Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 85.48
Liaison Emmanuelle Jodoin
Submission Date Dec. 6, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Université de Sherbrooke
AC-10: Support for Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Véronique Bisaillon
Sustainable Development Education Advisor
Office of the Vice-President, Administration and Sustainable Development
"---" 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:

Through its Foundation, the Université de Sherbrooke offers multiple student scholarships, many of which are related to the environment and sustainable development. For instance, the Formétal Scholarship, available to graduate students, encourages the development of interdisciplinary research in sustainability at the University.

The University also has 12 research chairs and 14 research centers or research groups related to the environment and sustainable development, covering different areas such as energy efficiency, cellulosic ethanol, glass recovery, high-performance concrete, Earth observation, water, ecological conservation, etc. In addition, there are several research teams or laboratories that also conduct cutting-edge research on, for example, life cycle analysis, environmental governance, public policy, environmental education, to name a few. The presence of these chairs and research centers allows students to pursue graduate studies in an environment that is conducive to learning, to the development of their research capacity, and in particular, in sustainability.

As part of the 2018-2022 strategic planning, the Université de Sherbrooke has undertaken a process to bring researchers together around unifying research themes. The Environment and Climate Change theme is one of the six themes identified. The Environment and Climate Change facilitation team is currently working to better structure research in this area, including to provide support to graduate students interested in pursuing their academic careers.

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:

Innovation is part of Université de Sherbrooke ‘s DNA and allows the institution to position itself at the forefront. To innovate, the University ventures to think differently, takes risks, shows imagination and originality. Three fundamental principles serve as a guide to ensure that its research has a greater impact, while contributing to the common values of the institution:
• Sustainable development;
• Equity, diversity and inclusion;
• The growth of a network of high quality partners.

The University's commitment is to provide the next generation of researchers with an experience that fosters a passion for innovation. This is how, over the years, society will make significant contributions to social and technological breakthroughs.

In concrete terms, and again as part of the 2018-2022 Université de Sherbrooke’s strategic planning, six unifying research themes were identified with in mind to strengthen interdisciplinary research. Among those, Environment and Climate Change as well as Togetherness: Culture, Plurality, Governance, and Equity are accounted for, which are particularly associated to sustainability research. As for all identified research themes, these two are each coordinated by a facilitation team comprised of faculty members engaged in related research. These facilitation teams are mandated to develop annual topic programming (i.e. research and networking activities, conferences, etc.) and are allocated with an annual budget of $25,000 to support such programming and to further develop faculty research in these sustainability themes.

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:

In line with one of the institution’s 2018-2022 Strategic Plan objective, which is aiming to increase interdisciplinarity in programs, in particular through the integration of activities that bridge disciplines, faculties, and university boundaries, the Université de Sherbrooke has established a financial mechanism to encourage the hiring of faculty members with a multidisciplinary profile as well as a dual faculty affiliation, and covering 50% to 70% of the position financial expense.

Furthermore, and again related to its 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, the Université de Sherbrooke identified four strategic priorities, including the following: "Stimulate research development, in particular, by building on interdisciplinarity ". In order to implement this strategic priority, the following actions are being deployed:
• Actively develop the unifying research themes and excellence clusters;
• Maximize the implementation and impact of research projects;
• Ensure the hiring of quality faculty members and ensure their full development. This action includes to put in place a mentoring program for new faculty members as well as career training activities.

In addition, interdisciplinarity is also a key element of research institutes recognized by the Université de Sherbrooke. They regroup several faculty members, research centers or research teams gathered around an encompassing and multidisciplinary research niche. The research institute is normally multi-faculty and may be interuniversity. The Université de Sherbrooke houses six research institutes, whose main mission is to conduct high-quality research activities, train graduate students and serve the community through the commercialization of innovations. These institutes were created by the Board of Governors of the Université de Sherbrooke.

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 Université de Sherbrooke provides multiple library services to support research overall, including sustainability research. Indeed, through its Library and Archives Service (Service des bibliothèques et archives) website, guides can be found by type (i.e. research tutorial guides), by discipline (i.e. Environment and Ecology, Applied Geomatics, etc.) and by theme (i.e. special collections), offering the main resources available to assist with research or to support teaching (paper collection and digital formats). In addition to guides, field related articles, books, handbooks, encyclopedia, dictionaries, thesis, maps, etc. are also accessible. Search tips are provided to better access information from databases such as Scopus, Agricultural and Environmental Science Database, GreenFILE, etc. Since not all members of the academic community can be met in person, libraries must focus on self-learning information skills and provide the necessary means accordingly. The information is hence kept up-to-date, which is essential.

Dedicated professional librarians are also available, and may be contacted to guide users with their research, with the choice of documents to be favoured and with the use of the material. They can also provide answers to questions about the Library and Archives Service policies, assist in developing research strategies and inform of new resources according to the research field. In addition, users may ask questions by chat, accessed from the Service's website.

In support of the Université de Sherbrooke's 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, the Library and Archives Service, in collaboration with the Vice-President, Academic, has developed a Strategic Action Plan (2018-2022) that will offer the university community new services. The Strategic Action Plan will contribute in particular to the development of three innovative projects, of which the development of tools and training to support researchers in their research data management will be addressed.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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