University of California, Berkeley - Strategic Institutional Partnership


The scope of this Strategic Institutional Partnership (SIP) between Ghent University and 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:

  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 funding

With funding from the UGent Special Research Fund, the Strategic Institutional 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 the 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 2021. Examples of seed grant activities include but are not limited to supporting:

  • Initiate a jointly organised seminar, webinar, workshop, conference, or another academic event
  • Foster research collaboration of a UGent Masters/PhD student or post-doctoral researcher with peers at University of California, Berkeley
  • Support the mobility of UGent Masters/PhD student, post-doctoral researcher, or professorial to the University of California, Berkeley

Eligibility criteria

Professors or post doctoral researchers (who hold a PhD) at the 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.


  • The deadline for applications for the first round of funding grants is 10th of April 2021.
  • Proposals can apply for up to 2800 EUR.
  • Start date of the funding is 1st of May 2021 and the funding must be used by 31 December 2021.

Please submit your completed application form via email to


In the week of 11 May 2020, a two-day workshop will be 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 UGent staff. The promoters of UGent, each accompanied by two researchers will give a short presentation per focus domain and lead discussions. For some focus domains a call for proposals will be launched. The presentations will preferably be interdisciplinary and cross-departmental.

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

What do we do?

Potential activities within the partnership include:

  • Conducting research workshops;
  • Setting up research projects;
  • Supporting fellowships and internships, joint publications and books;
  • Exhibitions at UGent and UC Berkeley;
  • 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. Peter Van Elsuwege
Faculty of Bioscience Engineering: Prof. Korneel Rabaey
Faculty of Arts and Philosophy: Prof. Christel Stalpaert
Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences: Prof. Filip De Fruyt
Faculty of Sciences: Thijs Vandenbroucke
Faculty of Economics and Business Administration: Koen Schoors, Dirk Van den Poel

From the University of California at Berkeley

Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science: Prof. Jan Rabaey
Institute of European Studies: Prof. Jeroen De Wulf
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 UGent and UC Berkeley please contact either the chairman of the partnership, Professor Luc Martens (), or the administrative coordinator of the partnership, Sarah Devos ().