The University of Birmingham (UoB) and the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP) signed an agreement in January 2024 creating a framework for continued collaboration and investment to grow the strategic partnership between our two institutions. 

The agreement recognises the strong institutional, academic and executive-level relations that have been cultivated over the last decade. 

The partnership framework aims to deepen existing collaborations and develop wider faculty networks to: build cognate research areas; expand access to expertise, facilities and educational exchange; and strengthen strategic aspirations for institutional engagement. 

To this end, the institutions have established a joint Strategic Collaboration Seed Fund to which permanent members of staff at each institution are encouraged to apply.


The UBBI-UNICAMP Seed Fund supports collaborative engagement between UoB and UNICAMP with the following priorities:

Implementation Grants to support and strengthen existing faculty-faculty relationships leading to clearly defined outputs.

Priority will be given to activities that have the potential to:

  1. Progress joint research priorities;
  2. Connect world-leading researchers;
  3. Enhance our institutional research profiles through collaborative publications;
  4. Build productive, impactful relationships with leading academic, scientific, cultural and policy communities in the region;
  5. Evolve into jointly-submitted proposals to external funding agencies for sustained support of collaborative research activities.

Initiation Grants to encourage wider faculty involvement and expand institutional engagement. We invite funding applications from colleagues interested in developing new research relationships. Priority will be given to:

  1. Applicants who can clearly demonstrate that they have established a potential area of collaboration with UoB/UNICAMP counterparts;
  2. Activities with the potential to extend beyond individual links to wider – i.e., ‘research group to research group’ – collaborations;
  3. Projects with the potential for sustained and enlarged collaborative activity.


There are no restrictions on the forms of activity undertaken with UBBI-UNICAMP funding, providing they meet the criteria outlined above.

The fund is available to support planning visits, workshops and exchanges with the partner institution for the purpose of developing the strategic partnership. The fund may also support meetings in third party locations where there is potential to develop and/or showcase collaboration.

Activities may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Academic projects to extend UoB-UNICAMP academic networks and research outputs, joint conferences, workshops, symposia, collaborative experiments and co-authored publications;
  2. Curriculum innovation and development of joint teaching and learning initiatives;
  3. Civic and cultural relationship-building to enhance our status as ‘engaged’ universities;
  4. Trilateral activities that link research projects into wider UoB-UNICAMP strategic regions – including, for example, countries in Africa, Latin America, China, India, and Europe.

Applicants are encouraged to apply for reciprocal visit funding in order to broaden networks and cement engagement.

Applications that can demonstrate potential for relationships to become sustainable beyond the proposed project and initial seed funding term are strongly encouraged, whether through faculty and department commitment or the likelihood of externally leveraged grants and awards

Application Timeline 2024/25

  • Applications open: January 2024
  • Applications close: Monday 20 May 2024
  • Successful awards announced: Monday 1 July 2024
  • Funding available to complete project activity: 1 August 2024 – 31 July 2025

Financial Support

UBBI seed funding will be allocated locally, with UoB paying the travel and accommodation costs of UoB staff travelling to UNICAMP, and the costs of projects occurring at UoB; and UNICAMP paying the travel and accommodation costs of UNICAMP staff travelling to UoB, and the costs of projects occurring at UNICAMP.

UBBI-UNICAMP seed funding will be subject to the travel reimbursement and other relevant financial policies of the institution providing the funding to its faculty or units.

Requests of support for non-standard costs such as research equipment costs or research assistant staffing will need particularly clear justification.

The maximum funding available per project will be up to £15,000 in total, with half coming from each partner.

The maximum funding available per call will be £50,000 in total, with half coming from each partner.

How to apply

Applications must be made using the UBBI-UNICAMP Strategic Collaboration Seed Fund Application Form and provide the following information:

  1. Identified UoB and UNICAMP Principal Investigators.
  2. Purpose and timescale of visit/programme activity.
  3. Anticipated total cost and itemised budget for the proposed activities.
  4. Academic rationale for support:

What is the strategic importance or added academic value of the collaboration for your home department and University?

What are the anticipated shared outcomes and benefits for the collaboration?

Anticipated means of sustaining the collaboration. What funding is available from other sources and what potential is there for future external investment?

  1. Executive Officer of the Unit / Head of College approval. Email confirmation of this support will suffice, and should be saved in PDF format and attached with the application.

Applications should be submitted online using the UBBI-UNICAMP Strategic Collaboration Seed Fund application form. 

Further information

Further information can be found by contacting Mary Elliston, Global Partnerships Manager, at the University of Birmingham (m.e.elliston@bham.ac.uk) or by contacting faepex@unicamp.br and mbrocchi@unicamp.br. at the University of Campinas.

Assessment and reporting

The grant review panels at UoB and UNICAMP will liaise to jointly determine which projects will be funded.

Grant recipients will be asked to provide project report highlighting their visit or activity for which the award was made and will be asked to present at the UBBI Steering Group, and other appropriate forums (e.g., departmental/College presentations) as requested. Grant recipients will later be asked to provide an update two years after the visit to ensure that longer term outcomes of the engagement can be measured that would not have become apparent in the first-year report.