World Universities Network (WUN) Research Development Fund

World Universities Network (WUN) Research Development Fund

The WUN Research Development Fund (RDF) provides seed support for globally-collaborative, innovative, and high-quality research that addresses global challenges. 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. Applications that incorporate a research mobility component for early career researchers and postgraduate students are encouraged.

WUN provides seed grants to support early-stage collaborative projects aimed at launching sustainable collaborative research programs involving multiple WUN member institutions as well as other collaborators. Participating institutions provide 1:1 matching funds to augment WUN RDF support. In 2018, our campus will provide up to $10,000 in matching funds for up to two UMass Amherst-led RDF proposals.

In addition to leading an RDF-supported project, UMass Amherst faculty are eligible to participate as collaborators on RDF projects led by faculty at other WUN institutions. Opportunities are anticipated throughout the RDF proposal cycle. For 2018, our campus will provide up to 50% of the amount committed by the WUN lead institution, to a maximum of $5,000. Projects will be selected through an internal review process.

A unique feature of WUN is that coordinators at each university work together to connect their faculty with potential collaborators at other member universities. Thus it is important that interested faculty submit a letter of intent as early as possible in the development of their proposals. Loren Walker ( or 413-577-3725), Director of the Office of Research Development, is the WUN Coordinator and point of contact for UMass Amherst.

Please note: The WUN Research Development Fund does not cover management fees (overhead costs or indirect costs), faculty or student salaries or salary supplementation, purchase of capital assets, equipment depreciation, scholarships, course fees and bench fees. Where funds are to be used for air travel, only economy class fares are permissible.

Below is the timeline for the 2018 RDF application process:

  • July 30: Open
  • August 14: 3:00 – 4:00 pm “WUN Research Development Fund Info Session” Life Sciences Laboratories, Room N210.

UMass Amherst led projects:

  • August 31: Letter of Intent (LOI) due - Requested, not binding. Send your name and working title of your project to Michelle Wonsey at
  • September 17: Deadline for pre-proposals for projects led by UMass faculty
  • September 24:  Internal review selections and cost sharing support announced
  • October 17: Internal deadline for full proposals.
  • October 26: Full Proposals Due to WUN by 5:00 pm GMT

UMass Amherst Collaborator Projects:

  • August: Letter of Intent (LOI) required as soon as a faculty member is considering participating in a proposal
  • October 10: Deadline for pre-proposals for collaborations led by another WUN university
  • Oct. 17: Internal review selections and cost sharing support announced
  • December 14: RDF awards announced by WUN
  • February 2019: Projects start

The WUN 2018 Request for Proposals (RFP) and Application Materials are available in a Box folder accessible through this link

For more information please contact Loren Walker at, 413-577-3725;  or Mary K. Green at, 413-545-8641.