Activities covered by the Strategic Partnership

Activities covered by the Strategic Partnership


Swansea University has an institutional strategic partnership with the Communauté Université Grenoble Alpes  (COMUE) which is a major univeristy and scientific city in the Auvergne Rhone-Alpes region of France. 

Joint Doctoral Degrees

Swansea and Grenoble have developed a framework for joint and collaborative degrees, which they are continually reviewing and refining. They are committed to working together to develop Joint Doctoral Degrees and find funding for them. Over 30 joint and collaborative doctoral degrees have been identified and are being developed to date.

7 new Joint PhD research projects are offered for the academic year 2017/18, in a diverse range of disciplines including – Computational Engineering; Engineering Printing & Coating; Sports and Exercise; International Law and Criminology; Mathematics; Physics and Lattice Gauge Theory.  These jointly funded projects will allow research students to work at both Grenoble and Swansea, and will receive a joint PhD award. For more informtion click here.

The application process to funding for further PhD projects in 2018/19, which will be supported by the Grenoble IDEX fund and Swansea will begin in Autumn 2017.

Student and Staff Exchanges

Student and staff exchanges are encouraged and supported under Erasmus +. In addition, a professional services staff exchange scheme has been developed by Human Resources at Swansea.

Joint Master Degrees

Swansea and Grenoble have worked together over the last couple of years to develop a framework for joint masters programmes and will be piloting a joint masters programme MSc Computer Science: Informatique in September 2017. Students will complete one full year of study in both Grenoble and Swansea providing, mobility, cultural and language exchange opportunities together with networking, collaboration and knowledge transfer exchange. Additional MSc courses have been identified for future expansion of this Joint degree programme.  

Sharing Facilities and Partnership Networks

A number of networking events and visits have taken place to date including numerous visits and exchanges of senior researchers in Medicine, Engineering, Law, Science (in particular Mathematics, Physics, Computer Sciences, Ecology) Social Sciences and Humanities. In addition, two formal networking events at Swansea and Grenoble between social science colleagues were organised by the Research Institute for Applied Social Sciences (RIASS) at Swansea to scope future areas of collaborative research. There have also been numerous visits between professional services staff to identify and share best practice and innovation between the partners.

In addition to monies available under Erasmus + and the SURGE fund to support visits, the Academic Partnerships Directorate is currently issuing a SEED Corn Funding call to support initial visits to explore/ expand the partnership. Closing date for applications 9 June 2017.

Sharing Intelligence, Innovation, Best Practice and Expertise

Scientific and Research funding experts at Grenoble have established a centre of excellence for the development of H2020 research funding applications.  Success rates at Grenoble have more than trebled since the Fostering Science programme was set up.  Close working between colleagues on both campuses and inter-institutional collaboration and peer review of research applications have increased both institutions grant success rate.  


In 2016, the Communauté Université Grenoble Alpes was successful in securing the Project {Université Grenoble Alpes: Innovation University} labelled {Initiative of Excellence} (IDEX). The IDEX is a French national call and the objective for the COMUE through this project is to create a world class innovation university.  The main goals of the project being to: Attract leading scholars and students; Promote scientific and academic excellence; develop ground-breaking research and competitive curricula and Promote a specific identity focused on innovation.

This is excellent news in that Grenoble will have access to a large amount of new resources, some of which are intended to be used to support collaborative actions between Swansea and Grenoble.  

Seven cross disciplinary projects with a budget of 11.9 million euros have been awarded under the IDEX to date. These are as follows:

  • Data science and its impact on our society, culture and information protection - Grenoble Alpes Data Institute
  • Redefinition of urban energy grids to confront climate change - Eco-SESA
  • Structural diversity of sugars, and their exploitation for innovation bio-industries - Glyco@Alpes
  • Investigating crucial contributing factors to optimise health trjectories - LIFE
  • Understanding brain and mind within and mind within an interdisciplinary perspective - NeuroCoG
  • Quantum Engineering - QUEnG
  • Charting climate change within alpine ecosystems - Trajectories