Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 76.71
Liaison Gioia Thompson
Submission Date Feb. 6, 2023

STARS v2.2

University of Vermont
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Gioia Thompson
Sustainability Strategist
UVM 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:

Starting in 2016 the Office of Fellowships, Opportunities & Undergraduate Research (FOUR) and the Graduate College began managing the Sustainable Campus Fund’s Innovative Research track. Each receiving funding from the Sustainable Campus Fund to award to innovative sustainability research projects using their existing institutional processes. Awards are available to students in all academic programs. Current and past awards are listed here: https://www.uvm.edu/sustainable-campus-fund/innovative-research

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:

A manifestation of the institution’s long-time support for multidisciplinary sustainability research is the Gund Institute for Environment (https://www.uvm.edu/gund). The Gund Institute for Environment mobilizes scholars and leaders to understand and solve critical environmental issues. They accelerate research and bring scholars and decision-makers together, focusing on environmental issues at the interface of four pressing research themes: climate solutions, health and well-being, sustainable agriculture, and resilient communities. Because global challenges span disciplines, so does Gund. They bring together the right people from across academia, government, business and society to speed up the rate of discovery, develop real-world solutions, and help build a sustainable future.

The Gund Institute is comprised of 150 faculty Fellows and Affiliates from UVM and leading organizations worldwide, and exceptional students and postdoctoral researchers. They are a leader in integrating the traditional disciplines of natural social sciences, business, health, technology, engineering and the humanities.

Gund research themes echo several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This increases opportunities to impact policy and positions researchers to pursue novel and powerful research questions that accelerate solutions for people and the planet.

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:

UVM’s Academic Success Goal #2.2 is to increase interdisciplinary research in areas of distinctive strengths. Full text: https://www.uvm.edu/sites/default/files/Office-of-the-Provost/Academic_Success_Goals.5.6.20.pdf

This establishes such scholarly work as an institutional priority to be recognized in annual performance reviews of faculty and reviews for faculty for promotion and tenure.

The faculty union agreement includes an article on appointments & evaluation for tenure track and tenured faculty (article 14.5: https://www.uvm.edu/sites/default/files/Human-Resource-Services/HRSDocs/LER/FT_CBA_2021-2024.pdf), which states “the University strongly supports collaborative and cross-disciplinary research; however, when published work of joint authorship (or other product of other joint endeavor) is considered, it is the responsibility of the candidate to document their role in the joint effort and of the Department Chairperson to establish that role as clearly as possible and to evaluate the candidate in this joint effort.”

This is reflected in department and college Guidelines. For example, the Department of Biology’s RPT (Review for Promotion and Tenure) Guidelines state “The Department recognizes that many transformative discoveries occur at disciplinary boundaries and that these advances require collaborative research. In accordance with the University’s emphasis in transdisciplinary research the Department acknowledges individual contributions to collaborative projects to be valuable and significant.” The RPT Guidelines of the Rubenstein School for Environment and Natural Resources provide another example: “Because of RSENR’s commitment to graduate education and to interdisciplinary, integrative research, co-authorship is common. Where there is co-authorship, the candidate should explicitly outline his/her contribution to the published work.”

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

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

Sustainability-related research by students, faculty and staff has long been supported by a Library Associate Professor who specializes in environmental information and is the library subject liaison to all areas in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, the Environmental Program, Geography, Anthropology, and Global and Regional Studies.
The library has a comprehensive subject liaison program, and as sustainability-related courses and research permeate the campus more widely, library faculty who are subject specialists in other areas support the needs of their departments and schools and consult with Laurie as needed regarding sustainability-related questions.

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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