Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 85.74
Liaison Mike Wilson
Submission Date Dec. 13, 2023

STARS v2.2

University of Victoria
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Claire Irvine
Sustainability Coordinator
Campus Planning and 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:

The University of Victoria offers the Sustainability Scholars Program, a paid internship designed for current graduate students (Masters, PhD) across all disciplines. This program collaborates with community, government, Indigenous, and non-profit partners, allowing students to engage in professional and applied research projects that advance sustainability. The internships, spanning 250 hours from May 1 to August 15, provide students with an opportunity to apply their research skills, collaborate with organizations, and enhance their professional capacity in the field of sustainability. Additionally, the program encourages organizations facing sustainability challenges to become sustainability partners, benefiting from graduate-level applied research skills and gaining access to a diverse pool of talented graduate students. Both scholars and partners need to adhere to specific application deadlines, and interested parties can obtain more information by contacting the Program Manager.

There is also the UVic Climate Solutions Leaders program, which is a Canadian graduate training initiative designed to equip the next generation of climate researchers with transdisciplinary skills. This pioneering program is set to address the critical workforce need in tackling the climate crisis. Supported by substantial grants totaling $1.65 million from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and an additional $1.15 million from UVic, the Coastal Climate Solutions Leaders program is open to master's and Ph.D. students, as well as postdoctoral fellows from all disciplines. This innovative approach underscores UVic's commitment to advancing climate research excellence.

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 Victoria actively encourages sustainability research among academic staff from multiple disciplines. The institution supports faculty through various centers and programs, such as Ocean Networks Canada, Institute for Integrated Energy Systems, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium, Water and Climate Impacts Research Centre, Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, Centre for Forest Biology, Centre for Social and Sustainable Innovation, and Environmental Law Centre. These centers conduct research on climate change, energy systems, climate solutions, climate impacts, and more.

UVic also provides internal research grants to support sustainability research, including a matching grant for large-scale research projects consistent with institutional priorities, travel grants, an equipment repair fund which can be used for environmental monitoring equipment and other research tools, and dedicated support for indigenous research and scholarship, and specialized knowledge mobilization grants (see UVic Internal Grants for details). These internal funding programs have provided UVic faculty more than $5 million in additional research support since 2017, prioritized towards five research priorities, one of which is Climate, Environmental Change, and Sustainability.

Internal Grants Webpage: (https://www.uvic.ca/research-services//funding/internal-grants/index.php)

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, 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 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:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The University of Victoria offers the Sustainability Scholars Program: https://www.uvic.ca/graduatestudies/finances/sustainability-scholars/index.php


UVic's commitments to climate and sustainability are guided by a new Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 2030, which brings all campus portfolios, academics and curriculum, research and innovation, external, Indigenous, international relations, community and government relations, communications, finance and operations together. More information about this plan and UVic's sustainability research can be found at:

The University of Victoria's Strategic Plan, Distinctly UVic, for 2023 forward demonstrates robust support for research through:

Cultivating a Culture of Innovation:
The plan emphasizes creating a culture of courage, trust, and curiosity, fostering an environment that actively supports problem-solving and innovative research endeavors.

Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Focus:
A key goal is to support collaborative approaches to innovation, foster adaptable policies, and strengthen interdisciplinary opportunities, emphasizing the importance of diverse perspectives and partnerships in research.

Embracing Risk-Taking for Impactful Research:
The plan encourages embracing risk-taking in the pursuit of knowledge and impact, signaling a commitment to supporting high-impact and transformative research activities.




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/

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