University of California, Berkeley - Ghent University Partnership


The scope of this partnership between Ghent University and the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) is to foster cooperation between respective research groups, stimulate mobility of staff and researchers from both universities and to organize joint initiatives like workshops, MOOC courses and exhibitions.

This partnership leverages the complementary research strengths in the two academic communities to deliver a high-quality program of research and offer sustained and high-impact scientific with real-world outcomes.

The SIP conceptualizes its work in five preliminary thematic areas that align with the strategic research interests of the UC Berkeley and Ghent University:

  1. European Studies
  2. Art & Science
  3. Augmented Intelligence
  4. Climate Change
  5. Equity & Inclusion

More thematic areas may be added depending on the interest of the two academic communities.

Call for multidisciplinary workshop

A new call is launched for a multidisciplinary multi-day expert workshop. The aim is to strive for excellence by bringing key partners together for an intensive work period with high potential of future outcomes (papers, projects, unexplored research domains,…). The proposed project must engage at least 5 academics from both universities. The event must take place in 2023 and comprise several days. Available budget: 25.000€ per application. More information and the application form are available here.

Call for seed funding

With funding from the Ghent University Special Research Fund, the partnership between the University of California, Berkeley and Ghent University has launched a rolling call for grant funding.


Funding grants serve to broaden and deepen research collaboration between faculty and staff at the University of California, Berkeley and Ghent University. This seed grant aims to support new or ongoing research or educational partnerships in 2023. Examples of seed grant activities include but are not limited to:

  • Initiating a jointly organised seminar, webinar, workshop, conference, or another academic event
  • Fostering research collaboration between a Ghent University Masters or PhD student or post-doctoral researcher with peers at UC Berkeley
  • Supporting the mobility of a Ghent University Masters or PhD student, post-doctoral researcher, or professor to UC Berkeley

Eligibility criteria

Professors and post-doctoral researchers at Ghent University may apply for a grant. Proposals must be supported by a University of California, Berkeley supervisor who holds a PhD and a professorial function at the partner university.


  • Deadline: rolling application.
  • Applicants can apply for up to 2.800 EUR.
  • The requested funding must be used by December 31st, 2023.
  • Please submit your completed application form via email to Elise Meerburg.


Two PhD students from Ghent University and 1 PhD student from UC Berkeley were selected for an exchange of up to 3 months at the partner university. This is the first batch of students to benefit from a new agreement between Ghent University and UC Berkeley. The exchange will take place in 2023, updates will follow!

September 2022: launch seed funding applications 2023

June 2022:  rector meeting to Berkeley to discuss future opportunities in collaboration.

February 2022: mission to Berkeley to further discuss the collaboration and future joint activities.

In the week of 11 May 2020, a two-day workshop was held at UC Berkeley, with the aim of discussing the initial five focus domains and the concrete opportunities for collaboration within these focus domains between UC Berkeley scholars and faculty members and Ghent University staff. The promoters of Ghent University, each accompanied by two researchers gave a short presentation per focus domain and lead discussions. 

In the week of 2 November 2020 the provost of Ghent University lead a mission to the west coast of USA, under which the partnership between Ghent University and UC Berkeley was one of the mission's highlights.

What do we do?

The SIP activities include but are not limited to:

  • Joint research collaborations, or the joint publication of scientific papers and educational materials
  • Joint courses or graduate and post-doctoral mobility
  • Exchange of faculty, trainees and staff
  • Participation in and the co-hosting of lectures, meetings, seminars, symposia, exhibitions and conferences
  • Exchanges of knowledge
  • Joint applications for funding for future or ongoing collaborative projects
  • Collaboration in other areas that foster research and educational cooperation
  • Joint education programmes, e.g. MOOCs


The SIP is a living partnership; therefore, its membership may change, and those changes may not immediately be reflected below.

From Ghent University

  • Faculty of Engineering and Architecture: Prof. Luc Martens
  • Faculty of Law and Criminology: Prof. Tine Destrooper
  • Faculty of Bioscience Engineering: NN
  • Faculty of Arts and Philosophy: Prof. Christel Stalpaert
  • Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences: Prof. Filip De Fruyt
  • Faculty of Sciences: Prof. Thijs Vandenbroucke
  • Faculty of Economics and Business Administration: Prof. Koen Schoors

From the University of California, Berkeley

  • Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science: Prof. Jan Rabaey
  • Institute of European Studies: Prof. Jeroen Dewulf
  • Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering: Prof. David Sedlak
  • Faculty of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies: Prof. Shannon Jackson
  • Faculty of History of Art: Prof. Julia Bryan-Wilson
  • Faculty of Psychology: Prof. John Oliver

    For further information concerning the SIP between Ghent University and UC Berkeley please contact either the chairman of the partnership, Professor Luc Martens, or the coordinator of the partnership, Elise Meerburg.