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Ask GEO: Ciaran Moynihan, Senior Partnership Manager (North and Latin America)

By Sophie Vinter, on 25 January 2017

Ciaran Moynihan, Senior Partnerships Manager (North and Latin America)Ciaran is GEO’s Senior Partnerships Manager for North and Latin America. Here he shares some key updates and opportunities from both regions with us.

Tell us more about your role in GEO and activity in your regions

I work closely with UCL faculties and departments, as well as other Professional Services, to manage and develop partnerships with institutions in North and Latin America. As you can imagine, UCL has a very wide range of activity in both regions, ranging from research collaborations and student exchanges to dual degrees and beyond. Some interesting partnerships I work on would be the Yale UCL Collaborative; an emerging priority partnership with Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; and another emerging partnership with the University of Toronto (to name but a few!)

One challenge I face in my role is around capturing the full breadth of activity that UCL colleagues have underway with partners in North and Latin America – I am always interested to hear about links in the regions which I may not be aware of – so please do get in touch to tell me about your research and education links in both regions. There may be ways I can support you in your endeavours!

Map showing a sample of UCL collaborations in North and Latin America, by metropolitan areaWhat are the UCL Research Catalyst Awards?

The UCL Research Catalyst Awards, sponsored by Santander Universities, have successfully run since 2011. The scheme has enabled more than 40 visits to Latin American universities to support development of research collaboration.

The purpose of the awards is to foster research collaboration between UCL and key partner universities in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. The awards are available to cover travel, accommodation and subsistence costs associated with focused visits to potential research collaborators, and are aimed at achieving a specific outcome that will support future research collaboration.

We have recently extended the deadline for this year’s applications to Monday 13 February 2017 at 10am. If you’d like to apply, find out more on GEO’s website.

Why do you think UCL’s partnership with Santander Universities is so successful?

UCL began its partnership with Santander Universities in 2007 and was one of the very first UK universities to become a member of the Santander Universities network. The partnership provides UCL students and staff with numerous benefits and opportunities, ranging from study abroad experiences, to research travel grants for staff, to Masters scholarships for incoming students from Latin America.

The partnership with Santander Universities is a strong one for UCL – this year marks the ten-year anniversary of the relationship, which has gone from strength to strength. Not only does Santander Universities provide funding to UCL, but we also work closely with them on support for student entrepreneurship and on helping students to gain internships in small and medium enterprises to enable them to be better prepared for global careers and lives.

UCL will shortly sign a new partnership agreement with Santander Universities, renewing our strong relationship through to 2019, so watch this space for updates on opportunities for staff and students!

What are you working on at the moment?

One of my big areas of focus right now is developing a potentially important partnership with the University of Toronto (U of T). UCL already has strong collaborative links with U of T in a range of areas including child health, education, big data and cancer research, to name a few. We also have a large undergraduate student exchange programme with them. I am currently working with UCL faculties and U of T, under the leadership of the Vice-Provost (International), to explore other areas in which we might collaborate together. Most specifically right now, we are organising a joint workshop on ‘cities’ at UCL, to discuss research collaboration in this area.

U of T is a similar institution to UCL – located in a global city, similarly placed in world league tables, research intensive and with strong educational underpinnings for our students. We are excited at UCL with the opportunity this developing partnership presents, to enable us to work together to deliver excellence in research that will potentially have global impact while also supporting our students as global citizens.

What benefits would joining the North and Latin America networks bring to UCL academics?

Both networks essentially act as ‘communities of interest’ for UCL academics working on topics related to the region, with partners in the region or from the region. We hold termly meetings to bring academics together to hear about institutional initiatives in these regions, while also providing a forum for academics to network with each other and discuss their work regarding partners from North and Latin America.

We also utilise the networks to share regular region-specific funding opportunities that may be of interest to academics, and we are planning to run some academic led events over the coming months. In fact, it would be wonderful to hear from UCL academics on themes, topics etc. for possible events which colleagues would like to see run via the networks!

Contact Ciaran on:

+44 (0)20 3108 7777 / internal 57777

Yale UCL Collaboration Development Fund – Award Winners

By Kerry Milton, on 1 July 2015

UCL launched the Yale UCL Collaboration Development Fund in April 2015 in order to foster research and teaching collaboration between UCL and Yale as part of the development of the Yale UCL Collaborative.

UCL received a large number of applications to the Fund from across all Faculties, with a very high standard noted by the UCL Selection Panel, making the decision making process very difficult.

Five awards have been made as follows:

UCL Recipient
UCL Department
Collaborative Project Overview
Professor Kwang-Leong Choy Institute for Materials Science To establish a close collaboration with the Yale Dept of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science through joint seminars, ‘pathways and roadmapping’ for collaboration, creation of a Network in materials science and joint funding bids.
Dr Amanda Greene Department of Philosophy To establish a multi-year multi-disciplinary research collaboration with the Yale Dept of Philosophy, Dept of Political Science and Law on the topic of ‘Political Reasoning and the Discourse of Rights.’
Dr Marc Lipman Division of Medicine To build on existing links with Yale through a two-day collaborative academic workshop in areas related to Tuberculosis (TB) with a wide range of outcomes and impact predicted.
Dr Norman Williams Division of Surgery and Interventional Science To establish strong academic links with Yale General Medicine in the area of data sharing and clinical trials.
Dr Parama Chaudhury, Dr Cloda Jenkins and Dr Christian Spielmann Department of Economics To establish a collaboration with the Yale Dept of Economics around teaching materials and methods, in order to encourage teaching excellence in both departments.

UCL recipients will work with their Yale collaborator over the 2015-16 academic to progress their project, with each funding recipient planning to build their links into longer term collaboration.

Dame Nicola Brewer, Vice-Provost (International) and Chair of the Yale UCL Collaborative – UCL Steering Committee said of the Fund, “The Yale UCL Collaborative is an important partnership for UCL, which began initially as a collaboration in biomedicine in 2009. Over the past year UCL and Yale have initiated a broadening of the Collaborative which now seeks to extend collaboration into Arts and Humanities, Social and Historical Sciences and Laws amongst other areas. The high number and exceptional standards of applications for funding which were received from each Faculty across UCL is very encouraging for the Collaborative and underpins the broadening nature of and academic interest in the partnership.”

Yale UCL Collaborative Poetry Competition announces winners for 2014

By Kerry Milton, on 22 January 2015

The winners of the Yale UCL Collaborative Medical and Engineering Students’ Poetry Competition 2014 have been announced. Over 121 poems were submitted for judging this year, making it one of the largest number of entries the competition has received.

First prize was jointly awarded to two UCL students – Emily Van Blankenstein (UCL Medicine) for her poem entitled ‘Morning’ and Nicholas Taylor (UCL Civil Engineering) for his poem entitled ‘Cliffs of Moher.’ Joint second prize was awarded to Hana Tsuruhara (UCL Medicine), Antonio Seccomandi (UCL Engineering) and Jacob Izenberg (Yale Medicine).

Download a PDF of all the winning entries

Yale UCL Collaborative Poetry Competition 2014 - Emily Van Blankenstein

Of her win, Emily said, “It’s easy to let medicine dominate your identity – it felt almost rebellious to submit something with no reference to hospitals, patients, scars. Having the chance to express the side of me the hospital doesn’t see was an unexpected joy.”

The judging took place by video conference between staff at UCL and at Yale and this year included Professor John Martin (Co-Director of Yale UCL Collaborative (Biomedicine) and UCL Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine), Professor Timothy Mathews (UCL Professor of French and Comparative Criticism), Professor Thomas Duffy (Professor Emeritus and Professor of Medicine), Mr Marco Federighi (UCL Sub-Dean and Faculty Tutor in Engineering Sciences) and Professor Barry Zaret (Yale Professor Emeritus and Senior Research Scientist in Medicine and Professor of Diagnostic Radiology). The judges observed that the standard of entries was the highest seen, with students willing to expose deep emotions within their poetry.

The Yale UCL Students’ Poetry Competition was launched in February 2011 by Professor John Martin using funds donated by a patient. The aim of the competition is to stimulate creativity and expression amongst students in both medical and engineering schools, and to find through the use of poetry, the commonality of experience amongst students.

Yale UCL Collaborative Poetry Competition 2014 - Nicholas Taylor

Professor Martin, who has long been an advocate of the importance of the humanities as part of medical education, hoped the competition could help doctors to understand they have both a scientific and a human function in relation to their patients, as well as being able to cope with the personal pains associated with dealing with patients.

Over 450 poems have been submitted for judging over the course of the last five years of the competition, written on a huge range of topics and drawing inspiration both from classical and modern forms. Many who decide to enter the competition are not keen amateur poets; rather, they are students who have been stimulated for the first time by the competition to submit an original piece of work.

It is hoped that a small volume of poetry containing the best poems from the competitions will be published in the coming months.

Article by Sophie Constantinou, UCL Medicine and this year’s competition organiser