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International Partnership awards announced for 2013-14

This is the fifth round of awards to be made. To date the partnership funds have supported collaborations across the globe in key developed and emerging research economies including; Brazil, China, India, USA, Singapore and South Africa.

Pannrof Ann Caesar, Chair of the Partnership Funds and International Committee (pictured right):

"Since the very first call to the partnership funds we have been impressed with the high quality of institution our staff seek to engage with, and this year was no exception"

For the International Partnership Fund, which was open to applications for collaboration from any country, applications received focussed on four countries; USA, Singapore, India and South Africa, and we were able to make awards to support collaborations with two of South Africa’s leading universities; the University of the Witswatersrand and Stellenbosch University, three of the USA’s leading institutions; Boston University, NIST, and MIT, as well as building on our collaborations with the Nanyang Technological University, currently ranked second in Singapore, and Delhi University in India.

Two awards were made from the China Partnership Fund, both to support collaboration with Shanghai Jiao Tong University, currently China’s sixth leading University.

Four awards were made through the Brazil Partnership Fund which ran for the third time, and was once again funded by Santander. Three of the awards will support collaborations with institutions in the State of Sao Paulo, which is where more than half of all Brazil’s scientific outputs are concentrated. Across the three calls to the Brazil Partnership Fund since 2011, we are building a significant number of collaborations with some of the country’s leading institutions, notably; University of Sao Paulo, UNICAMP, UFRJ, and Embrapa (Brazil’s agricultural research agency).

The partnership funds are intended to pump-prime collaborations that will lead to externally-funded international collaborations, and successful applicants to the funds were required to demonstrate the collaboration’s potential, not only for innovative and creative research, but also the scope for inter- and multi- disciplinary research, the incorporation of partnership-building activities, as well as the potential to develop links with industry.

Professor Tim Jones, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research (Science & Engineering), Knowledge Transfer & Business Engagement:

"The university’s continued support for these international partnership funds highlights the increasing importance of international collaboration to the production of high-quality research. Not only does international collaboration raise the profile of the university’s research, and bring us gains through the sharing of knowledge and resources, it also places us in a stronger position to tackle issues of global relevance."

In the coming year the effectiveness of the partnership funds will be assessed and highlights will be provided in the form of a selection of case studies. Early indications however, illustrate that the funds have encouraged research active staff at Warwick to successfully expand their research into new areas of the world, to share expertise both within Departments and across Faculties, and to secure external funding from both within the UK and overseas. All of these activities contribute to an overall increase in the profile of research at the University of Warwick, and we look forward to showcasing some of the success stories in the coming year, and beyond, as part of the University’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.

Funded projects

The following projects have been awarded funding for up to two years;

International Partnership Fund 2013-14
  • Electronic Structure of Correlated Materials, Professor Geetha Balakrishnan (Physics), Boston University, USA
  • Partnership to establish collaborative research on health system engineering: "Improving Health Service Delivery through System Modeling", Professor Darek Ceglarek (WMG), Boston University, USA
  • Optimal design and uncertainty quantification of graphene meta-materials and applications to photovoltaics, Dr Tim Sullivan (Maths), National Institute of Standards Technology, Colorado, USA
  • Lowering the cost of silicon solar cells by understanding defect interactions, Dr John D. Murphy (WMG), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  • Benchmarking in Global Governance (BIGG), Dr Andre Broome (PAIS), University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Hitting Times and Cover Times for Random Walks on Networks, Dr Agelos Georgakopoulos (Maths), Stellenbosch University, South Africa
  • Neuroscience Collaboration with Singapore: Symposium 2013, Professor Nicholas Dale (Life Sciences), Nanyang Technology University, Singapore
  • Cooperative development of a joint multidisciplinary Complexity Science School, Dr Yulia Timofeeva (Centre for Complexity Science), Nanyang Technology University, Singapore
  • Exploring new directions in the teaching of English to young learners in large classes in India, Dr Richard Smith (Centre for Applied Linguistics), Delhi University, India
Brazil Partnership Fund 2013-14
  • Recovering lost diversity: an archaeogenomic analysis of diversity in archaeological peanuts from Brazil, Dr Robin Allaby (Life Sciences), EMBRAPA Recursos Geneticos e Biotecnologia,
  • Developing a Research & Training Partnership between USP and the University of Warwick, Professor John McCarthy (Life Sciences), Universidade de Sao Paulo, Instituto Carlos Chagas
  • New Antimicrobials for 21st century: exploration of Brazilian biodiversity chemical libraries for discovery of novel inhibitors of bacterial Penicillin Binding Proteins, Dr David Ian Roper (Life Sciences), Laboratorio Nacional de Biociencias, Centro Nacional de Pesquisa em Energia e Materials
  • A Comparative study of the automotive market in Brazil and in the UK: the perception of the consumer and the competitive environment, Professor Qing Wang (WBS), UNICAMP


Brazil Workshop. Electrochemistry towards high performance systems:
The use of nanomaterials workshop hosted by the University of Sao Paulo – funded by the Brazil Partnership Fund.

China Partnership Fund 2013-14
  • Intelligent Signal Processing and Networking for Cognitive Radios, Dr Yunfei Chen (Engineering), Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • Multifunctional polymer nanocomposites for low carbon vehicles, Dr Chaoying Wan (WMG), Shanghai Jiao Tong University


Warwick Polymer Chemistry Group at Fudan University – funded by the China Partnership Fund.

Further information on the international partnership funds is available online.