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 The deadline is 17:00 (UK time) 28 February 2024.

The “Birmingham-Illinois Partnership for Discovery, Engagement and Education” (BRIDGE) agreement exists to support and grow collaboration between the University of Birmingham and UIUC. Part of BRIDGE is the annual Seed Fund, established to stimulate wider academic engagement between our two universities.

The BRIDGE Seed Fund is open to all good ideas, but we are particularly interested in the following:

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

We are particularly interested in applications that:

  • Progress joint research priorities;
  • Connect world-leading researchers;
  • Raise our institutional research profiles through collaborative publications;
  • Build relationships with leading academic, scientific, cultural and policy communities in the two regions;
  • Look to develop jointly-submitted proposals to external funding agencies.

Initiation Grants to encourage wider faculty involvement and expand institutional engagement.

We are particularly interested in:

  • Applicants who can clearly demonstrate that they have established a potential area of collaboration with UIUC colleagues;
  • Activities with the potential to extend beyond individual links to wider—i.e. ‘research group to research group’—collaborations;
  • Projects with the potential for sustained and enlarged collaborative activity.

Teaching and Learning Grants.

We also invite funding applications from colleagues interested in developing educational relationships with counterparts at UIUC in order to support student learning. We are particularly interested in:

  • Applicants who can clearly demonstrate that they have established a potential area of collaboration with UIUC colleagues;
  • Projects which will provide distinctive educational opportunities for our students;
  • Projects with the potential for sustained and enlarged collaborative activity.

Proposals that have identified funding for sustaining the collaboration beyond BRIDGE Funding (e.g., UKRI, NSF, NIH, or other external funding bodies) are (of course) particularly encouraged.

For this year, we would like especially to encourage proposals:

  • In Social Sciences and Humanities;
  • That show the intention of leveraging collaborative opportunities with partners from the Global South region in advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

But to repeat: we are primarily interested in good ideas. So while the above areas are encouraged, the Seed Fund is open to all. There are no restrictions on the forms of activity undertaken with BRIDGE funding: it is available to support planning visits, workshops, exchanges etc.; it can support meetings in third party locations where there is potential to develop and/or showcase collaboration; and it can also cover e.g., consumables, if the case for this is clearly made.

Application Process

Please work with your UIUC co-PI to submit the application into the UIUC Special Programs portal and provide the following information in the application form.

Application Deadline

The BRIDGE Seed Fund will close at 5pm (UK time) on Wednesday 28th February.

Further information regarding the BRIDGE Seed Fund including guidelines and application form can be found here: Special Programs | University of Illinois

If you have any queries, then please contact Lindsay Avery (Birmingham Global) - l.c.avery@bham.ac.uk