BackgroundIn 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 75 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 members at each institution are encouraged to apply.
Criteria The BRIDGE Project Seed Fund supports collaborative engagement between UoB and Illinois with the following priorities:
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.
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:
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:
BRIDGE Strategic Leads & Contacts
University of Birmingham
Tim Softley, M.A. Ph.D.Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research & Knowledge Transfer)University of BirminghamEdgbastonBirminghamB15 2TT
Catherine LemonInternational Development ManagerInternational RelationsUniversity of BirminghamEdgbastonBirminghamB15 2TT
Tel: +44 (0) 121-414-7166Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela, Ph.D.Vice Provost for International Affairs & Global StrategiesUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign507 E. Green Street, Suite 401, MC 417Champaign, IL 61820 USA
Sammer Jones, Ph.D., MBAAssistant Director for Global RelationsUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign507 E. Green Street, Suite 432Champaign, IL 61820
Tel: +1 217-300-5031 Email: email@example.com
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 DeadlineThere will be one call for BRIDGE seed funding per year, with the following closing date: March 6, 2020.
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