Environmental Sustainability

Research in Action

Research in Action uses a Living Lab approach to research real life sustainability problems through collaboration to make a real world impact.

research in action logoThis is an opportunity for students, academic staff, professional services staff and external stakeholders to work together on collaborative, interdisciplinary projects looking at real life sustainability problems within the University or local community – either social, economic or environmental. This approach allows research, education and operations to mix and work effectively together within the university to enhance sustainable development.

Students gain practical experience and undertake real life research that enables students to link theory to practice and gain professional, technical and employability skills. By encouraging collaboration with professional services departments, such as Estates & Campus Services, this helps to break silos and build positive relationships and community across the University.

Previous projects

Politics/International Relations BA students

As part of their 'Climate Change: Ethics, Issues, Justice' module, third year students in the Politics and International Relations did group projects relating to climate change. Topics included; consumption of beef on campus, environmental impact of the Percy Gee building extension construction, food waste in Leicester and Leicester city's greenhouse gas emissions.

The projects aligned to the following Sustainable Development Goals:

James Boyd - Mathematics BSc

James developed a tool to calculate the total carbon absorption by trees on University sites. He completed this project as part of his Business Project module and worked with academics from the Mathematics and Geography department, the Social Impact Team, the Carbon & Energy Manager and the Gardens Manager to make sure his tool was accurate and useful. James won the Research with Impact (Student) Green Gown Award 2019 for this project.

This project aligned to the following Sustainability Development Goals:

Marketing MSc students

Over 100 Marketing MSc students did group research projects based around the research areas given by the Social Impact Team. Groups chose which research area they would like to study and carried out preliminary studies in areas such as plastic waste, gender bias in CSR professions, Fairtrade products and students’ carbon footprints. Afterwards, the groups presented their research to the Social Impact Team and the winning presentation looked at the use of plastic and whether perceptions and engagement change in different socio-cultural backgrounds.

These projects aligned to the following Sustainability Development Goals:

Asha Mistry - Geography BA

Asha’s dissertation aimed to understand how the University of Leicester can influence a shift in student behaviours surrounding single-use plastics. She worked with the Social Impact Team, the Waste Manager and Enva, the University's waste contractor and provided recommendations and practical solutions to influence student behaviours.

This project aligned to the following Sustainability Development Goals:

Bethan Mason - Biological Sciences (Zoology) BSc

Bethan worked with her department, Gardens Team and the Environment Team (now Social Impact Team) to assess the hedgerows over 12 locations for value as part of her dissertation. She found 2 hedgehogs in in 2 locations ad provided recommendations on hedgerow management.

This project aligned to the following Sustainability Development Goal:

Hannah Sellers - Biological Sciences (Zoology) BSc

Hannah’s project assessed whether tree species affected insect diversity and provided recommendations for future planting through the Biodiversity Working Group. She worked her with department, the Environment Team (now Social Impact Team) and the Gardens team. Hannah won the Research with Impact (Student) Green Gown Award 2018 for her project.

This project aligned to the following Sustainability Development Goal:

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