The University’s research profile and achievements in the area of Sustainability are increasing, as efforts focus on building interdisciplinary and socially relevant research. The University’s Research Plan recognises Sustainability as a key strategic priority encouraging individual, collaborative and pedagogic research in this area.
The University’s Sustainability Strategy ‘Promising Futures’ seeks to increase opportunities for research and research development in the area of Sustainability across University departments and research institutes.
The implementation of the University’s Sustainability Strategy and its research targets have also been supported by funding provided by the European Commission through a Marie Curie Research Fellowship (2009-2011). The overall aim was to undertake evidence based research on the complexity of, and opportunities for, sustainability as an interdisciplinary research activity involving established researchers from across the University faculties.
The Marie Curie Incoming International Fellowship Project - 'Living and Learning for Sustainability' also sought to support action research processes to embed Education for Sustainability across professional courses at the University.
To find out more about this research, please contact Professor Daniella Tilbury (email@example.com).
Research Institutes and Centres
Several research institutes and centres at the University have sustainability as a focus:
The Countryside and Community Research Institute
The Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) is engaged in research, consultancy and policy work on agri-environment schemes, rural economic development, sustainable land use management, organic markets, rural services and communities, and historic sites and landscapes. It directs and collaborates on a variety of projects for agencies such as DEFRA, ESRC, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Irish Heritage Council.
The International Research Institute in Sustainability
The International Research Institute in Sustainability (IRIS) was established in October 2008 to provide new cutting edge research programmes and to strengthen existing research expertise in sustainability within the University. IRIS brings together researchers of international excellence in the area of sustainability and undertakes work for international agencies such as UNESCO Culture, UNESCO DESD, UNESCO Asia-Pacific, IUCN, UNECE and EU.
IRIS has expertise across a range of areas, including: leadership, governance and organisational change; professional practice and education for sustainable development; health and wellbeing and the measurement of progress towards sustainable development.
- IRIS offers annual PhD studentships and opportunities for research students to contribute, through participatory inquiry, critical action research and other innovative methodologies, to real change for sustainability.
- IRIS also convenes a postgraduate sustainability research network Postgraduate Researchers Interested in Sustainablility Matters - (PRISM) which includes members from other UK and international universities.
Pedagogic Research and Scholarship Institute
The Pedagogic Research and Scholarship Institute (PRSI) has sustainability as a priority theme and therefore plays an important role in funding and supporting staff to undertake research into teaching.
The PRSI was launched in 2006 and is engaged in a number of exciting activities across the university promoting research into teaching and learning both within and beyond the university.
Centre for Active Learning
The Centre for Active Learning (CeAL) was a HEFCE-funded Centre for Excellence in Teaching & Learning inititative between 2005 and 2010. It supported pedagogic research on sustainability as part of its work to develop, research and promote innovative active learning based on inquiry and reflection both within the University and across the sector. The centre was instrumental in producing an Essentials of Teaching and Learning Toolkit
Centre for Environmental Change and Quaternary Research
The Centre for Environmental Change and Quaternary Research (CECQR) specialises in reconstructing past climatic and environmental change, and evaluates consequential recent changes in species distribution and phenology.
Research Initiatives within the University
Language and Ecology Research Forum
The Language and Ecology Research Forum is an initiative organized by Dr Arran Stibbe, Course Leader in English Language at the University. It involves an international network of academics engaged in ongoing research in this area as well as the online journal Language & Ecology. The journal publishes papers focused on the analysis of language in social and ecological contexts and in recognition of the embedding of societies within natural ecosystems. Arran is a well known and active academic in the fields of ecolinguistics and Education for Sustainable Development. He has published widely on these issues, including the recent project Soundings in Sustainability Literacy and has been awarded a Green Gown commendation for his innovative work in this area in the English Language curriculum.
Tewkesbury - Living for the Future
Dr Diane Crone and Professor David James have secured a three year funded PhD research project award to investigate the impact of Healthy Towns scheme in the local town of Tewkesbury. The project studentship for Living for the Future is held by Mary Mahoney and involves mixed methods research on the Healthy Towns interventions taking place within the Community. Tewkesbury was one of only nine towns across the country that succeeded in the bidding process to be part of this exciting Government led project. The areas covered in the project will follow the government iniative to develop a host of interventions related to cycling, walking, healthy eating and green spaces. The Healthy Town initiative helps to bring Tewkesbury to the forefront of efforts to tackle health inequality in the region.