The BiRmingham-Illinois Partnership for Discovery, EnGagement and Education (BRIDGE) between the University of Birmingham and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a signature strategic partnership at the heart of two leading global institutions’ international engagement. Hailed by THE as one of the ‘first substantive links between a UK and US institution’, the BRIDGE partnership is unique in its depth and breadth of engagement.
Signed in 2014, the BRIDGE agreement has established a framework for creative knowledge exchange across disciplines through frequent and purposeful collaborations between faculty, staff and students. In the past six years, we have cultivated over 80 faculty-to-faculty links in fields ranging from the humanities to engineering sciences.
Our distinctive BRIDGE Fellowship programme brings together international research teams in the UK and the USA and paves the way to institutionalise faculty links. We have jointly recruited a cohort of high-potential early-career researchers onto tenure-track positions in education, neuroscience, psychology, maternal health and cultural heritage. Fellows work across Birmingham and Illinois on key global challenges and act as a bridge to cultivate broader engagement between transatlantic research teams.
To celebrate the importance of this partnership, Professor Tim Softley, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer at the University of Birmingham, and Professor Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela, Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, invite you to join us for a series of virtual seminars, in which BRIDGE Fellows and academic colleagues will present and highlight the vital research that is taking place through this important initiative.