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University Global Partnership Network Research Collaboration Fund

2024 Call for Proposals

The UGPN exists to create a foundation for international collaboration enabling academics and students from world-leading universities to work together on issues of global importance. Its members are North Carolina State University (NC State), the Universidade de São Paulo (USP) and the University of Surrey (UOS). The RCF supports international activities leading to high-quality research collaborations between UGPN partner institutions.

The RCF supports international activities leading to high-quality research collaborations between UGPN partner institutions.  For the RCF 2024 call, the network particularly welcomes proposals which:

  • Research Areas to be Announced
  • Are multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary across STEM/Social Sciences/Humanities

Funding of up to US$10,000 (or the approximate £ or R$ equivalent) per participating institution in each successful proposal will be made available for travel, subsistence, consumables related to the project and the dissemination of results. Projects run from September 30th, 2024 to July 1st, 2025.

For further information and to make an application, please visit the members area of the UGPN website.


For queries, please contact us at


  • Call for project proposals: March 1, 2024
  • Submission deadline: June 24, 2024


Please submit one single joint proposal (with a budget up to $20k, 10k each) outlining in detail what that money would be used for. 

Please view the evaluation criteria below:

Proposals that meet the eligibility requirements will be reviewed and assessed by internal review panels at each of the three universities. A joint committee consisting of representatives from all UGPN partners will make the final decision for awards. Proposals will be assessed with reference to the following criteria:

  1. Relevance: degree to which the project addresses a globally important challenge and demonstrates innovative, interdisciplinary and sustainable collaboration among UGPN partners;
  2. Proposal Content: clearly articulates measurable goals, objectives and activities that are feasible (evidenced by a reasonable and justified budget) and align with the purpose of the RCF;
  3. Impact/Sustainability: focus on achievable results that can lead to high impact outcomes and the potential to leverage future funding;
  4. Research Team: consideration of the involvement of a diverse team of appropriately qualified researchers from at least two UGPN partners (diversity in terms of: multidisciplinary, gender, skills, and career profile (PhD, ECR, MCR, etc)

In making their decisions, the joint selection panel will seek to support a representative variety of research topics. Proposals that include visiting staff engaging in postgraduate programs/research areas are strongly encouraged.

The budget template (downloadable within the application) should make it clear that you need to offer a breakdown of the budget per partner involved. You can apply for up to $10,000 per partner involved. Each partner handles the budget locally, so you will need to set up budget codes / make arrangements with your finance team accordingly. There is no ‘shared’ fund pot. Each partner has its own pot of up to $10,000 administered locally.

CVs are only needed for lead PI from each partner institution.

Each project has a PI named for each institution. The application form also allows for additional collaborators (these are optional).

Your Faculty Dean should be signing the letter of support (from your institution).

Yes, you will need one letter from each institution signed by your Faculty Dean.

The letter of support needs to identify the importance of the research in light of your College’s interests, your professional development and the connections it will foster with your collaborator(s) at the other UGPN partner(s). Justification of why the UGPN network offers the best avenue for the research would be critical as well. Finally, there is interest in the extent to which it will lead to larger grants and publications as evidence of the return on investment.

Funded Proposals

Melis Duyar (UoS) and Joel Pawlak (NC State, College of Natural Resources)

  • “Converting Textile Microfibres to Carbon Nanomaterials to Prevent Water Pollution from Laundering”
  • $10,000.00 fund awarded by NC State

Carlos Hotta (USP) and Colleen Doherty (NC State, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences)

  • “Acquired Thermotolerance and Heat Stress Memory in Plants”
  • $10,000.00 awarded by NC State

Matteo Barberis (UoS) and Nicolas Buchler (NC State, College of Veterinary Medicine)

  • “Improving Metabolic Product Yield by Decoding the Coupling between Metabolic and Cell Cycle Oscillations in Bakers’ Yeast in Industrial Bioreactors”
  • $9,544.00 awarded by NC State

Bethany Hoye (UoW), Daniel Horton (UoS) and Aram Mikaelyan (NC State, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences)

  • “Incorporation and Maintenance of Carrion Microorganisms in Blowflies”
  • $9,615.70 awarded by NC State

Liang Cui (UoS), Wanniarachchige Gnamani Pabasara Kumari (UoW), and Mohammed Gabr (NC State, College of Engineering)

  • “Synergistic Hybrid Marine Renewable Energy Harvest Systems”
  • $10,000.00 awarded by NC State

Thomas Astell-Burt (UoW), Birgitta Gatersleben (UoS) and Aaron Hipp (NC State, College of Natural Resources)

  • “Less Netflix, More Nature! Unlocking the Potential of Green Social Prescriptions to Reduce Health Inequity and Strengthen Environmental Sustainability”
  • $10,000.00 awarded by NC State

Catherine Barbour (UoS, USP)

  • “Women’s (Im)Mobility in Times of Crisis”
  • $20,000.00 awarded by University of Surrey and Universidade de São Paulo
  • Production and validation of a bovine lung-on-a-chip to study bovine respiratory diseases (NC State and University of Surrey)
    • NC State lead – Geof Smith, Professor, Department of Population Health and Pathobiology
  • 2D quantum materials for clean energy harvesting (NC State, University of Wollongong and University of Sao Paulo)
    • NC State lead – Divine Kumah, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics
  • Monty Goes Down Under: Adapting a Game-Based Learning Environment for International Student Collaboration (NC State and University of Wollongong)
    • NC State lead – John Nietfeld, Professor, Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences
  • Understanding the Emotional Impact of COVID-19 Coverage in Popular Media, and its Implications? (NC State, University of Surrey, University of Wollongong, and University of Sao Paulo)
    • NC State lead – Munindar Singh, Professor, Department of Computer Science
  • Development of a machine-learning framework to identify risk factors for COVID-19 infection in swine caretakers and estimate the chances of new COVID-19 waves. (NC State and University of Sao Paulo)
    • NC State lead – Monique Pairis-Garcia, Associate Professor, Department of Population Health and Pathobiology