Selected students will be listed on the TIE website, invited to present final reports to the Tufts environmental community, and receive funding toward a research stipend and/or supplies (up to $6000 per graduate fellowship).

For undergraduates and graduates, TIE offers two types of financial awards to offset travel costs, Conference Presentation Travel Grants, and Data Collection Travel Grants.

Also, TIE offers a program that supports undergraduate students interested in pursuing environmentally focused research in the natural sciences, social sciences, or humanities. In addition to financial support, students are given mentoring opportunities and a space to work throughout the summer. TIE runs workshops for graduate students that promote student cohort formation, collaborative sustainability research, and skill development.

Tufts summer scholars program gives research funding to two undergrads in the area of sustainability research every year.

The goal of the Tufts University Research and Scholarship Strategic Plan (RSSP) is to chart our path forward as an innovative, civically engaged, student-centered, tier-one research university.

Launched in 2018 and continuing through 2022, the purpose of the Tufts University Research and Scholarship Strategic Plan is to identify research and scholarship priorities and determine effective strategies and resources to advance the research enterprise. During the Planning Phase, Tufts’ identified research strengths and priorities through internal and external stakeholder engagement. From this process, emerged seven Priority Area Research Groups. One of which being "Climate, Food, Water, and Energy". Specifically, the strategic plan aims to identify research and scholarship priorities based on:
Potential for future innovations and global impact
Greatest opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration
Determine effective strategies and appropriate resources to support advancement of the research and scholarship enterprise at Tufts

CIERP, Center for International Environment & Research Policy, provides grants for internships, student research, travel, and teaching assistantships. https://sites.tufts.edu/cierp/about/support/

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:

The Tufts Institute for the Environment (TIE) provides funding for interdisciplinary environmental faculty research.

In addition, the "Tufts Collaborates" and "Tufts Innovates" seed grant programs were designed to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among faculty from different departments, and many of the projects funded through those grants have focused on sustainability and the environment.

Tufts Institute of the Environment runs annual faculty workshops to encourage the formation of interdisciplinary environmental research networks in certain research areas related to sustainability.

The research scholarship strategic plan mentioned above relates to faculty research goals, and preliminary outcomes are the funding of the 8 selected projects relating to the priority areas in sustainability topics.

The Green Fund also provides support for faculty and researchers to promote sustainability on campus. https://sustainability.tufts.edu/get-involved/the-green-fund/green-fund/

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:

Promotion-only within an interdisciplinary program is available for tenured associate professors with the following stipulations:

1. The interdisciplinary program for which promotion is being sought must offer a major;
2. Such promotion shall be reviewed by the Tenure and Promotion Committee according to the standards of scholarship, teaching, and service used in promotion cases within departments;
3. Individuals promoted under the above conditions shall receive the title "professor" of the appropriate program

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

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

Tisch Library provides support for sustainability research at Tufts. The Research Librarian for the Sciences supports research across scientific disciplines including sustainability and the environment, and the Social Science Data Librarian supports the Urban and Environmental Planning program and its Sustainability master’s program. Librarian support includes one-on-one consultations with students, faculty, and researchers; classroom instruction & workshops; and purchasing materials to support research in these disciplines. Tisch Digital Design Studio staff provide support for classes & individuals creating media, and support sustainability research through their long-term collaboration with the Environmental Biology class, which creates videos on environmental topics as a course assignment (see https://www.youtube.com/c/ENVSTufts)

Tisch Library collections support research in sustainability across Tufts by providing access to books, journals, databases, films, and more on topics related to sustainability. One of Tisch’s endowed gift funds specifically supports purchases of books in environmental students (The Winslow H. Duke fund https://tischlibrary.tufts.edu/about-library/support/library-endowments#endowments). Research guides created by librarians guide students to relevant resources across disciplines (examples: guides for Environmental Studies https://researchguides.library.tufts.edu/sb.php?subject_id=51670, Environmental engineering https://researchguides.library.tufts.edu/CivilEng).

Since 2018, Tisch has hosted the Office of Sustainability Student Project Database in the Tufts Digital Library (https://dl.tufts.edu/catalog?f%5Bdl_member_of_collections_ssim%5D%5B%5D=Office+of+Sustainability+Student+Project+Database). Sustainability-related student research projects can be found and accessed there by all members of the Tufts community. In 2021, the library also provided physical exhibit space for an exhibit on carbon dioxide removal created by the Tufts Environmental Sustainability Laboratory (https://tischlibrary.tufts.edu/new-exhibit-carbon-dioxide-removal).

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

The Fletcher School also offers research fellowships in sustainability for graduate students. https://fletcher.tufts.edu/CIERP/Education/Internships for more information.

This program has concluded accepting applications: https://ase.tufts.edu/igert/waterdiplomacy/education/fellowships.htm

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