Vice Chancellor Prof Paul Boyle (fifth from left) and Prof Judith Lamie (right end of row) with senior figures from Université Grenoble Alpes

Vice Chancellor Prof Paul Boyle (fifth from left) and Prof Judith Lamie (right end of row) with senior figures from Université Grenoble Alpes 

Swansea’s European links and research across the breadth of the institution will be strengthened when researchers working in Swansea and France meet in July, as part of a flourishing partnership with Université Grenoble Alpes (UGA).

UGA is one of France’s leading universities and one of only a dozen French university sites that carry the "Initiative d'excellence" label.

The announcement of the July research conference follows a recent visit to the Grenoble campus by Swansea Vice Chancellor Professor Paul Boyle and Pro Vice Chancellor for International Engagement Professor Judith Lamie.

The Swansea-Grenoble Institutional Strategic Partnership was established in 2013 between Swansea and what was then Université Joseph Fourier as a joint research initiative in nanoscience, energy and ageing.

It has now broadened out into a wider relationship with Université Grenoble Alpes, which was formed when three Grenoble universities merged in 2016. It is a unique venture between a UK university and a French university.

Learn about Université Grenoble Alpes

Benefits that the partnership has already delivered include:

  • Joint doctoral degrees – over forty have been funded by the partnership across medicine, engineering, science, social sciences and humanities. The student spends half of their time at each university and receives a doctorate from Swansea and from Grenoble.
  • Joint research – over seventy co-authored research papers between Swansea and UGA colleagues have been published, and joint bids have led to £1.8mn of research funding being awarded.
  • Joint teaching - Masters programmes in Computer Science/Informatique and a new one in Translation are now available
  • Student exchanges allowing students from each institution to spend time at the other - shorter-term options through summer or winter schools and virtual exchanges are also currently being considered
  • Staff exchanges - teaching, research and administrative staff from the two universities have been on exchange visits and shared best practice; Swansea academics have benefited from the Grenoble FOSTERING Science programme to boost their chances of obtaining EU research funding.

The July conference will be another concrete benefit of the growing partnership.

Currently there are about 20 postgraduate research students on the joint PhD programme, half based in Swansea and half in Grenoble. The conference will be a chance for them, their supervisory teams and other stakeholders, to meet in person, discuss possible collaborations and identify further opportunities for early career researchers.

The event will take place in Swansea on 11-13 July.

The programme will include scientific presentations by students and supervisors on joint projects, training for researchers on areas such as how to present their findings and prepare for their oral examination, ideas on applying for joint funding, and opportunities for them to get to know each other better and build important relationships.

The overall aim is to give a further boost to the joint Swansea-Grenoble research programme, leading to new research projects and funding bids.

Professor Yassine Lakhnech, president of Université Grenoble Alpes, said:

“It was a real honour and a great pleasure to welcome the delegation from the University of Swansea to Grenoble. It was the occasion to have fruitful discussions about our current and upcoming priority actions, in line with our strategies, and a framework of future actions has been defined.

I look forward to working together towards our common goals such as funding opportunities, more intense joint research and joint teaching projects.”

Professor Paul Boyle, Vice Chancellor of Swansea University, said:

“Swansea University’s strategic partnership with Université Grenoble Alpes (UGA) is an excellent example of the power of cross-institutional collaboration. Over time, it has been strengthened by our mutual ambition to increase collaborative research across the breadth of our institutions, support PhD students and foster stronger connections across Europe and beyond.

Following two years of virtual meetings, we were delighted to visit our UGA colleagues in person in March, which enabled us not only to reconnect, but also to refocus upon the future collaborative activity that will enhance the ability of both institutions to realise our ambitious strategic aims.”

Professor Judith Lamie, Pro Vice Chancellor at Swansea University, said:

“Our vision and purpose puts people at the heart of delivering on our future aims at Swansea University and getting together with our partners in Université Grenoble Alpes (UGA) was an ideal way to demonstrate this in practice.

Meeting together to focus on our international ambitions and commitments strengthened this very important global partnership and in turn will improve our global reputation. I look forward to being part of shaping and delivering on our strategic partnership with UGA”.

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