Make a difference at UBC by participating in the SEEDS Sustainability Program. Work with UBC staff to find solutions to societal issues and help advance UBC’s sustainability and wellbeing commitments through an applied research project or interdisciplinary collaboration.  

The SEEDS Sustainability Program creates student-led applied research opportunities that enable students to work with UBC staff, faculty, and community partners to address critical societal issues.  

By participating in a seeds research collaboration, you will

  • Address societal issues and advance UBC’s sustainability ideas, policies, and practices
  • Gain valuable career/professional skills including applied research, project management, communication, networking, and leadership experience
  • Build upon previous SEEDS research to amplify knowledge and action towards critical sustainability challenges
  • Increase your sustainability knowledge, skills, and experience
  • Create positive and meaningful change
  • Gain research publications on the SEEDS Sustainability Program Research Library and UBC Circle Digital Repository

ways to get involved

Curricular Opportunities

Interested in getting credit for an innovative research project? Consider registering for a regularly offered course, directed studies, capstone, thesis or pitch your own idea.  

Option 1: register for a course

Most students join the SEEDS Sustainability Program through a course that’s already offering SEEDS research projects. You can check out the SEEDS Sustainability Library (scroll to the bottom of the homepage) for previous courses we have collaborated with, or talk to a SEEDS staff member for options in your faculty.

Option 2: register for an existing directed studies, capstone, thesis, or other independent study

Most UBC undergraduate and graduate programs have an option to undertake a research project for credit, whether it be as a directed studies, capstone, thesis, or other independent study. By making your study a SEEDS research project, you will be collaborating with UBC staff and/or other community partners faced with a societal challenge or sustainability opportunity, and have the chance to inform UBC sustainability policies, ideas and practices.  

Option 3: Pitch your own applied research idea

Do you have an idea for an applied research project to advance one or more of SEEDS five priority areas, and want to work with campus partners to make it happen? Fill out the SEEDS expression of interest form to see how you can put forward your own proposal, whether for credit or as a volunteer project.

SEEDS Big 5 Research Priorities  

“SEEDS Big 5 Research Priorities” advance knowledge and action on critical societal issues. Each area aligns with many campus operational sustainability and wellbeing commitments, UBC’s Strategic Plan, as well as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

Co-curricular Opportunities

Want to get involved in one of our Interdisciplinary Knowledge Exchange Workshops (IKEWs), or innovative interdisciplinary research Initiatives? Interested in volunteer, co-op or paid SEEDS research opportunities? 

Option 1: get involved in interdisciplinary knowledge exchange workshops (ikews)

Through our Interdisciplinary Knowledge Exchange Workshops, we co-create interdisciplinary research opportunities with UBC undergraduate and graduate students, including those with a diverse range of abilities, cultural, and demographic backgrounds. These opportunities enable students to get involved in applied research to tackle a diversity of interconnected sustainability issues. 

If you are interested in participating in one of our IKEWs, please check out the News & Events page and register. If you would like to be notified of future SEEDS project and work opportunities, IKEWS and other events, please sign up here

Option 2: Join one of our Interdisciplinary Research Initiatives

Together with our partners, SEEDS has co-created four interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder initiatives. Interdisciplinary collaborations help advance UBC’s sustainability, climate, and wellbeing commitments and SEEDS Big 5 Research Priorities. UBC students, faculty and practitioners collaborate in providing expertise and guidance on advancing UBC’s sustainability commitments from urban biodiversity and climate to food security through impactful research and collaborations. Each interdisciplinary collaboration has a Steering Committee, supporting Action Teams and research clusters that utilize the Campus as a Living Laboratory. If you are interested in getting  involved, please check out one of initiatives to learn more:  

option 3: do a seeds project as a volunteer opportunity

Although we encourage students to obtain credit for doing important sustainability research through SEEDS, some individual students or groups of students are interested in taking on SEEDS research in a volunteer capacity. If you are interested in volunteering for one of the listed Current SEEDS Research Opportunities or pitching your own project idea, please find out more here. You can also sign up for one of the opportunities below. 

Option 4: Co-ops and Paid Opportunities

Co-op Opportunities 
If you are registered for a coop and interested in doing it as a SEEDS research project, please check with your co-op and faculty member and then sign up here.

Paid Opportunities
Throughout the year, SEEDS hires student employees, including Work Learn and research assistants for key roles in the program, and from time to time has paid opportunities for students to undertake research. For opportunities, please follow UBC Careers Online postings. 

Some SEEDS projects have been undertaken as Mitacs internships. If you are a graduate student interested in doing an applied sustainability research project on campus in one or more of the five research areas through Mitacs, please confirm eligibility with your program and Mitacs first, and then contact with a proposal of your research, and we can set up a time to explore collaboration.