Development & Alumni Relations Office 



RESEARCH AND COLLABORATION - QUEEN'S LINKS AROUND THE WORLDFemale researcher in lab, with back to camera using pipette

02 July 2020

With the rate of internationalisation growing rapidly, universities – including Queen’s – are fostering an increasing number of important research relationships and forming global partnerships across a broad range of subject areas, as can be seen in the worldwide response to the current pandemic.

Queen’s is a driver of innovation and talent based on excellence. We are globally connected and networked with strategic partnerships across the world, helping us to expand our impact on wider society locally, nationally and internationally. We are ranked 16th in the world for international outlook (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019) and are in the top 25 of the most international universities (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018).

Education and research are global by nature. As a member of the prestigious Russell Group, Queen’s already has ties with many top universities in the UK and Ireland. Exchanging ideas and offering intellectual mobility are essential if we are to address the many challenges facing the world. The University is therefore collaborating across disciplines and with outside agencies and global institutions on projects of world significance pushing forward the boundaries of science, training the next generation of innovators, and, ultimately, benefitting all, from the staff and students to the world as a whole.

Long standing partnerships

Our educational partnerships help the next generation of students become world-class scholars and our research partnerships strive to help build a better society. None more so than in China where collaborations include a joint College which was established in partnership with China Medical University (CMU) in Shenyang in 2014.  Find out more.

Queen’s and Southeast University lead the UK-China University Consortium on Engineering Education and Research – the first of its kind to bring together 15 top class universities, six in the UK and nine in China. Find out more.

Between 2013 - April 2019, our academics secured nearly £900k in funding for research engagement with India in addition to funding for 15 projects from the Global Challenge Research Fund for projects that include India-based collaborators.

Top ranked collaborating institutions include the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay; Indian Institute of Science Bangalore and the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. Subject areas covered everything from Chemical Engineering, to Physics and Astronomy and Medicine.

We have also established strong research connections with institutions and researchers in the US. Between 2014 – October 2019, academics secured over £30m in funding for research engagement there, including 7 projects funded by EC-Horizon 2020 with US based collaborators and 44 projects with other funders.

The current institutional engagement with the US includes partnerships with several of the top ranked US universities, such as Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University and Stanford University.

Researchers have been particularly successful under the US-Ireland Research & Development partnership, a unique initiative involving funding agencies in the United States of America, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Since 2014, Queen’s has received over £8m for US-Ireland tripartite projects, with a current research portfolio worth over £6m.

We also have research collaborations with institutions and researchers in other countries, such as South Africa. From 2013-18, academics secured nearly £900k in funding for research engagement and co-authored 232 publications with collaborating researchers from 31 institutions in South Africa.

Top ranked partner institutions here include University of Cape Town, University of the Witwatersrand and University of Stellenbosch.

New opportunities

Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) provide a general framework for future alliances with international institutions. The primary objective is the development of cooperative efforts between Queen’s and the international partner, which will enhance the research interchange between the two institutions and the performance of both.

Currently, the University has over 20 MOUs, including a number in Asia, the Americas and elsewhere around the world:

  • China, Guangzhou Medical University
  • India, Hyderabad Eye Research Foundation, LV Prasad Eye Institute
  • Vietnam, Hanoi University of Public Health
  • Brazil, Universidade Estadual Paulista
  • Canada, University of Regina
  • USA, University of Chicago
  • Australia, University of the Sunshine Coast
  • South Africa, Stellenbosch University
  • Tanzania, University of Dodoma

Research funding

Funding is available from a variety of UK and international sources. Queen’s has been successful in securing funding from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and has a current portfolio of more than 25 ongoing projects across 30 countries. In addition, the University has seeded research workshops and pump-priming pilot projects across over 50 countries.

A priority of the Queen’s GCRF strategy is to provide capacity and capability training and development for academics to engage in international research activities. To fulfil this commitment, the University has developed a Global Research Training Programme (GRTP) to provide support for a selected group of early-career academic staff to lay the groundwork for conducting international research to address global challenges.

Queen’s has also secured awards from the Newton Fund, with a current portfolio of more than 70 projects across 14 of the 17 Newton partner countries.

Dr Trung Duong from The Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology was the winner of the 2017 Newton Prize for his work with Vietnamese partners on a Catastrophe-Tolerant Telecommunications Network.

Successful international partnerships also support student recruitment. Domestic students are afforded the opportunity to travel internationally via exchange initiatives arising out of many partnerships, while students in the partnered institution often get the chance to come to Queen’s. And International partnerships enable staff, students and universities to better understand the culture of other nations, which will also make it easier to introduce Queen’s to new markets and to encourage new cohorts of international students to come to Belfast.

A win, win for all parties involved.

Contact information for Queen’s international research is available online.

For general enquiries about this story, or to submit a graduate news item, please contact Gerry Power, Communications Officer, Development and Alumni Relations Office, Queen’s University Belfast.

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