Funding Opportunities

One of the benefits of the WUN is that it affords its partners the opportunity for academic staff exchange as a means of establishing and cultivating research links at an institutional and individual level.

This is facilitated by two funding opportunities:

Research Mobility Programme (RMP): Bi-annual calls for funding, to support short term visits by research faculty to WUN partner institutions. This funding is ring-fenced by UCT.

The RMP affords academic researchers the opportunity to visit WUN partner campuses and participate in WUN Research Group conferences or workshops.  This programme enables researchers to advance their knowledge-base of their field of study in other research contexts, establish new contacts and mentors, and share expertise and cutting-edge research equipment across institutions.

The RMP aims to support the development of international networks and longer term research links with WUN partners. It is also intended to encourage the personal and academic development of individuals.


UCT allocates up to a maximum of R25 000 per RMP award. These awards are used to fund short-term visits to WUN partner campuses and/or attendance at WUN-related conferences. These visits strengthen existing research links, and establish new links which may then be funded by other funding sources. This award operates on two deadlines per annum. For more information on the award deadline, please contact Ms Wilna Venter at the Research Office. 

Research Development Fund (RDF):  seed funding grants of up to £15,000 (average £10,000), to launch longer-term research collaborations within the WUN Global Challenges. This funding creates new multilateral opportunities for international collaboration in research and postgraduate education. ​Importantly, the amount requested in a proposal from WUN will have to be matched by all universities partnering on a proposed project. There is a firm expectation that funded projects will result in academic publications, policy impact and on-going sustainability through securing funding from external sources.

RDF funds may cover the costs of exploratory research initiatives, targeted workshops, faculty exchanges and the formation of collaborative networks, among other activities.

PLEASE NOTE: Applications that incorporate a research mobility component for early career researchers and postgraduate students are encouraged. We therefore encourage post-docs to work with eligible staff to put in a joint proposal.

The project should engage at least three WUN member universities from at least three different countries. The collaboration can include non-WUN universities and external partners but it must have an active core of WUN member universities.

In 2014, RDF proposals in the following Global Challenge areas were accepted at UCT, and put forward to the WUN for consideration: 

Responding to Climate Change – research focus: (i) migration/resilience; (ii) climate/health co-benefits in cities; and (iii) over- and under-nutrition, food security, food systems.

Global Public Health [non-communicable disease (NCD)] – research focus: (i) health of family and migrants across the life course; (ii) the resilience of adolescents in different cultural contexts; and (iii) schools as a setting for reducing risk factors associated with NCDs.

Understanding Cultures – research focus: (i) global migration and population; (ii) generations in global context; and (iii) Chinese culture in the world.

Global Higher Education and Research – research focus: access and equity in higher education: economic and social outcomes of diversity and globalisation.

For more information on the process for applying to the WUN RDF, please write to Wilna Venter at the Research Office, UCT.