On 6 July the University of Illinois, Stockholm University and KTH met to discuss their strategic cooperation. Centered are the Vice-Chancellors Peter Gudmundsson, KTH, Phyllis Wise, University of Illinois, and Astrid Soderbergh Widding, Stockholm University, together co-workers.
On 6 July the University of Illinois, Stockholm University and KTH met to discuss their strategic cooperation. Centered are the Vice-Chancellors Peter Gudmundsson, KTH, Phyllis Wise, University of Illinois, and Astrid Soderbergh Widding, Stockholm University, together with co-workers.
 

The agreement INSPIRE Alliance, signed with KTH and KI three years ago, made the University of Illinois one of Stockholm University's priority international strategic partners. The agreement is valid for five years and aims to strengthen and develop both student exchanges and research collaborations between universities in Stockholm and the University of Illinois. A further objective of the agreement is to strengthen cooperation and knowledge between the regions where the universities reside.

The results after three years show that a number of research collaborations have been initiated thanks to the agreement and to research funding it has announced.

“Now is the time for follow up and take a step into a second phase of the cooperation, which will include a set of joint research applications”, says Vice-Chancellor Astrid Söderbergh Widding who met with the parties in Stockholm on 6 July.

Broad participation among Departments

The follow up of the agreement within Stockholm University has raised a number of good examples of cooperation impact.

“Not less than half of the Stockholm University departments have in one way or another taken part in the collaboration, which shows that we have achieved to reach a broad range of subjects of cooperation within the framework of the agreement”, says Astrid Söderbergh Widding.

At the Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism, for example, nine research exchanges have been carried out (six outgoing and three incoming), the Department has received a postdoctoral researcher and a master's student has been on exchange at Illinois. The partnership has also resulted in a large number of joint publications and the Department is currently working on a joint application for a future guest professor at Stockholm University.

Exchange among researchers and students

In addition, the Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender studies has developed its cooperation with the University of Illinois by for instance organizing network-based workshops on the subject of cultural heritage in which students from both universities have been involved. In September, the international conference "Heritage of Death: Landscapes, Sentiment and Practice" will be co-arranged in Stockholm.

The agreement has also helped to strengthen existing collaborations at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, where new financing has enabled both researchers and students to expand contacts with colleagues at Illinois. The Department also conducted a successful workshop for PhD students in the autumn of 2013.

New joint projects

Completed research exchanges have also resulted in joint projects — as in the Department of Physical Geography, where meetings with invited researchers from Illinois were developed into a joint field work area.

The Department of Linguistics is a good example of integrated education where Johanna Mesch, researcher at Stockholm University, and Matt Dye, researcher at the University of Illinois, teach sign language. This cooperation has led to a joint research project.