As part of their landmark strategic partnership the Vice-Chancellors from the Universities of Birmingham and Nottingham are visiting Brazil this week to further develop and expand their institutions’ significant engagement with the country.

Since opening a joint representative office in Brazil in 2011, both universities have committed to investing £4m over three years to develop mutually beneficial partnerships with leading Brazilian institutions and agencies. These include long-term research collaborations; researcher, staff and student mobility; doctoral training; education initiatives; and business engagement and knowledge transfer. 

In the course of the visit, the Universities will collectively launch a second joint funding call with the São Paulo State Research Council, FAPESP, to support research projects between Brazil and the UK, and the third year of their Brazil Visiting Fellows programme. This scheme provides an opportunity for early-career researchers to spend time at the UK institutions working with leading academics.

The University of Birmingham will also become the first principal British partner of the National Cancer Institute (INCA), as the two institutions sign a Memorandum of Understanding in Rio de Janeiro later this week. The partnership will focus on developing bilateral clinical and research training programmes including PhD scholarships, doctoral and postdoctoral exchange, and visiting fellowships in clinical trials, as well as joint research in cancer and immunology.

University of Birmingham Vice-Chancellor Professor David Eastwood said: ‘We are developing a portfolio of very significant and mutually beneficial partnerships in Brazil across academia, research, government and industry. From corpus linguistics and cancer studies to bio-materials and sports policy, our interests are rich and wide-ranging corresponding to the country’s priorities and ambition. Clearly, this visit will build on the combined substantial engagement of both Universities through strengthening existing relationships and establishing additional collaborative links and initiatives.’  

University of Nottingham Vice-Chancellor Professor David Greenaway said: ‘Nottingham, Birmingham and Brazilian higher education institutes are pioneering new ways to work together to harness the strengths and research expertise to fulfil our collective responsibility to support the development of our societies and most of all, to find ways to improve lives at the level of the individual. These collaborations are vital to how we look after the health of our citizens and how we commit to ensuring quality of life for this generation and generations to come.’

The Birmingham / Nottingham partnership unites two leading, research-intensive UK universities with extensive global reach, a combined annual turnover of over £1bn, a 70,000-strong student body and an annual research income in excess of £300m.