Vertically Integrated Projects for Sustainable DevelopmentAbout the programme

A unique opportunity for students

The Vertically Integrated Projects for Sustainable Development programme provides a unique opportunity for students to work with academic staff, postgraduate researchers and other students on real-world research projects tackling the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

These research projects are ambitious and long-term. They offer students the opportunity to remain involved throughout their time at University, allowing them to gain academic credit and build expertise in their chosen field of research as they progress through their years of study.

This sustainable research model allows teams to tackle the long-term, multidisciplinary research challenges that underpin these interconnected Global Goals, and deliver research outcomes that can make an impact now and beyond the 2030 target date.

Vertically Integrated Projects for Sustainable Development brings together students from different disciplines, and different years of study to work together in research teams tackling Global Goals. It allows students to use their newfound knowledge and skills to make a positive difference now, while gaining academic credit in the process.

Dr Scott Strachan, Programme Co-Director

Worldwide VIP Consortium

The Vertically Integrated Projects model originated at The Georgia Institute of Technology in 2008 and has now been adopted by numerous institutions worldwide, who make up the International VIP Consortium.

Strathclyde is leading the way in using the VIP model to embed research-based education for sustainable development in its curricula, by aligning VIP with the UN SDGs.

We're challenging our students and academic staff to work together to contribute to the Global Goals. By embedding this into our undergraduate curricula, the programme offers a platform to inspire, educate and mobilise our students to engage proactively with the Global Goals agenda, representing the core of Strathclyde’s commitment to meeting the challenges of sustainable development.

Vertically Integrated Projects logo.

Benefits of VIP

Vertically Integrated Projects for Sustainable Development benefits our students in the following ways. They:

  • create a platform for our undergraduate students to work on challenging projects that make meaningful, long-term solutions to the SDGs
  • build partnerships between staff and students
  • work with students and academics across other degrees and specialisms
  • provide a holistic, institutional approach to engaging the student population in SDG-related research
  • allow students to gain unique, real-world experience that enhances their CVs, learn skills associated with interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary group work, and emerge with an increased awareness of global problems and their role in tackling them, making them more engaged and informed global citizens

Researchers working on project in The Gambia.

Team pyramid concept. Graphic of 5 people standing on 5 steps.

What do we mean by ‘vertically integrated’?

Our projects are vertically integrated because they bring together students from different stages of their degree to work together in research teams. This allows students to participate over a number of years and develop their research potentially from second-year through to Honours and beyond. New students join every year to create a continuous flow of researchers, resourcing the long-term aims and objectives of the projects.

At Strathclyde, the projects are also horizontally integrated. This means they are multidisciplinary, comprising of students and researchers from different degrees and faculties.