Hållbarhet i forskarutbildningen - Sustainability in research education
How can research education become more sustainable? And how do we progress based on the work now being done nationally to evaluate sustainability in education?
Samtalsledare: Anna Ekberg, Centrum för miljö- och klimatforskning (CEC) och koordinator för forskarskolan ClimBEco och Hållbarhetsforum
Roland Akselsson, professor emeritus Ergonomi och aerosolteknologi, Designvetenskaper LTH; leder "The long view"
Sammanfattat av: Anna Ekberg
Sammanfattning av workshopen
The discussions at this workshop table evolved around the following main topics:
- Placing research topics in a context of the Sustainable Development goals (SDG)
- A central ‘vision and mission’ about sustainability in research education
Below follows a summary of ideas and suggestions put forward.
Placing research topics in a SDG context
Link to basic education and progression of knowledge: Students coming from basic education with a well-developed portfolio of understanding sustainable development will be better equipped to place their research topics in a wide, SDG-oriented context.
Develop contact with alumni and encourage cooperation with non-academic partners: There was experience from participants at the table that knowledge and understanding of the SDGs and sustainable development was successfully achieved through work experience outside the academy.
In the general syllabi subject descriptions: include short description of how an improved knowledge base within the subject area contributes to sustainable development. This could encourage each PhD student to, e.g., include a section in the dissertation summary with reflections on how his/her research project relate to the SDGs. This would also encourage the PhD students to engage in system’s analysis of complex research questions.
The importance of being part of a research environment with a generally allowing attitude towards discussing questions and topics in wide, cross-disciplinary contexts, as well as implementing sustainable choices in the every-day work (travel, material, work environment, etc.). In relation to this, the question was raised whether there is a need for an informal, cross-faculty, peer-to-peer forum where PhD students can exchange experiences and discus sustainability issues. Could this be arranged in the form of a cross-faculty council under the umbrella of the Lund doctoral student union?
Training for teachers and supervisors: to our knowledge, none of the mandatory courses for teachers and supervisors contain any sessions on sustainable development.
A central ‘vision and mission’ about sustainability in research education
The long-term implementation and survival of all suggestions above, is dependent on a clear organizational structure originating from the university lead. This includes structured monitoring and evaluation. “We cannot manage what we can’t measure”.