Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 77.18
Liaison Daimon Eklund
Submission Date Oct. 12, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Washington, Seattle
AC-10: Support for Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Claudia Frere-Anderson
UW 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 research in sustainability? :

A brief description of the student research program, including the incentives provided and any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

The student created, funded, and administered Campus Sustainability Fund (CSF) supports projects that often include research elements such as the Green Wall on Gould Hall (Architecture). More information on CSF-supported projects can be found here: https://csf.uw.edu/

The UW Environmental Innovation Challenge brings together interdisciplinary student teams to design and develop a solution to a clean-tech problem and produce both a prototype (proof of concept/computer simulation) and business summary that demonstrates the market opportunity. Teams are judged by Seattle-area industry clean-tech experts, entrepreneurs, and investors on their prototypes (or computer simulations), pitches and business summaries, plus the potential impact of their innovation. The Environmental Innovation Challenge supports ideas that reduce environmental impacts, improve ecological sustainability, or conserve resources, and that can compete in the marketplace.

Does the institution have a program to encourage faculty from multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct research in sustainability topics?:

A brief description of the faculty research program, including the incentives provided and any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

Consideration of sustainability issues is so integral to much of the research that is conducted in the UW College of the Environment that there is not a specific program to promote sustainability research. Instead, the College of the Environment has a strong infrastructure to promote environmental research in general, which encompasses sustainability research. In addition, programs like Community, Environment, and Planning in the College of Built Environments encourage faculty sustainability-focused or -related research.

The Royalty Research Fund (RRF) supports faculty starting new lines of research. More on the RRF can be found here: https://www.washington.edu/research/or/royalty-research-fund-rrf/

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 brief description of the institution’s support for interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research, including any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

In the College of the Environment, promotion and tenure guidelines explicitly give positive recognition to interdisciplinary research, and the guidelines also emphasize that the UW Faculty Code values interdisciplinary research (24-32B) and contributions to diversity (24-32 prologue).
From the College of the Environment guidelines:
The Faculty Code states that each candidate shall include a self-assessment of his or her qualifications for promotion in the file."
From Academic HR:
“The candidate should provide a promotion statement listing and describing his/her scholarly or creative contributions in the record that are likely to be of the most lasting significance.... The candidate is also expected to describe briefly his/her significant teaching and service contributions.”
.... (extra College of the Environment guidelines):
Note that the faculty code highlights research mentorship as part of a research portfolio and also explicitly mentions that interdisciplinary research and contributions to diversity are to be valued. The College values external engagement and recommends candidates include a section on synergistic activities, interdisciplinary contributions and broad impacts. In the College’s guidelines, we have also explicitly put value on external engagement and impact.
The College of the Environment’s guidelines can be accessed online at:
This year, many if not most/all cases of promotion discussed by the College Council included and paid positive attention to issues of interdisciplinary and external engagement/impact.

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

A brief description of the institution’s library support for sustainability research, including any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

The UW Libraries has provided extensive services and support for sustainability research and learning for many years, but increasingly so during the last three. For example, the Libraries has assigned several librarians responsibility for outreach to departments and programs emphasizing sustainability. This outreach includes research, consultation, instruction, and developing collections supporting related research and teaching. In addition to thousands of current, relevant books and tens of thousands of relevant journal articles to which UW researchers have access is the online Environmental Studies in Video collection (http://alexanderstreet.com/products/environmental-studies-video) now in process of being purchased.

An example of the kind of work the librarians assigned to support environmental topics is the current and extensive library guide to resources on the Environment (http://guides.lib.washington.edu/environment). Several others on such related topics as Atmospheric Sciences, Earth and Space Sciences, Fisheries, Forest Resources, Marine Studies, and Oceanography are also available, as are others related to topics touched on in the Earth Charter, such as Human Rights and Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies. (For a full list, see http://guides.lib.washington.edu/subject).

The Libraries also continues to actively pursue and support financially sustainable/Open Access publishing initiatives aimed at making information freely available to all users – another Earth Charter value. A recent relevant example was the Libraries’ role facilitating conversations between College of the Environment researchers and publisher BioOne that encouraged UW faculty members (including prominent ocean scientist Jody Deming) to become involved in the successful and high-profile launch of the new Open Access journal Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene (http://elementascience.org).

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.