Research partnership grants launched by UK and US

A higher education grant competition has been launched as a major collaboration between the United States and United Kingdom. The Global Innovation Initiative plans to strengthen higher education research partnerships between the US, UK and selected countries – Brazil, China, India and Indonesia.

The two governments expect the initiative to provide grant opportunities for university consortia on topics of global significance in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the following four areas: energy, climate change and the environment; agriculture, food security and water; public health and well-being; and urbanisation.

A press release said grants of up to US$250,000 would fund new research activities, faculty and researcher exchanges, joint publications and symposia, and various other multilateral efforts.

Applications for both countries’ competitions are open now, and grant recipients will be announced in early 2014.

One of the initiative’s prime goals is to build multilateral research capacity at higher education institutions in the US, the UK, and the four other countries, acknowledging these nations’ growing contributions to the global knowledge economy and to solving globally important issues.

Two parallel but separate grant competitions will be offered in the UK and the US and an institution from either country will be required to take the lead on the partnership. Partnership proposals with a US lead institution will apply through the competition in that country and those with a UK lead institution will apply through the UK competition.

The initiative is funded by the US Department of State, UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and the British Council, which will also serve as the implementing partner in the UK.

In the US, the Institute of International Education will implement the programme in partnership with the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

“The Global Innovation Initiative will build on the long history of collaboration between the UK and US in higher education, research and development – reflecting our mutual recognition that STEM education and a strong innovation ecosystem are essential elements of economic prosperity, national security, health and welfare, and environmental sustainability,” said Meghann Curtis, US State Department deputy assistant secretary for academic programmes.