UK universities’ partnership deepens links with Brazil

Brazil’s brightest and best researchers and postgraduate students are to be encouraged to bring their talent to the UK as part of a groundbreaking new initiative.

The joint scheme from the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham will be announced this week during a Government trade mission, leaving on Monday evening (June 20), led by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and David Willetts, the Minister of State for Universities and Science.

The move is the latest in a partnership between the two universities, which earlier this year announced a new framework for collaboration that will see them work together in a range of mutually-beneficial areas including research, internationalisation, the student experience and business engagement.

Jointly representing the two universities in Brazil will be Pro-Vice-Chancellors Professor Chris Ennew (University of Nottingham) and Professor Malcolm Press (University of Birmingham). Professor Ennew said: “Brazil is home to a range of truly exciting research initiatives; both Nottingham and Birmingham see real opportunities to bring together academic expertise from the UK and Brazil to address some of the most important challenges facing global society.”

Professor Press added: “We’re excited to be joining one of the largest UK government delegations in over two decades, led by the Deputy Prime Minister and involving five ministries. This is an excellent opportunity for us to consolidate further the relationships that we are building on our earlier engagement with Brazil, including our joint mission in May. Our partnership offers something unique including the opportunity to gain a jointly badged PhD from our two universities.”

The new initiative will offer two supported packages for Brazilian academics and postgraduate students who wish to come to the UK to carry out research or receive research training in a range of priority areas, among them energy (with a focus on sustainable energy), food security, globalisation, digital economy and global infection and healthcare.

The Brazil Distinguished Visiting Fellows scheme will offer 20 junior lecturers or postdoctoral researchers currently working in Brazilian universities the opportunity to spend around three months during 2012 working at either The University of Nottingham or The University of Birmingham.

The scheme will aim to promote closer collaboration between leading research groups in Brazil, Nottingham and Birmingham, support the career development of junior Brazilian researchers and enable the Visiting Fellows to obtain an insight into the way in which research is carried out at British universities. It is hoped it will also help to pave the way for future joint Sino-Brazilian research initiatives.

The Brazil Scholarship Scheme will provide 20 full fees scholarships for PhD students to study in the UK for three years. Under the scheme, The Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham will waive their normal tuition fees and research costs, while the Brazilian Government announced this week that it will offer assistance for living costs to students wishing to travel overseas to study.

The new initiative follows a recent joint research-focused mission to Brazil by senior academics from The University of Nottingham and The University of Birmingham.

The visit strengthened existing links and identified new areas for collaboration which have the potential to secure funding from UK, EU and Brazilian sources. The aim is to enhance long-term research collaborations, researcher mobility, doctoral training and interactions with industry in both Brazil and Europe which will deliver research excellence and potential for innovation in both the UK and Brazil.


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