About UPP / Partnership Funding

ROUND TWO – Autumn 2015 and Winter 2016

Request for Proposals

To further its goal of promoting collaboration between higher education institutions in Russia and US, the University Partnership Program (UPP) is conducting a two-stage partnership funding competition for projects proposed jointly by Russian and US colleges and universities. The competition consists of two independent stages:  Contact funding and Linkage funding. The Contact stage provides modest funding for partnering institutions to design more substantial Linkage proposals. Pairs of institutions are welcome to apply for both stages or to apply directly for Linkage funding.

UPP will support projects that promise strong and sustained cooperation with significant impact across academic communities and the higher education sector more broadly.  It is expected that the final projects supported by Linkage funding will help incubate new sustainable academic partnerships between the US and Russia and leverage additional support whenever possible. 

The Round One competition is completed. UPP awarded Contact and Linkage funding to sixteen winning partnership projects.

Stage 1:  Contact Funding

The Contact stage awards higher education institutions up to $2,500 per partnership to facilitate the collaborative development of Linkage funding proposals. Contact funding covers expenses for the establishment of communication channels, conduct of preliminary research or other information-gathering, and organization of meeting(s) between partner institutions. Please note that the only expected output of Contact funding is a carefully developed Linkage funding proposal.

Contact funding proposals are due on October 1st, 2015 by 12:00 p.m. (ET) / 19:00 (MSK). You need to be registered in the UPP database to access the full funding application forms. Click here to register your project. Once your registration has been approved, log in to your UPP account (enter your login and password in the upper right corner of the website) to access the application forms on this page.You need to be registered in the UPP database to access the funding applications.

Request for Proposals: Contact Project FundingContact Application Part 1: Individual ComponentContact Application Part 2: Joint ComponentAttachment: Contact Budget Form

Stage 2:  Linkage Funding

For the Linkage stage, UPP invites pairs of Russian and US higher education institutions to submit jointly-developed proposals for mutually-beneficial projects that build partnerships between institutions in both countries. Linkage applicants are not required to have participated in the preceding Contact funding competition.

Applicants may request a combined total of up to US $41,000 to establish their partnership, with the partner institutions expected to contribute a combined total of at least $5,000 in additional cost-share themselves.  Projects that receive Linkage funding may vary in duration, but the funding period may not exceed twelve months.

Linkage funding proposals are due on January 22, 2016 by 12:00 p.m. (ET) / 20:00 (MSK). You need to be registered in the UPP database to access the full funding application forms. Click here to register your project. Once your registration has been approved, log in to your UPP account (enter your login and password in the upper right corner of the website) to access the application forms on this page.You need to be registered in the UPP database to access the funding applications.

Request for Proposals: Linkage FundingLinkage Application Part 1: Individual ComponentLinkage Application Part 2: Joint ComponentAttachment: Linkage Budget Form

Who is Eligible

  • Any degree-granting higher education institution in Russia or the US that is accredited by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation (for Russian institutions) or an accreditation agency recognized by the US Department of Education (for US institutions) is eligible. This may include higher education institutions other than universities such as community colleges, liberal arts colleges and conservatories.
  • Project proposals must include at least one Russian institution and one US institution. The number of partner institutions submitting the joint proposal can be higher than two if necessary.
  • UPP project funding can only support new partnerships. UPP will not support continued or bridge funding to existing partnerships.
  • Institutions that have not engaged in US-Russia collaborations in the past are more likely to be selected. However, institutions with existing bilateral US-Russia partnerships may still apply as long as the funding sought is for a new partnership in a different academic area.
  • Individual schools and/or departments within the same institution may submit applications for funding, but UPP will typically fund only one project per institution during each funding round.
  • While there are no geographic limits on eligibility within the two countries, regional institutions (e.g. outside of Moscow or St. Petersburg) or projects with a significant regional component are more likely to be selected.
  • Funding is awarded on the institutional rather than individual level. Proposals must include written approval from an appropriate institutional official with legal authorization to enter into contractual obligations on behalf of the institution.
  • Institutions that submitted Contact or Linkage funding proposals to the previous round in 2015 but did not receive funding are eligible to reapply. Institutions that received Linkage funding in the previous round are NOT eligible to reapply for new Linkage funding.

Eligible Types of Partnerships

Proposals that are eligible for UPP funding include (but are not necessarily limited to) the following types of partnerships:

  • International Dual/Double Degree Programs  
    • Study programs collaboratively offered by two or more higher education institutions located in different countries. They typically feature a jointly developed and integrated curriculum and agreed-on credit recognition, and involve students studying at two or more partnering higher education institutions. Upon completion of the program, students receive degree certificates issued separately by each of the institutions involved in the program. Example:  http://www.bard.edu/academics/dualdegree/
  • International Joint Degree Programs
    • Similar to Dual/Double Degree Programs. Students typically study at two or more of the partnering higher education institutions and upon completion, they are awarded a single degree certificate issued and signed jointly by all institutions involved in the program. Example:  http://www.triumemba.org/program/
  • Collaborative Teaching / Joint Courses
  • Faculty Exchanges
    • An agreement between institutions to exchange faculty for the purpose of teaching or research at the partner institution. Guest faculty members can instruct whole courses or components of courses. Example:  http://web.mit.edu/sktech/faculty-research/ 
  • Faculty-led Study Tours
    • Academic courses involving traditional classroom learning and experiential learning in an international setting. Tours provide students and faculty first-hand opportunities to conduct research and increase cultural knowledge in the context of the partner country. Example:  http://ur.umich.edu/1011/Aug15_11/2534-u-m-partership-to
  • Joint Research Projects
  • Resource-sharing Arrangements

The following partnerships types are not eligible for UPP funding

  • Student Exchanges
  • International Service Learning
  • Internship Programs

Eligible Areas of Research

Proposals may cover any academic or professional subject matter, but projects should avoid topics that focus on political activity or other non-academic goals. 

Project Funding Timeline

October 1, 2015:  Contact project proposals due

October 15, 2015:  Contact project finalists are notified

January 22, 2016:  Linkage project proposals due

February 8, 2016:  Linkage project finalists are notified 

For any questions regarding these funding opportunities, please contact UPP staff.