Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 80.45
Liaison Tori Grant
Submission Date Dec. 13, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Calgary
AC-10: Support for Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Alex Wilkinson
Data Analyst
Sustainability Studies
"---" 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:

University of Calgary provides unique learning opportunities for undergraduate students to go beyond being “consumers of knowledge” and to be actively involved in creating new knowledge about sustainability and applying existing knowledge in new ways. The integration of teaching and research features prominently in the “Eyes High” vision for our university community. While sustainability research opportunities are available to students through formal undergraduate and graduate programs, the University believes that students should also have the opportunity to experience research outside the classroom.

Program to support sustainability research for students includes:

1. The University of Calgary has a Campus as a Learning-Lab (CLL) initiative that provides the opportunities for students to conduct sustainability research on campus. CLL promotes collaboration on sustainability research through curricular and co-curricular projects. CLL gives students the chance to gain hands-on research skills and leave a sustainability legacy upon graduation. There is a full time dedicated staff position to support this student research program.

2. The Graduate Student Association’s annual awards includes a sustainability research award. The award highlights graduate students who have completed projects or have ongoing research that improve quality of life through a combination of technological/scientific advances and sustainable development. The winner receives a monetary award.

3. Through the University of Calgary Student’s Union, students can access Sustainability Fund grants, which provide the necessary financial support for sustainability research on campus. To date, the SU has awarded over $50,000 through the Sustainability Fund, funding research into sustainable purchasing, composting initiatives and fair trade on campus, to name a few.

4. PURE Awards make it possible for undergraduate students to work with University of Calgary faculty to learn how research projects are developed and conducted, and how research results can contribute to new knowledge and to solving problems in a field of research and in society. Students develop the ability to collaborate, think critically and creatively and communicate –skills that all support the development of sustainability core competencies as outlined in our Institutional Sustainability Strategy.
Date Revised: August 24, 2017

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:

As part of the University of Calgary’s “Eye’s High” Strategy and its Institutional Sustainability Strategy (ISS), the focus on sustainability activities, education and research continues to grow. A number of the goals within the University of Calgary’s ISS demonstrate the focus which include creating an environment that engages faculty in all aspects of interdisciplinary research in sustainability, promote the university as a national leader in sustainability research and education and the promotion of research and the educational portfolio that more actively engages faculty in sustainability research.

Programming to support sustainability research for faculty members includes:
1. The ASIC is an interdisciplinary committee comprising representatives from all Faculties. Chaired by the Academic Coordinator for Sustainability, this group actively supports interfaculty collaboration in sustainability research and education.

2. The VP Research office supports a staff position focused on connecting sustainability researchers. This position established a confederation of scholars who are working on sustainability related research, with the focus on all aspects of sustainability in the natural and social sciences, engineering, medicine, business, education, environmental design, law, the humanities and arts.

3. University of Calgary’s Sustainability Awards (presented by the university president) includes a research award for faculty, which recognizes research initiatives that directly engage local and/or global communities to find innovative solutions to grand challenges situated in the context of sustainability.

4. The Academic Sustainability Speaker Series showcases faculty that are conducting sustainability research on campus. The series promotes sustainability research by also connecting campus members that share an interest in sustainability and wish to collaborate across their disciplines.

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:

Goal 12 of the University of Calgary Academic Plan is to enable interdisciplinary academic programs and research. Strategy 12.1 explicitly seeks to recognize and reward faculty who participate and/or supervise interdisciplinary projects during evaluation processes. This is because encouraging interdisciplinary programs and research is one of the University of Calgary’s top academic priorities. More information can be found in the plan at

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 university library provides subject/research guides on many sustainability topics such as Aboriginal Economic Development, Economics, Environmental Design, Alberta Flood Resources, Architecture and Design for Environmental Design, GIS and Urban Studies. More information can be found on the university website.

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

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.