Sydney strengthens international ties in research and innovation

4 April 2023
Leading international institutions sign agreements with Sydney
New international opportunities are open to Sydney researchers and students as the University expands partnership agreements with the University of Glasgow and the University of California San Diego.

University of Sydney’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Mark Scott AO, visited the two institutions in March, signing university-wide partnership agreements for continued collaboration in research and teaching.

Professor Scott highlighted the importance of strengthening relationships with like-minded universities around the world. He also emphasised transnational research as a vital tool in tackling challenges that cut across national borders.

The University of Sydney and University of Glasgow's joint PhD agreement will see PhD candidates given the opportunity to undertake research and to be supervised by leading researchers across both institutions. This will provide candidates from multiple disciplines with access to a wider range of expertise and resources, allowing them to develop a more comprehensive understanding of their research area.

The joint PhD agreement was signed by the University of Sydney’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Mark Scott AO, and the University of Glasgow’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli on 21 March 2023, during a visit to Glasgow by a delegation from the University of Sydney.

11 people sitting and standing behind a table, including the Vice-Chancellors of the University of Sydney and the University of Glasgow. Documents sit on the table in front of them.

Delegation from the University of Sydney during a visit to Glasgow 

Professor Scott said: “At the University of Sydney we are committed to building strong international partnerships, both now and into the future. Our connections with Glasgow on research and student mobility are long established. This new joint PhD program builds upon those foundations and will provide a great opportunity for our PhD students to develop global connections and to make a significant contribution in important areas of research.”

Professor Muscatelli said: “We have an extensive and extremely productive strategic partnership with the University of Sydney and I am delighted to sign a new agreement with Mark that will make it easier for greater collaboration for research and teaching.

Our universities are already sharing so much best practice in research facilities and professional support services, and the new joint degree PhD agreement will develop our partnership activity even further.”

To support joint PhD students participating in the program, the University of Sydney will provide outbound students with a one-off $5000 scholarship to support their travel and accommodation at the University of Glasgow.

The joint PhD program builds on existing partnerships between the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre and Glasgow’s College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, as well as between the University of Glasgow’s Adam Smith Business School and the University of Sydney Business School, which has spanned research into heart health, biomedical engineering, economic democracy, sustainable development, energy justice and smart cities, and included workshops and seminars in health, engineering, and the humanities.

University of Sydney delegation stand with staff from UC San Diego in front of a large arch-like sculpture, covered in vines with a colourful bird-like head on top

University of Sydney delegation in San Diego

On 30 March the University of Sydney renewed a university-wide agreement with the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) that will provide opportunities for collaboration. The agreement will continue a program of faculty exchange, researcher mobility and short-term programs and visits.

The Vice-Chancellor was joined by Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Emma Johnston and Executive Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor Medicine and Health, Professor Robyn Ward in a visit to UCSD.

“We are delighted to renew this agreement with UCSD,” Professor Emma Johnston said. “It’s through key partnerships like this that the University can tackle the biggest challenges of our time. Through stronger research collaboration we will be able to build on areas of mutual strength, such as climate and sustainability; ultimately leading to more holistic research solutions to these global problems.” UCSD is a priority partner of the University for Sydney in climate and oceanography, with a reputation for their research in these areas. UCSD's Scripps Institution of Oceanography is one of the world's leading centres for research in oceanography, marine biology, climate science and sustainability.

Collaboration will extend to addressing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals through work with UCSD’s Center for Energy Research, the Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation, and the Institute for Global Conflict and Cooperation.

University of Sydney delegation stand in front of an architechturally striking library building with concrete and glass

University of Sydney delegation from left: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Emma Johnston, Chief of Staff Darren Goodsir, Executive Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor Medicine and Health, Professor Robyn Ward and Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Mark Scott.

Since the beginning of the partnership, Sydney and UC San Diego researchers have produced 356 joint publications. Recent collaboration has included mental health and plate tectonics.

The two universities have discussed collaborative opportunities in neuroscience, psychology, medicine and engineering. The partnership is also set to facilitate stronger research collaborations in multidisciplinary studies, in addition to climate, both robotics and the role of the microbiome in human health are potential areas of cooperation. Under each research theme, research centres and research initiatives are set up to address challenges that demand a fresh approach.

The University also hosted six international visits during March from partners including the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Trinity College Dublin, a Polish delegation and Incheon National University from South Korea. A delegation of four of India's most senior climate and energy policy representatives visited on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. A French delegation including Sorbonne University along with the French Embassy and French industry representatives visited the campus at the beginning of April.

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