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Consortium Generates International Collaboration at Annual UGPN Meeting

NC State faculty and staff members traveled to Guildford, U.K. last week to participate in the University Global Partnership Network’s annual meeting hosted by the University of Surrey as part of the Office of Global Engagement’s annual faculty global symposium.

NC State has been part of the University Global Partnership Network (UGPN), a growing global consortium with members in the U.S., the U.K., Australia and Brazil since 2011. The consortium includes NC State, the University of Surrey, the University of Wollongong and the University of São Paulo.

During the three-day meeting, participants learned about opportunities for program and research collaboration among the four UGPN member institutions and presented about research activities funded by the consortium’s Research Collaboration Fund. NC State faculty members Sid Thakur and Jon Carr co-led workshops on global health and well-being and entrepreneurship and economic development, respectively. 

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Warwick Arden also attended UGPN meeting, where he spoke about the importance of collaboration between the consortium.

“We strongly value this partnership. We cannot get to where we want to be by ourselves – it really is as simple as that. When we are trying to graduate a student, whether it is an undergraduate or graduate student who is going to become a participant in, if not a leader in, an emerging global knowledge economy – we cannot do that in isolation,” said Provost Arden. “To develop faculty excellence, another top priority, we know we have to open opportunities for our faculty to work with colleagues from around the world both within their discipline and across disciplines. We made a pledge as a part of our strategic plan to globalize the university. This partnership is extraordinarily valuable to us, and it is aligned perfectly with a key part of our strategic plan.”

Through the Research Collaboration Fund, UGPN partners have supported 46 bilateral, trilateral, and quadrilateral research projects to date, facilitating collaborative work in priority areas such as anti-microbial resistance, air pollution, climate change, renewable energy, smart materials, and chronobiology. Since 2011, UGPN partners have co-authored over 400 publications, with 94 publications in 2017 alone.

Following the UGPN meeting, several NC State faculty members and Provost Arden continued on to visit the NC State European Center in Prague, where they also met with NC State’s partner universities and learned more about the continued expansion of the center. The Office of Global Engagement plans to facilitate another global symposium next spring and will be announcing a call for proposals this summer.

The following NC State faculty and staff members participated in the 2018 Global Symposium:

  • Elizabeth Benefield, Institute for Nonprofits
  • Jon Carr, Poole College of Management
  • Richard Clerkin, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • John Gilligan, College of Engineering
  • Amy Halberstadt, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Jodi Hall, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Cathrine Hoyo, College of Sciences
  • Sophia Kathariou, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Henry Lamb, College of Engineering
  • Eric Money, College of Natural Resources
  • Melissa Pasquinelli, College of Textiles
  • Jon Rust, College of Textiles
  • Michael Steer, College of Engineering
  • Andrew Stringer, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Siddhartha Thakur, College of Veterinary Medicine

Learn more about the UGPN and submit a proposal for the Research Collaboration Fund. See what NC State has worked on with UGPN partner universities through our faculty stories.