Worldwide Universities Network (WUN)

The WUN RDF 2019 competition is now open!

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 over 80 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 is committed to investing in research that makes a difference to the world. We bring the researchers and resources of our world leading member universities together to develop solutions that no one university or nation can solve alone. Our international, interdisciplinary research teams are collaborating with universities, research centres, civil society, government and industry to solve some of societies most vexing concerns. 

WUN's Global Challenges are four identified research themes where WUN has particular capacity to develop solutions to issues of significant global concern. They form the key research pillars of WUN and are: Responding to Climate Change, Understanding Cultures, Public Health: Non-Communicable Diseases, and Global Higher Education and Research. WUN Special Interest Groups (SIGs) draw together individuals with a common interest that crosses the Global Challenges and include: Global Africa, Global China, and Policy Research.

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. The RDF is intended as launch support. Funds may cover the costs of such activities as exploratory research initiatives, planning workshops, faculty exchanges and the formation of collaborative networks, and engagement with students via guest lectures or master classes.In addition, matching funds are available to UMass Amherst faculty who would like to participate in a 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 contact:

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

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