BRIDGE Seed Fund Application Form

BRIDGE Seed Fund Application Form

BRIDGE Seed Fund Application Guidelines

Background
In March 2014, the University of Birmingham (UoB) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Illinois) formed the BiRmingham-lllinois Partnership for Discovery, EnGagement and Education, known as BRIDGE. This partnership created a framework for continued collaboration and investment to grow a strategic partnership between the two institutions.

The BRIDGE partnership recognizes the breadth and depth of faculty connections that have flourished over the last five years. Engagement currently spans over 70 established faculty-to-faculty links in key academic disciplines.

The BRIDGE framework aims to deepen these existing collaborations and develop wider faculty networks to: build cognate research areas; expand educational exchange opportunities; and strengthen strategic aspirations for institutional engagement.

To this end, the institutions have established a joint BRIDGE Seed Fund to which permanent full-time faculty member at each institution are encouraged to apply.

Criteria
The BRIDGE Project Seed Fund supports collaborative engagement between UoB and Illinois with the following priorities:

  1. Implementation Grants to support and strengthen existing faculty-faculty relationships leading to clearly defined outputs. Priority will be given to activities that have the potential to:
  • Progress joint research priorities;
  • Connect world-leading researchers;
  • Enhance our institutional research profiles through collaborative publications;
  • Build productive, impactful relationships with leading academic, scientific, cultural and policy communities in the region;
  • Evolve into jointly submitted proposals to external funding agencies for sustained support of collaborative research activities.
  1. Initiation Grants to encourage wider faculty involvement and expand institutional engagement. We invite funding applications from colleagues interested in developing new research relationships with counterparts at UoB/Illinois. Priority will be given to:
  • Applicants who can clearly demonstrate that they have established a potential area of collaboration with UoB/Illinois counterparts;
  • Activities with the potential to extend beyond individual links to wider (i.e. research group to research group) collaborations;
  • Projects with the potential for sustained and enlarged collaborative activity.

NOTE: Proposals that have identified funding for sustaining the collaboration beyond BRIDGE Funding for example via the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), NSF, EPSRC or other external funding bodies are particularly encouraged.

Proposals in Social Sciences and Humanities are encouraged.

  1. Teaching and Learning Grants. We also invite funding applications from colleagues interested in developing educational relationships with counterparts at UoB/Illinois in order to enhance student learning. Priority will be given to:
  • Applicants who can clearly demonstrate that they have established a potential area of collaboration with UoB/Illinois counterparts;
  • Projects which will provide distinctive educational opportunities for our students;
  • Projects with the potential for sustained and enlarged collaborative activity.

Guidelines
There are no restrictions on the forms of activity undertaken with BRIDGE funding, provided they meet the criteria outlined above.

The fund is available to support planning visits, workshops and exchanges with the partner institution for the purpose of developing the strategic partnership. The fund may also support meetings in third party locations where there is potential to develop and/or showcase collaboration.

Activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Academic projects to extend UoB-Illinois academic networks and research outputs, joint conferences, workshops, symposia, collaborative experiments and co-authored publications;
  • Curriculum innovation and development of joint teaching and learning initiatives;
  • Partnership development to provide transatlantic mobility and internship opportunities to ensure the distinctiveness of our high-quality student experience;
  • Civic and cultural relationship-building to enhance our status as ‘engaged’ universities;
  • Trilateral activities that link research projects into wider UoB-Illinois strategic regions – including, for example, Brazil, China, India, and Europe.
  • Professional staff exchanges or visits that will further enhance the academic collaboration between the two institutions.

Applicants are encouraged to apply for reciprocal visit funding in order to widen networks and cement engagement.

Applications that can demonstrate potential for relationships to become sustainable beyond the proposed project and initial seed funding term are strongly encouraged, whether through faculty and department commitment or the likelihood of externally-leveraged grants and awards.

BRIDGE seed funding will be allocated locally, with UoB paying the travel and accommodation costs of UoB staff travelling to Illinois, and the costs of projects occurring at UoB; and Illinois paying the travel and accommodation costs of Illinois staff travelling to UoB, and the costs of projects occurring at Illinois.

BRIDGE seed funding will be subject to the travel reimbursement and other relevant financial policies of the institution providing the funding to its faculty or units.

BRIDGE seed funding will not normally support staffing or research equipment costs, though such requests will be considered if a compelling argument is made.

NOTE: Usually the maximum amount of funding available to support Implementation grants will be £10,000 from UoB and $10,000 from Illinois, and for Initiation grants £6,500 from UoB and $6500 from Illinois.

Application Process
Applications must be made using the BRIDGE Seed Fund Application Form and provide the following information:

  1. Identified UoB and Illinois Principal Investigators.
  2. Purpose and timescale of visit/program activity.
  3. Anticipated total cost and itemized budget for the proposed activities.
  4. Academic rationale for support:
    1. What is the strategic importance or added academic value of the collaboration for your home department and University?
    2. What are the anticipated shared outcomes and benefits for the collaboration?
    3. Anticipated means of sustaining the collaboration. What funding is available from other sources and what potential is there for future external investment?
    4. Head of College approval. Email confirmation of this support will suffice and can be downloaded with form or email separately.

BRIDGE Strategic Leads & Contacts

University of Birmingham

 

Tim Softley, M.A. Ph.D.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research & Knowledge Transfer)
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT

Catherine Lemon
International Development Manager
International Relations
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT

Tel: +44 (0) 121-414-7166
Email: c.lemon@bham.ac.uk

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for International Affairs & Global Strategies
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
507 E. Green Street, Suite 401, MC 417
Champaign, IL 61820  USA

Sammer Jones, Ph.D, MBA
Assistant Director for Global Relations
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
507 E. Green Street, Suite 432
Champaign, IL 61820

Tel: +1 217-300-5031 
Email: salehjo1@illinois.edu

The grant review panels at UoB and Illinois will liaise to jointly determine which projects will be funded.

Grant recipients will be asked to write a short report within two weeks of the visit or activity for which the award was made. Grant recipients will also be asked to present at the BRIDGE Steering Committee or Interest Group, and other appropriate forums (e.g. departmental/college presentations) as requested. Grant recipients will later be asked to provide an update one year after the visit to ensure that longer term outcomes of the engagement can be measured that would not have become apparent in the first report

Application Deadline
There will be one call for BRIDGE seed funding per year, with the following closing date: March 22, 2019.