Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.01
Liaison Paul Mathisen
Submission Date May 23, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Worcester Polytechnic Institute
AC-10: Support for Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 John Orr
Professor
Liberal Arts & Computer Engineering
"---" 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? :
Yes

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

WPI sponsors an annual Sustainability Project Competition to recognize and encourage student research projects that advance sustainability. Winners are selected in three categories: first year, undergraduate, and graduate. There is a small cash prize available for the winner of each category. There is also a competition for projects completed by first year students participating in the Great Problems Seminar (GPS) program. The vast majority of GPS projects are sustainability themed.


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

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

Similar to the curricular incentives described in AC-7, the WPI Strategic Plan promotes the inclusion of Sustainability topics in research. This aspect was also made clear by the Dean of Engineering at the December, 2016 faculty retreat and in subsequent messages.


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?:
Yes

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

From the criteria for promotion: The scholarship of integration includes the critical evaluation, synthesis, analysis, integration, or interpretation of research or creative work produced by others. It may be disciplinary, interdisciplinary, or multidisciplinary in nature. When disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge is synthesized, interpreted, or connected, this integrative scholarly contribution brings new insight.


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

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

Research and Instruction Librarians work with Great Problems Seminar (GPS) Classes to teach and encourage students to learn about the complexity of sustainability issues.  Our team meets with full classes and also individual project teams to discuss the social science and technical literature related to sustainability.  Our team also meets with every students completing an Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) off campus.  The library’s support for the GPS and IQP is fully integrated into the curriculum and covers many topics related to sustainability. 

The library maintains multiple online guides to promote research and learning related to sustainability.  The one particularly focused on sustainability may be found at http://libguides.wpi.edu/sustainability.  Others related to sustainability are our Environmental Studies and Engineering Guide (http://libguides.wpi.edu/environmental) and our Project Based Research Guide (http://libguides.wpi.edu/c.php?g=334928). The library maintains multiple online guides to promote research and learning related to sustainability.  The one particularly focused on sustainability may be found at http://libguides.wpi.edu/sustainability.  Others related to sustainability are our Environmental Studies and Engineering Guide (http://libguides.wpi.edu/environmental) and our Project Based Research Guide (http://libguides.wpi.edu/1styear).


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