The University of Strathclyde has been named as a finalist in The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education 2020 Sustainability Awards for its Vertically-Integrated Projects for Sustainable Development (VIP4SD) Programme.

The VIP4SD programme is shortlisted in the campus sustainability research category for its published journal article ‘Using Vertically Integrated Projects to embed research-based education for sustainable development in undergraduate curricula’.

The article shares Strathclyde’s experience of embedding research-based education for sustainable development within the undergraduate curricula through the use of an innovative pedagogy called Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP), which originated at Georgia Institute of Technology.

The VIP4SD programme offers students the opportunity to gain academic credits by working in partnership with their peers from different disciplines and year groups, and with experienced researchers and academics, on ambitious research projects that tackle the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Programme also won the UK and Ireland Green Gown Award for Student Engagement for a large institution in November 2019 and was named as winners in the large institution category of the 2020 International Green Gown Awards at the UN High Level Political Forum in July this year.

Dr Scott Strachan, Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, said: “The Vertically Integrated Projects for Sustainable Development programme offers students the chance to make a difference through useful learning so we are delighted that our efforts are recognised by the AASHE.

“Strathclyde is an innovator in Education for Sustainable Development provision globally and we would encourage any researchers, academics and students here at Strathclyde to get involved with the programme, as well as inspire other universities to adopt this approach to embedding Research-Based Education for Sustainable Development in undergraduate curricula, as part of a national and global effort to advance the SDG agenda.”

Global recognition

The awards provide global recognition to the individuals and organisations leading the higher education sustainability movement. With the help of volunteer judges from the community, the awards programme raises the visibility of high-impact sustainability projects, pioneering research and student leadership, helping to disseminate innovations and inspire continued progress towards environmental, social and economic health.

Winners will be announced and celebrated during an awards ceremony on Thursday 3 December from 7am to 8.30am GMT. The outstanding individuals and institutions recognised as finalists were selected based on overall impact, innovation, stakeholder involvement, clarity and other criteria specific to each award category.

AASHE Executive Director, Meghan Fay Zahniser, said: “The Higher Education sustainability community continues to stay focused on work that contributes toward a thriving, equitable and ecologically healthy world. This is most evident through the entries received for the AASHE Sustainability Awards. I am happy that we can recognise the innovation and leadership demonstrated by this year’s finalists.”

To learn more about AASHE’s Sustainability Awards programs, please visit