Funding strengthens UK/Rio research links

The University of Nottingham and University of Birmingham have signed a pump-priming agreement to work with leading research institutions in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro.

The fund will support up to 10 collaborative research projects over two rounds of funding, with £120,000 allocated for 2014/2015 and a further £120,000 allocated for 2015/2016.

The Rio de Janeiro State Funding Agency (FAPERJ) has committed £120,000 to the fund over the next two years, an amount which has been matched by combined funding from the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham. It is FAPERJ’s first agreement with institutions in the UK.

Research can be conducted in any academic discipline, across arts and humanities, health, physical and biological sciences and engineering, to establish new links or strengthen existing relationships. The funding will also support the exchange of researchers a range of activities including facilitating original research and workshop events from the State of Rio de Janeiro and from the UK.

Ultimately, the partners hope to develop their collaboration to enable them to make further joint applications to external funding bodies to support bilateral research.

Professor Hai Sui Yu, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Internationalisation, University of Nottingham, and Professor Malcolm Press, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, University of Birmingham, signed the agreement with FAPERJ’s President, Professor Ruy Marques, at a launch at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London.

Professor Yu said: “This joint pump prime fund aims to nurture and support internationally collaborative research and innovation between leading researchers at the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham and those from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil by helping to dismantle the barriers of working together.

“As Britain’s global university, we very much look forward to the results that this will bring, as we seek to create new knowledge and generate global impact. We are delighted to support our world-leading researchers in this pioneering endeavour between FAPERJ, Nottingham and Birmingham.”

Professor Press added: “Signing this agreement is an important part of our commitment to working with FAPERJ to support research conducted in leading universities and by internationally recognised academics in the State of Rio de Janeiro, in collaboration with colleagues at the Universities of Birmingham and Nottingham.

“We have already established strong links with FAPERJ following several meetings in Brazil and the UK and recognise that we share common values that promote excellence, career development and strong international partnerships.  We look forward to the building on this relationship and building a sustainable partnership for the future.”

This is the latest development in the collaborative relationship between the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham. Since opening a joint representative office in Brazil in 2011, both universities have committed to developing mutually beneficial partnerships with leading Brazilian institutions and agencies. These include long-term research collaborations; researcher, staff and student mobility; doctoral training; education initiatives; and business engagement and knowledge transfer.

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