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Edinburgh in Scotland


Competitive funding supports talented researchers and teachers
Europe, the birthplace of the modern university, is our leading source of research collaborations.

In the past three years, our researchers have produced more than 12,000 co-authored publications with academics from European universities and institutions, chiefly in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Denmark and the Netherlands.

Since 2016, we have signed or renewed seven agreements with European university partners, representing a cross-section of the region’s leading universities. Our partners are committed to building and investing in active, productive collaborations.

To date we have committed more than $650,000 in funding – matched by our partners – to support our talented researchers and teachers in joint research projects, early-career mobility awards and collaborative workshops.

Europe is also the most popular destination for our outgoing exchange students and we have super exchange agreements in place with Edinburgh, Utrecht and Copenhagen.

Our partners in Europe

Our partnership agreement with the University of Edinburgh provides joint funding to support collaborative research projects. Five projects are funded each year.

Super Exchange agreement for students is also in place.

Under our partnership agreement with the University of Glasgow, we have completed two rounds of mobility funding, providing up to $5000 for early career researchers to travel and conduct research, and a full round of partnership collaboration awards.

We have two partnership agreements with Utrecht University. Both universities contribute $100,000 per year (over three years) to support a joint funding program that grows research links across a variety of academic fields.

Super Exchange agreement boosts the number of exchange students between the two universities. The five-year agreement facilitates up to 100 students from Sydney studying in Utrecht each year, with a similar number of Dutch students travelling to Sydney.

Under our partnership agreement with the University of Copenhagen, both universities provide up to $100,000 in funding (for a total of three years) to support joint research and other collaborative projects.

These include international consortiums, joint coursework units, multilateral partnerships, conferences and workshops, staff mobility, student exchange, information exchange, research seminars and innovation centres.

We also have a Super Exchange agreement in place for students.

Funding of up to $40,000 is available for joint research projects between the University of Sydney and the University of Geneva. Four projects are selected annually, with encouragement given to multidisciplinary research.

We have strong research links with University College London (UCL), particularly in medicine, and it is one of our top three partners worldwide for joint research publications. Other areas of collaboration include planetary health, geoscience and criminology, and there are plans to establish a long-term partnership between the Charles Perkins Centre and UCL’s Food, Metabolism and Society research domain.

The new Sorbonne University in Paris, established in 2018 by a merger between Paris-Sorbonne University and Pierre et Marie Curie University, is our newest European partner. The two universities will sign a formal agreement, with funding for joint research projects, later in 2019.

Advancing IVF procedures in sheep

Dr Tamara Leahy

Our researchers are working with colleagues at Utrecht University to develop an ovine IVF procedure that produces high-quality sheep embryos.

The project, which has received partnership funding from both universities, extends the work done at Utrecht on bovine IVF. If it is successful, it could unlock commercial opportunities.

“We are trying to better understand the process of fertilisation,” says Dr Tamara Leahy from the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, who is leading the University of Sydney research team.

“We have already developed a new fluorescent assay for the measurement of cholesterol in sperm samples which is easy to use, cost effective and reliable.”

The process has been trialled in Sydney by Associate Professor Bart Gadella from Utrecht’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, and Sydney PhD candidate Naomi Bernecic spent six months at Utrecht to further validate the test.

The research team is working on two joint papers for publication, and has discussed further collaborations with INRA, the French agricultural research institute.

Family ties: inspiring new discoveries

Associate Professor Teresa Davis

The family mealtime, with its intricate manners and rituals, is a source of infinite fascination for Teresa Davis, an Associate Professor in the Discipline of Marketing.

In the Middle Ages, the notion of shared mealtimes was important enough to generate a new word – 'commensal', which means someone who eats at the same table.

The word has survived in Associate Professor Davis’s research project, funded by a Partnership Collaboration Award, which looks at commensality in Edinburgh and Sydney since the 1950s, and its representation through advertising in the popular media.

“Family life happens around the dining table,” she says. “There is a complexity around the rituals of socialisation, and it’s not so much about the food itself as it is about family, social relations and reinforcing familial ties. This is where family members, particularly children, learn manners and how to engage with each other – how to share."

By the time children are teenagers, she says, this process of socialisation is complete, and the children are drifting away to replicate, resist or reverse the dinner table practices of their childhood.

Her partner in the research project is Professor David Marshall from the University of Edinburgh Business School. They hope to publish a paper showing the results in 2019.

Partner perspective

Our collaboration with the University of Sydney has been absolutely fantastic. It has allowed us to build on our previous research into family life and extend the investigation, interact with other projects, extend our research networks and contribute to exciting new cross-disciplinary initiatives.
Professor David Marshall, Professor of Marketing and Consumer Behaviour, University of Edinburgh Business School

Facts & figures

Europe fast facts

  • 7 partners
  • $850,000+ invested in joint research
  • 11,000 co-authored publications since 2016

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