Worldwide Universities Network (WUN)

The University of Massachusetts Amherst has been an active member of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) since 2015. The WUN is a global higher education and research network of 23 universities engaged in 88 active research initiatives, and involving more than 2,000 researchers and students on a diverse range of collaborative projects which address some of the world’s most urgent challenges. WUN supports collaborative research that is innovative and makes a difference, provides opportunities for established and emerging talent, attracts resources to sustain its world-class teams, and creates access and advantage for its members. 

WUN is strategically focused on four Global Challenge Areas: Responding to Climate Change, Understanding Cultures, Public Health: Non-Communicable Diseases, and Global Higher Education and Research. In addition, many WUN projects aim to address cross-cutting themes such as Big Data, Macroeconomics, China, and Africa. Visit the WUN website to learn more.

The Research Development Fund (RDF) is an annual competitive fund aimed at bringing together researchers to undertake innovative, high quality, sustainable research that addresses the global challenges listed above. The RDF is open only to researchers at WUN member institutions. RDF funds may cover the costs of exploratory research initiatives, targeted workshops, faculty exchanges, and the formation of collaborative networks, among other activities. Projects that incorporate a research mobility component for early career researchers and graduate students are encouraged. In addition, matching funds are available to UMass Amherst faculty who would like to participate in a WUN proposal led by another WUN institution. Six UMass Amherst faculty have received WUN awards and seven have been collaborators on other WUN projects.

2018 Research Development Fund Awards

UMass Amherst-Led Proposals

  • Researching diversity, inclusion and student success: Towards a global campus climate framework
    UMass Amherst Team: PI, Chrystal George Mwangi (Educational Policy, Research & Admin); Co-PI, Sangeeta Kamat (Educational Policy, Research & Admin); Co-PI, Anna Branch (Sociology); and Co-PI, Jonique Childs (Student Development). 
    WUN Partner Universities: University of Bristol, University of Ghana, University of Cape Town, and University College Dublin
  • Sustainability and electricity access in developing countries
    UMass Amherst Team: PI, Erin Baker (Mechanical & Industrial Engineering) and Co-PI, Leonce Ndikumana (Economics)
    WUN Partner Universities: University of Ghana, University of Nairobi and University of Cape Town

UMass Amherst Collaboration Proposals

  • A global platform to harmonize and share accelerometry data: Towards the next generation of sedentary behaviour, physical activity, and sleep guidelines
    UMass Amherst Co-PI: John Staudenmayer (Mathematics & Statistics)
    Lead WUN University: Maastricht University 
  • African child and youth wellbeing in the context of migration and displacement
    UMass Amherst Co-PI: Lindiwe Sibeko (Nutrition)
    Lead WUN University: University of Alberta
  • Memorials to people who have died and to those missing during migration: A global project
    UMass Amherst Co-PI: Elizabeth Brabec (Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning)
    Lead WUN University: University of Bristol
  • Women’s mobility: Negotiating work & family spheres in Asia
    UMass Amherst Co-PI: Miliann Kang (Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies) 
    Lead WUN University: The Chinese University of Hong Kong

[See all UMass Amherst awards]

UMass Amherst Representatives in the WUN

  • WUN Partnership Board: Katherine Newman, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs 
  • WUN Academic Advisory Group: Martina Nieswandt, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement
  • WUN Coordinator Group: Loren Walker, Director, Research Development
  • Global Higher Education and Research Steering Group: TBD
  • Public Health Steering Group: Elena Carbone, Associate Professor & Chair, Department of Nutrition
  • Understanding Cultures Steering Group: TBD
  • Responding to Climate Change Steering Group: Om Parkash, Associate Professor, Stockbridge School of Agriculture
  • WUN Global Africa Group: Léonce Ndikumana, Professor, Department of Economics
  • WUN Economics Group: Gerald Friedman, Professor, Department of Economics 

WUN Links

For more information

You may sign up for an Office of Research and Development On Demand Workshop on the WUN, or contact:

Loren Walker, WUN Coordinator for UMass Amherst
+1-413-577-3725 (ofc)

Mary K. Green, Research Development Associate
+1-413-545-8641 (ofc)