Learning and Living Sustainably Project
The overall research aim is to collate evidence-based research on the complexity of, and opportunities for, embedding sustainability as an interdisciplinary research activity at the University of Gloucestershire (UoG), and embedding education for sustainability across professional courses at the University level.
The project seeks to develop capacity and expertise so that:
- inter-disciplinary research can be undertaken to inform policy and decisions in the area of Sustainability, and;
- pedagogical research can be undertaken to inform curriculum change and assist with embedding sustainability into the professional courses at the UoG.
The project adopts an action research approach which invites collaborative enquiry, critical reflection and the development of change strategies to improve sustainability research and education.
The research is progressed via the two strands which focus on distinct but related areas of University activity:
Strand 1 focuses on establishing a culture of interdisciplinary collaboration and developing research capacity. Its activities support early career researchers and their supervisors. The project intends to influence the future makers via the establishment of junior researcher networks and professional development opportunities.
Strand 2 investigates how research based activities can serve to enhance the professional capacity of teaching staff in the area of sustainability. It focuses on curriculum change through action research with the ultimate aim of preparing students for addressing sustainability within their professional work.
Learning and Living Sustainably involves established research staff, early career researchers, teaching staff, curriculum advisors as well as teaching and learning support staff within the University of Gloucestershire.
A key component of the project is its engagement with universities in the UK, Australia and Europe which are seeking to progress the sustainability research and/or pedagogical change agenda associated with Education for Sustainability.
Research activities commenced in May 2009 and offered a range of opportunities for staff, students and external stakeholders to engage with, and, inform the project:
Strand 1 activities are centred around the establishment of the Postgraduate Researchers Interested in Sustainability Matters (PRISM) network. PRISM is a network of early career researchers established to support the Learning and Living Sustainably Project. Its initial intention was to provide a communication and learning platform for research students based the University of Gloucestershire. It has since evolved to become a larger network involving MA and PhD students as well as post-doctoral researchers from universities across the UK and overseas. Experienced researchers and research supervisors also form part of the network which seeks to engage with the conceptualisation as well as the applied practice of interdisciplinary research in sustainability. PRISM hosts regular interactive and topical research seminars and communicates through a JISCmail group. It held its first international conference in May 2011.
Visit the PRISM webpages to view a list of activities and outcomes.
Other activities undertaken through this Strand 1 include the establishment of interdisciplinary research themes under the auspices of UoG's International Research Institute in Sustainability (IRIS). These themes include:
Please visit research strands listed above for information relating to the expertise and experience of the research team; current programmes and activities as well as relevant research publications.
In addition to leading PRISM and IRIS, the Fellow supervises 4 PhD studies in the area of change towards sustainability in Higher Education. Interdisciplinary approaches coupled with innovative research methodologies support these doctoral inquiries.
Strand 2 investigates curriculum change with the ultimate aim of preparing students for addressing sustainability within their professional work.
Research activity takes place at a number of levels:
- Strategic - working with senior managers and strategic leads to embed sustainability in the academic frameworks of the University.
- Departmental - working with Heads of Departments and teaching staff to embed sustainability within their course offerings.
- Groups - supporting cross-departmental dialogue and addressing professional development needs of staff through seminars and workshops.
- Individual - offering research support through mentoring.
Please visit University of Gloucestershire Activities for details and outcomes. Also, please see Project Outputs.
In addition, the Fellow engaged in activities with institutions and agencies across the Higher Education sector in the UK, Australia and Europe. The means that the Project is informed by leading research and practice. The external links also serve as valuable communication channels promoting the project ambitions and research outcomes. Please visit Fellow's International Activities and Fellow’s Activities Supporting Universities and Sector Bodies.
The Marie Curie Fellow
Professor Daniella Tilbury became a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellow in 2009 and was funded by the European Commission to lead ‘Learning and Living Sustainably: Building interdisciplinary research capacity and expertise in social and professional responses to sustainability’
Daniella has had a lengthy research career in the area of sustainability with a focus on leadership, learning and institutional change. Her PhD research undertaken at the University of Cambridge was the first to look at institutional development for sustainability within higher education. Since then she has been the recipient of several awards including the Macquarie Innovation Award for Research and served as Founding Director of the Australian Research Institute in Education for Sustainability (ARIES). She is a Fellow of the Salzburg Global Academy on Sustainable Futures and the Leadership Trust.
Daniella serves as Chair of the UN's Global Monitoring and Evaluation Expert's Group which advises on the assessment of global progress during the UN Decade in ESD. In this capacity she has informed the development of UNESCO’s First Global Report in ESD. She led the IUCN-UNESCO Asia Pacific ESD Indicators Project and the UNESCO research into Good Practices in Cultural Diversity and ESD. Daniella is a member of the UNECE Expert Group on ESD Competences.
Daniella has over 100 books and refereed articles and has given keynote addresses in conferences across the globe. Most significantly, she was a keynote speaker at the UN World Conference in ESD (Bonn 2009) as well as UNESCO’s side event at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg 2002). Her early work focused on monitoring and evaluation of sustainability frameworks. She has assessed strategic initiatives for government agencies; conducted participatory evaluations for EU programmes and evaluated field projects in Tanzania, Madagascar, South Africa, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, China, Hungary, Vietnam, Australia, Spain, Tunisia, and Italy.
The University of Gloucestershire
The University of Gloucestershire (UoG) has an institutional commitment to sustainable development. The University has modelled sustainability in its operational, administration and management structures. It is now seeking to invest in and support staff, so that existing research strengths explore a common platform in the area of people learning and engagement in sustainability. It also recognises the importance of embedding sustainability in the curriculum and the lack of pedagogical and research capacity in this area, not only at UoG but also in higher education institutions more widely.