The partnership between Penn State and Monash University in Australia began just over a year ago, and yet it seems as if the two have been working together for much longer.
“It’s a great example of two universities with similar goals and energy figuring out ways to work together,” says Alexandra Persiko, strategic initiatives coordinator in Penn State's Office of Global Programs.
The partnership announced the first joint RFP (request for proposals) last year, and awarded approximately A$460,000 (approximately $317,000 in U.S. currency) across 23 projects. Those projects are ongoing, with final results to be announced over the summer. This round of funding was a general call and funded projects across disciplines and areas of focus.
This year, the Collaboration Development Fund is targeting projects in the intersection of health and the environment, with an increase in offered funds — A$50,000 (approximately $35,000) per project as opposed to the average of A$20,000 (approximately $14,000) for the last round.
“Year one was about deepening the relationship and focusing our efforts,” says Persiko. “Now, we’re ready to take that next step.”
The two universities will continue to identify areas of joint strategic importance and possible large-scale collaborations. Many of Penn State’s institutes are becoming involved in the projects, as well.
In October, visitors from Monash will come to Penn State for five days to hold workshops, meet with University leaders, and get a better feel for the University Park campus. The delegation will include researchers as well as leadership from Monash, showing commitment from all levels of the university.
Interested faculty may submit a proposal at https://www.monash.edu/psu-partnership. Successful proposals will be those that are:
- at the intersection of health and the environment
- demonstrate an immediate potential to be sustainable through external funding sources
- have the potential for significant impact in an emerging research area
- leverage complementary strengths of the two universities
The deadline is June 15.
For more information, contact Alexandra Persiko, strategic initiatives coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.