Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) offers research grants

University of Wisconsin–Madison faculty and academic staff are invited to apply for grants of up to £15,000 (average £10,000) offered through the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) to launch longer-term research collaborations within the WUN Global Challenges.

The WUN consists of 19 research institutions (including UW–Madison) on six continents. This network creates multilateral opportunities for international collaboration in research and graduate education.

WUN-supported research activities focus on Global Challenges, which address issues of worldwide significance in these areas:

  • Adapting to climate change
  • Understanding cultures
  • Global higher education and research
  • Global public health and non-communicable disease

The WUN, through its Research Development Fund (RDF), is offering seed-funding grants of up to £15,000 (average £10,000), from an overall fund of approximately £200,000, for such activities as exploratory research initiatives, targeted workshops, faculty exchanges and the formation of collaborative networks.

Applications that incorporate a research mobility component for early career researchers and postgraduate students are encouraged. The program should engage at least three WUN member universities in at least three countries. The collaboration also may include non-WUN universities and external partners.

Proposals will be assessed according to these criteria:

  • Quality – Programs are of high research quality and impact, innovative, interdisciplinary, and international in scope.
  • Leadership – Programs are led by recognized academics with a demonstrated track record of research excellence and include early career researchers and PhD students.
  • Sustainability – Programs will build longer term international relationships based on genuine commitment by the research partners, demonstrated matching funding and in-kind support by the partner institutions, and the potential to attract external funding.

UW–Madison faculty and staff seeking to apply for a WUN Research Development grant must submit a letter of intent, no more than two pages in length, to the UW–Madison WUN office ( by September 28, 2013. Each letter of Intent must include 1) a description of activities, goals, outcomes; 2) a list of potential international collaborating institutions (including collaborating faculty/researchers if possible); and3)brief bibliography of the lead faculty/researcher (for example: 3 citations related to proposal)

Selected applicants will be invited to submit a full draft proposal to the UW-Madison WUN office (, by October 11, 2013. Here is information on the full proposal format (

The UW–Madison WUN Office, in collaboration with the UW–Madison Steering Committee, will work with finalists to complete their proposals, which must be submitted to WUN by November 1, 2013. Each WUN member may submit up to three proposals.

The WUN Secretariat will notify applicants regarding the status of their proposals in January 2014. Funds will be available soon after. Awarded programs must commence within six months, with allocated funding expended within 12 months.

At UW–Madison, competitively awarded WUN grants have enabled the launch of many new international research collaborations. These grants have supported a variety of activities, including collaborative research, workshops, online resources, courses, summer institutes, and virtual seminars.

Through the WUN framework, UW–Madison faculty, academic staff, and students have shared best practices; advanced research in fields from gender studies to environmental science to higher education policy; strengthened international partnerships; developed online resources; and created innovative educational opportunities (such as virtual seminars, new courses, and a world-class summer research institute).

WUN grants at UW-Madison are made possible with support from the UW­–Madison Division of International Studies, the College of Letters & Science, the Graduate School, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration, and WUN.

Questions about WUN at UW–Madison may be directed to David Joiner, director for global engagement and leadership, Division of International Studies (