Nottingham Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West with Tübingen Rector Professor Karla Pollmann

Nottingham and Tübingen strengthen cross-border partnership ties

Friday, 27 January 2023

The Universities of Nottingham and Tübingen have announced their intention to expand their cross-border partnership to cooperate more closely on cutting-edge research to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.

A delegation from Nottingham led by Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West has been in Germany this week for the signing of a strategic partnership agreement with the University of Tübingen, which builds on several years of mutual investment into research, teaching, learning and innovation.

The signing ceremony was led by Professor West and Tübingen’s recently appointed Rector Professor Karla Pollmann, and was attended by senior leaders from both institutions. During the visit, Professor West announced a significant investment by Nottingham into the partnership.

Shearer West
Our research projects, dual masters, joint staff, postdoctoral schemes and studentships are building the foundations of a partnership that will only deepen over time.
Professor Shearer West, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham

She added: "The great complementarity in our respective institutional and research expertise will lead to even greater outcomes. That is why I am also pleased to announce today that the University of Nottingham is investing a further £320,000 into this relationship.”

This investment includes a seed fund of £125k which will be matched by Tübingen to further engage in research collaboration between both institutions.

The investment in this partnership does not begin here. In May 2020 the first investment initiative of this partnership was undertaken in the form of a joint research workshop.

Working together for progress

The workshop challenged academics to explore how they might work collaboratively, bringing their respective and complementary areas of research together to create real-world impact. This ultimately led to identifying several priority themes based on existing connections:

  • Quantum Physics, Gravitation/Gravitational Waves and Mathematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Precision Imagingeg MRI
  • Food security & Agriculture
  • Plant science & Nutrition
  • Humanities & Social sciences

The two universities agreed to a joint funding round of seed funding and co-supervised studentships, with Tübingen generously matching Nottingham’s £30k with a €70k investment.

Benefits for society

Professor West added: “Since investment in the partnership through dedicated resource, our joint researcher outputs have increased by 220 per cent from 2019 to 2021, something that will only continue to grow as a result of our joint seed fund investment in new and innovative projects.”

Though new to her position at the University of Tübingen, Professor Karla Pollmann is equally committed to the success of this strategic partnership and said: “British universities are currently, and will remain, an indispensable pillar of European research. Therefore, it is of great importance for the University of Tübingen to maintain and strengthen our traditionally excellent relations with British academic institutions. This will not only benefit students and researchers at Nottingham and at Tübingen, but also society and economy in Germany and the UK as a whole.”

The partnership will open their second seed fund call early this year and both institutions look forward to supporting the development of this partnership in the years ahead.

Emma Thorne - Head of News
Phone: 0115 846 8092

Notes to editors:

About the University of Nottingham

Ranked 32 in Europe and 16th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.

Nottingham was crowned Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018 – and by the Daily Mail University Guide 2024.

The university is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The university is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.

We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.

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