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Announcing the Guidebook for the Engaged University

Universities are uniquely positioned to answer the call of the world's sustainability, environmental and social challenges – if they can support engagement with those challenges. The Beyond the Academy Network has spent the last three years exploring how universities are reforming their systems and structures in ways that promote action-oriented research and practices that respond to society's needs. Our new Guidebook for the Engaged University summarizes our review of these bright spots and also gives the academy a roadmap to this more impactful future.

Download the Guidebook to learn about how universities are adopting:
  • Reforms to tenure and promotion practices
  • Alternative metrics of research impact
  • Innovations in graduate training
  • Best practices in recruiting and retaining engaged scholars
Download Guidebook

Join us in growing the Beyond the Academy movement

Check out the Guidebook FAQ, follow us on Twitter, and share this newsletter with your colleagues or tell them to subscribe on BTA's website. Share bright spots, innovations, and best practices on social media with the hashtag #engageduniversity.


The World is Changing, Academia Must Change with the World

In Inside Higher Ed, BTA member Edgar Virgüez argues that universities must train and mentor scholars in community engagement. "My invitation for university presidents, provosts and senior leaders in the higher education sector is to advance the reforms we need to become engaged scholars—starting with supporting mentorship for engagement."


Graduate Students Argue for Structural Change

Writing in the journal Conservation Science and Practice, graduate students who participated in a 2020 workshop on reforming transdisciplinary education argue for structural change that will create solutions-oriented research opportunities for all graduate students. They write, "To shift academic culture toward valuing applied research, we need opportunities to gain skills for engaging with nonacademic stakeholders and incentives to pursue use-inspired research."

Identity-based Team Science Experiences 

A new program through Earth Systems Science for the Anthropocene at Arizona State University supports cohorts of students from predominantly under-represented groups on team science experiences that center diverse knowledge systems and solutions-oriented goals using just and equitable research approaches. Immersive, Interdisciplinary, Identity-based Team Science Experiences (IIITSEs), with support from the National Science Foundation, will begin recruitment in Fall 2022. For more information, please contact project manager Michele Clark at or visit the website at



  • Virtual lecture on academic employment and retention at U.S. colleges and universities. University of Colorado professor and 2022 Alan T. Waterman award laureate, Daniel Larremore, will present “Trends in U.S. faculty hiring and retention from ten years of data: a study of prestige, diversity and inequality”. The lecture is sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation. Date: September 28, 1-2 p.m. Eastern. Free and open to the public. Registration is required.

Job Opportunities

1. Senior Scientist for Community Participatory Research 

  • Where? Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response, EPA Office of Research and Development
  • Location: Edison Environmental Center in Edison, New Jersey
  • Job description: This high-profile and challenging position will serve as the lead for the new Community-Engaged Research Collaborative for Learning and Excellence (CERCLE), with primary responsibility for leading the establishment and growth of CERCLE, building relationships with local communities and institutions, and overseeing research to address critical environmental challenges faced by local communities. Questions about the position can be directed to Greg Sayles at
2. Professor of the Practice in Natural Resource Finance
  • Where? Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment
  • Position Type: Non tenure-track faculty
  • Job description: “The growth of investment in forestland, water rights, mitigation/conservation banks, sustainable fisheries, and other natural resources has created demand for professionals who combine skills related to natural resource management with skills in financial analysis and investment management. It has also increased the value of finance professionals who have a basic understanding of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concepts. This position seeks to build on Duke’s and NSOE’s strengths in the education and practice of natural resource finance as well as ESG-investment management.”
  • Applications can be submitted here. Questions can be emailed to
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