|Submission Date||May 5, 2020|
University of Victoria
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research
|4.00 / 4.00||
Campus Planning and Sustainability
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 Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) is an interdisciplinary knowledge network, the hub of which is located at the University of Victoria that brings together leading researchers from British Columbia (BC) and around the world to study the impacts of climate change and to develop positive approaches to mitigation and adaptation. PICS is a collaboration between the four major research intensive Universities in BC (UVic, UBC, UNBC, and SFU) and functions to promote sustainable research among students from all partner institutions. To promote this research, PICS offers graduate fellowships, post doctoral fellowships, and an internship program that funds public sector and non-profit organizations to hire students from the four PICS universities to work on climate change research and policy projects around the province.
In 2018, PICS announced the beginning of their new program $1M Theme Partnership Program, in which selected projects that focus on developing climate change solutions for British Columbia and beyond, can be funded up to $250, 000 per year.
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 Institute for Integrated Energy Systems (IESVic) at the University of Victoria is a multi-disciplinary research institute that provides a unique space for faculty and student researchers from the sciences, social sciences, and engineering to collaborate on alternative energy research. The research centre was established in 1989 as a hydrogen and fuel cell research centre, but it has since broadened its focus to include low carbon energy systems and renewable energy, which according to the Institutes research mission statement, is with the "future always in mind, considering what sustainable energy systems should look like, what technology and knowledge are needed to implement them and how these elements might be feasibly developed and distributed.”
The centre provides essential support services to assist with administration, allow members to focus on their research and to enhance their impact through collaboration and wider promotion. In 2019, IESVic celebrated its 30th anniversary, holding its biannual EnVision conference which explores the technical, political, social and economic levels for climate change mitigation.
As of 2019, IESVic houses 22 UVic faculty and post-doc researchers, participating in research to create resilient energy systems that are both environmentally and socially sound. The research is grouped broadly into six categories: systems, renewables, transportation, technology, communities and society. IESVic faculty members are eligible to apply for the IESVic Clean Energy Systems Accelerator Program (IESVic –CESAP), which provides technical advice and services for the development of technologies, processes and services related to “clean tech”. The total program funding is $60 000 to be spent by December 2020.
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 Victoria allows each faculty to determine their own Faculty Evaluation plans and policies, so long as they are in compliance with the Collective Agreement between the University of Victoria Faculty Association and the University of Victoria. Within each of the Faculty Evaluation plans is a section that outlines how to evaluate research activities. Most of these policies take into account the added benefit that interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research provide. The contributions to this type of work by faculty members is taken into consideration during evaluations for promotions, salary increases, or tenure.
For example, the University of Victoria Sciences Faculty Evaluation Policy July1, 2019 – June 30, 2022 section 3.4 (page 9) provides guidelines for the evaluation of research, scholarship and creative activity. The importance of collaboration in research is plainly stated on page 9 and is as follows:
“Also, it is important to assess the contributions of a Member to publications in which colleagues collaborate, either within a discipline or across disciplinary boundaries. The University and Faculty of Science are committed to the principle that there is merit in collaborative and interdisciplinary scholarship, and that there can be a uniquely synergistic character to such work, which must be explained by the Member in their Summary Statement and be considered when making evaluations.”
For further information, see: https://www.uvic.ca/science/assets/docs/FEPolicy.pdf
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 UVic Libraries have a staff of subject-specific librarians with in-depth knowledge on the full range of library services and resources. These individuals provide dedicated research support for students and faculty working on sustainability related research initiatives . Sustainability related subjects include librarians with knowledge in Environmental studies, Gender studies, Indigenous studies, Social Sciences, Law, Public Health and Social Policy, Public Administration, and Civil Engineering.
Website URL where information about the institution’s support for sustainability research is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
The University recognizes the importance of interdisciplinary studies in strategies 2.1, 2.2 and 2.5 of the UVic Strategic Framework. The overarching Strategic Priority encompassing the aforementioned strategies, Advance Research Excellence and Impact, aims to “excel in diverse forms of research and creative activity, innovation and knowledge mobilization that advance human knowledge, improve and enrich lives, tackle global challenges, and promote the sustainability of the planet”
The strategies read:
2.1: “Take the strategic risks and make invests necessary and support more opportunities for collaboration, innovation, partnership and external research funding.”
2.2: “Integrate and align research and education by foster high-quality research and creative activity across all the disciplines, and by taking focused steps to ensure that learning in every program is enriched by the research culture and activities of the university.”
2.5: “Promote more collaboration, partnerships and interdisciplinary approaches on campus and with our external colleagues and partners by increasing support, reducing obstacles and facilitating engagement through our research centres and other entities.”
UVic has a number of interdisciplinary programs which include faculty from a number of departments. A selection of the current interdisciplinary programs that have sustainability-related components include:
• Human dimensions of climate change
• Indigenous nationhood
• Social justice studies
• Cultural, social and political thought
• Social dimensions of health
Full list of interdisciplinary programs: http://www.uvic.ca/interdisciplinary/
More information about UVic's support for sustainability research can be found at:
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