Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.80
Liaison Corey Peterson
Submission Date June 2, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Tasmania
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Sustainability Team
Infrastructure Services and 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 sustainability research?:

A brief description of the student sustainability research program:

The University of Tasmania has an ongoing program to encourage students in multiple disciplines to undertake sustainability research, through targeted scholarships for PhD and Masters by Research candidates. The UTAS Higher Degree by Research (HDR) scholarship takes the in the form of a living stipend (total value up to A$120,000 over four years) and fee waivers (total value up to ~A$120,000 over four years). The University awarded scholarships to 197 PhD or Masters by Research candidates in 2021.
In 2021, the University of Tasmania introduced a new, unique HDR scholarship program called the "Remote and Regional Futures" program. Under this program, 37 scholarships were set aside for certain projects, including projects targeting environmental sustainability with positive social and economic outcomes. The total value of the "Remote and Regional Futures" scholarships was $8.8M ($4.4 million for living stipends, plus $4.4 million in fee waivers).
The College of Arts, Law and Education (CALE) supported HDR scholarships for the Institute for Social Change Good Life Initiative research (SDG 3) including three scholarships to support research in educational attainment (SDG 4), 1.5 scholarships for industry co-funded projects in supporting wellbeing for people intellectual disability and best practice service provision for families experiencing violence (SDG 8 and 16), and two scholarships to support UNESCO Chair Communication, Environment and Heritage (SDG 11).
Institute for Social Change has HDR cohort development. The purpose is to bring together students from across disciplines who are working with the Good Life Initiative principles and data. The Tasmania Project data information sessions pitched at postgraduate students (SDGs esp 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 13)
The College of Business and Economics supports stipends for sustainability research, linked to three related initiatives, critically linked to sustainability. These focus on ‘the Good Life’ (a joint initiative with CALE as mentioned above, supporting 2 current HDRs, and 2 more being advertised), ‘the Good Choice’ (a behavioural Lab, linked to two currently advertised HDR projects), and ‘the Good Organisation’, with an additional two stipends linked to that strand of research available from 2023. In addition, COBE supports one Level B and on-half Level C research linked to the Good life, and contributes much in-kind research to:
- Two of the Federal Government’s Hubs associated with the National Environmental Science Program: the Resilience Landscapes Hub, with one of COBE’s Level E’s contributing 0.2 FTE as a leader in the $47m Hub; and the Marine and Coastal Landscapes Hub
- The Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub bid.

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 University of Tasmania has a number of initiatives, financial support and professional development programs to encourage academic staff from multiple disciplines to conduct sustainability research:
(1) Research institutes and centres
The University has 18 research institutes, centres and programs conducting sustainability research. Each of these has multidisciplinary teams working on local, national or global questions about sustainability. Every institute and centre has financial support from UTAS (in the form of in-kind and/or cash co-investment) plus staff have access to professional development activities and relevant fellowships.
University of Tasmania research institutes, centres and programs conducting multidisciplinary sustainability research include:
• Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) – the University’s flagship research institute for marine and Antarctic research, with 190 staff and 185 PhD students at three locations across Tasmania. IMAS is dedicated to enhancing environmental understanding and facilitating thoughtful and sustainable development for the benefit of Australia and the world.
• Australian Antarctic Program Partnership (AAPP) – a partnership of Australia’s leading Antarctic research institutions to improve our understanding of the role of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean within the global climate system and its implications for marine ecosystems. The AAPP was established in July 2019 and is led by the University of Tasmania with core partners the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), CSIRO, and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM). Other partners include Geoscience Australia (GA), the Tasmanian State Government and Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS). Funding of $50 million over ten years for the AAPP is provided by the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources through the Antarctic Science Collaboration Initiative program.
• Australian Centre for Excellence in Antarctic Science (ACEAS), a four-year program of research funded by $25M of Australian Research Council and university contributions. ACEAS has the objective of undertaking world-class collaborative research into the effects of climate change on East Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, spanning ice-ocean-atmosphere-earth-ecosystems and their interactions.
• Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) – a flagship research institute funded in partnership with the Tasmanian Government, dedicated to enabling Tasmanian food producers and processors to accelerate primary sector productivity while maintaining and improving Tasmania’s land and water quality for future generations.
• Adoption and Innovation Hub for Drought Resilience: Tasmania – The Drought Hub commenced in 2021 and will build the capabilities of farmers and rural communities to better prepare for drought, by bringing together researchers, farmers, industry, natural resource managers and traditional owners to co-design relevant and innovative solutions.
• Centre for Renewable Energy and Power Systems (CREPS) – A research group based in the School of Engineering dedicated to advancing research in renewable energy and power engineering in Australia.
(2) Fellowships
Since 2018, the University has been awarded 17 Australian Research Council (ARC) Fellowships focussed on sustainability research (9 Discovery Early Career Researcher Award Fellowships, and 8 Future Fellowships). These ARC Fellows are conducting world-leading research into a range of sustainability issues including marine and estuarine ecology, forestry management, ecosystem function and climate change processes. The University is supporting these ARC Fellows with a total of $4.1M co-investment into their research projects. In addition, UTAS hosts two prestigious ARC Laureate Fellows – five-year grants valued at over $2.5M each with a matched contribution from UTAS – for research into conservation and biodiversity, global change biology and environmentally sustainable engineering.

(3) Professional Development for staff
The University supports the capability of academic staff to conduct sustainability research through ongoing professional development programs. The University’s Colleges collectively run a comprehensive program focused on researcher skills in interdisciplinary collaboration, engagement and impact, grant success and publishing outputs. This program is aimed at academics conducting sustainability research through targeted topics and advertising.
This includes Institute for Social Change development sessions across Colleges (SDGs esp 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 13) to support research leaders in all discipline areas to connect directly with each other to maximise interdisciplinary interactions in sustainability research.

(4) Financial Support and Seed Funding for staff
Seed funding is available to support emerging multidisciplinary research projects on sustainability. Funding is available through the College of Sciences and Engineering Grant Incentive Scheme offers up to $40,000 for seed projects that are aligned with the College’s strategy, which is focused on the Blue & Green Economy and Climate Science. The aim of the program is to stimulate cross-disciplinary collaboration and build research teams for longer-term success.
The College of Arts, Law and Education (CALE) offers development funding support for partnered research up to $30,000 for solving a real world problem and alignment with CALE priorities is a requisite for the funding. There are additional school research support schemes aligned with the research priority of understanding and translating what makes a good life in Tasmania and beyond, which in turn align with the goals of promoting Sustainability Research.

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:

The University of Tasmania's Research Policy (https://www.utas.edu.au/policy/policies/research-and-research-training/4.1-Research-Policy) sets out the principles that guide the design, conduct, management, funding, and communication of research undertaken by University researchers, including research considered for academic promotion. The Research Policy explicitly prioritises multidisciplinary research, stating “The University will support deep disciplinary research and capitalise on the University’s comparative advantage of our people and place by focusing and prioritising multidisciplinary research that meets the pressing needs of the Tasmanian, national and global communities.” (University of Tasmania Research Policy, 4.1)

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

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

The Library provides Learning and Research Librarians who support students and academics to source material on sustainability. There has been a focus on developing the collection and significant purchase of online and print resources in sustainability. This is outlined in the Library guide (https://utas.libguides.com/sustainability)

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

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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