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Global Engagement

Worldwide Universities Network (WUN)

The Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) was established in 2000 with a mission to be one of the leading international higher education networks, collaborating to accelerate the creation of knowledge, and developing leaders who will be prepared to address the significant challenges and opportunities in a rapidly changing world.

The network combines the resources and intellectual power of its 23 members through the following initiatives:


The WUN has identified four major Global Challenges:

  • Global Higher Education and Research
  • Public Health (Non-Communicable Disease)
  • Responding to Climate Change
  • Understanding Cultures

Each Global Challenge has networks of researchers working on a number of topics and sub-themes. WUN members can also bring in a topic themselves and create a network of WUN researchers. For more information on its existing research projects, please visit the WUN website.

WUN Research and Funding Opportunities

WUN supports a diverse range of research activities across all the disciplines and particularly encourages projects of an interdisciplinary nature. Information on the wide range of current WUN research collaborations can be found on the WUN website.

The WUN helps new research groups get established internationally by providing resources, contacts, and advice. By helping to share talent across the different WUN members, we are able to encourage new research growth that will help address the challenges of tomorrow.

Research Mobility Programme

  • The Research Mobility Programme (RMP) is an opportunity for staff or postgraduate researchers in any academic discipline to visit any Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) international partner. to cultivate research links. All WUN members waive any fees associated with the RMP, which are typically short visits of 2-3 months.
  • The aim of the RMP is to support the development of international networks and long-term research links with WUN partners, exchange expertise and share access to specialized facilities. It also helps emerging scholars build the skills and networks to launch successful careers in a competitive global marketplace. Funds for the RMP come directly from the International Relations Department Budget.
  • Awards are worth up to a maximum of £2,500 and cover economy air travel, visa, accommodation, and subsistence costs.

Research Development Fund

  • The Research Development Fund (RDF) is an annual competitive fund aimed at bringing together researchers to undertake innovative, high quality, sustainable research that addresses the four WUN global challenges.
  • The Research Development Fund for 2018 is currently open with a final deadline for submission on Friday, October 26th, 2017. Each member institution is permitted to lead two proposals per year but can collaborate on as many as desired. If you are interested in leading a proposal effort, please contact Ruth Levenkron. The Office for Global Engagement can help facilitate the proposal process. More information on the RDF process can be found here.
  • Other WUN member institutions are actively seeking collaborators for RDF proposals. Topics are categorized among the Global Challenges and include topics such as online learning, data science in public health, and migration. If you are interested in finding out more information about open opportunities, please contact Ruth Levenkron.

WUN at the University of Rochester

The University of Rochester became a WUN member in November 2011. The University supports the WUN research development fund and WUN’s goal of researcher mobility.

Dean Peter Lennie represents the University of Rochester on the WUN Partnership Board, which determines the direction of the network.

Vice Provost Jane Gatewood serves the WUN Academic Advisory Group, which provides oversight of the policies of the network’s academic portfolio.

Ruth Levenkron, WUN Coordinator, liaises with coordinators at each of the WUN member universities and with University of Rochester researchers to facilitate collaboration.

Professor Robert Clark, Provost and Senior VP for Research at the University of Rochester. He serves as a member of the WUN.

Annual Reports