Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.51
Liaison Aurora Sharrard
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Pittsburgh
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
3.00 / 4.00 David Sanchez
Asst. Prof/Assist. Director
Civil and Environmental Engineering
"---" 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?:
Yes

A brief description of the student sustainability research program:

Established in 2003, Pitt's Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation (MCSI) is Pitt’s university-wide sustainability center. However, a number of other University centers have sustainability-related research opportunities and projects; thus, we continue to add items to the list below:

MCSI UNDERGRADUATE SUMMER SUSTAINABILITY RESEARCH
MCSI offers a 12-week paid undergraduate summer research program aimed at providing talented undergraduate students with creative opportunities that go beyond the classroom curriculum and enable them to develop their own ideas and work independently on hands-on research projects in sustainable engineering with advice and guidance from a faculty mentor. Students from throughout the University are encouraged to apply and participate.
Learn more about MCSI’s Undergraduate Summer Research program:

MCSI SUSTAINABILITY RESEARCH SEED GRANTS
The Mascaro Center supports an annual seed grant program aimed at engaging a Pitt researchers who are passionate about sustainability. Seed grants support graduate student and post-doctoral fellows on for award periods of up to 3 years for graduate student research in the broad area of sustainability.
In 2019-20, MCSI’s SEED Grant RFP looked for research projects that:
1) Catalyze the formation of convergent research teams focused on sustainability and associated solutions;
2) Are capable of obtaining external funding upon completion; and
3) Enhance Pitt’s national recognition in sustainability and the visibility of interdisciplinary sustainability research and education on campus.
4) Help advance the University’s sustainability goals as outlined in the Pitt Sustainability Plan and to facilitate convergent research in A) Circular Economy; B) Sustainable Urban Systems; and/or C) Sustainable manufacturing
Over the past 15 years, MCSI has provided over$4.0MM to over 60 individual faculty PIs in support of sustainability research and as a result has secured follow-on funding from federal agencies totaling over $24MM.
Learn more about MCSI’s SEED Grants: https://www.engineering.pitt.edu/MCSI/Funded-Research/

PITT WATER COLLABORATORY
Since 2018, the Pittsburgh Collaboratory for Water Research, Education, and Outreach at the University of Pittsburgh has had paid summer undergraduates research internships. Pitt Water Collaboratory interns work with a partner organization that interacts with water systems (e.g., nonprofits, municipality, agency, community, or other water practitioners), as well as an advisor to conduct independent research related to water.
+ Learn more: https://www.water.pitt.edu/opportunities-0
+ Read about past summer undergraduate water research outcomes: https://www.water.pitt.edu/summer-intern-research

PITT HONORS COLLEGE SUMMER FELLOWSHIPS

For Summer 2021, the Pitt Honors College (HC) has launched Community Research Fellowship for undergraduates to work with 1 of the HC’s 3 Scholar Communities (2 of which are related to sustainability: Food Systems and Water Sustainability). Undegraduates will create research that builds towards positive social change!
Learn more about the HC CRF Fellowship: https://www.honorscollege.pitt.edu/community


Does the institution have a program to encourage academic staff from multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct sustainability research?:
Yes

A brief description of the faculty sustainability research program:

Established in 2003, Pitt's Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation (MCSI) is Pitt’s university-wide sustainability center. However, a number of other University centers have sustainability-related research opportunities and projects; thus, we continue to add items to the list below:

MCSI SUSTAINABILITY RESEARCH SEED GRANTS
The Mascaro Center supports an annual seed grant program aimed at engaging a Pitt researchers who are passionate about sustainability. Seed grants are scoped and overseen by faculty in the broad area of sustainability. The goal of the programs is to support proof-of-concept development of solutions that will enhance the national and local visibility of University’s sustainability programs, while providing platforms for follow-on funding, community engagement and technology transfer.

MCSI’s leadership team also helps coordinate and support the development of large federal team grants relating to sustainability.

In 2019-20, MCSI’s SEED Grant RFP looked for research projects that help advance the University’s sustainability goals as outlined in the Pitt Sustainability Plan and to facilitate convergent research in A) Circular Economy; B) Sustainable Urban Systems; and/or C) Sustainable manufacturing

Over the past 15 years, MCSI has provided over$4.0MM to over 60 individual faculty PIs in support of sustainability research and as a result has secured follow-on funding from federal agencies totaling over $24MM.

Learn more about MCSI’s SEED Grants: https://www.engineering.pitt.edu/MCSI/Funded-Research/

MCSI SUSTAINABILITY FACULTY PROGRAMS
MCSI created the John C. Mascaro and Len Peters Faculty Programs were in 2016 and 2019, respectively, to enhance the University’s mission of interdisciplinary excellence in research and education. Awardees are expected to contribute to the intra- and interdisciplinary sustainability research and education. Through this effort MCSI has supported 23 faculty. In 2020, MCSI supported 10 faculty with awards to individuals ranging from Ecomusicology at the Bradford Campus to Anthropology, Engineering, Biological Sciences, and the Graduate School of Public Health at our Pittsburgh campus.
Learn more:

+ MCSI 2020 Annual report, including faculty program highlight: https://issuu.com/pittswanson/docs/2020_mcsi_annual_report_final
+ 2019 Faculty Awardees of the John C. Mascaro Fellowships: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/announcing-the-2019-faculty-awardees-of-the-john-c-mascaro-fellowships/
+ 2020-21 MCSI Leonard Peters Faculty Fellows announcement: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/2020-21-mcsi-leonard-peters-faculty-fellows/
+ 2021 call for 2021 Mascaro Faculty program applications: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/2021-mcsi-faculty-programs/


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?:
No

A copy of the promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:
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The promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:
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Does the institution have ongoing library support for sustainability research and learning?:
Yes

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

The University of Pittsburgh’s University Library System (ULS) supports Sustainability research through the procurement of subscriptions to Sustainability Journals, funds to cover open-access publication fees, a constant upgrading of Sustainability materials, hosting seminars for First Year Engineering students to search for Sustainability topics, and the creation of library guides for Sustainability classes.

Pitt ULS Sustainability Course & Subject Examples:

1) Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Module in Company Research @ Pitt: https://pitt.libguides.com/companyresearch/CSR
2) Corporate Social Responsibility Resources: https://pitt.libguides.com/csr
3) EcoArt: https://pitt.libguides.com/ecoart
4) Pitt and Community Assistance Resources (A resource list for students seeking housing, health and/or food assistance at the University of Pittsburgh): https://pitt.libguides.com/assistanceresources
5) Sustainable Business and Engineering Research @ Pitt: https://pitt.libguides.com/sustainability
6) Sustainable Housing & Green Building Design: https://pitt.libguides.com/CEE0109sustainablehousing
7) The Politics of Food, Land, and Sustainability: https://pitt.libguides.com/foodpolitics

Pitt’s University Library System: https://www.library.pitt.edu/


Website URL where information about the institution’s support for sustainability research is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Pitt's Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation: https://www.engineering.pitt.edu/MCSI/

Pitt's Center for Sustainable Business: https://www.sustainablebusiness.pitt.edu/

Pitt's Pittsburgh Collaboratory for Water at the University of Pittsburgh: https://www.water.pitt.edu/

Other sustainability-related research centers at the University of Pittsburgh include:

• Center for Analytical Approaches to Social Innovation
• Center for Energy
• Center for Global Climate Change & Research
• Center for Healthy Environments & Communities
• Center for Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure
• Environmental Law Clinic
• Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership
• Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology
• Shale Gas Governance Center
• University Center for Social & Urban Research
• Hill District Community Engagement Center
• Homewood Community Engagement Center

Learn more about Pitt’s sustainability research centers: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/sustainability-research-centers/

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