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Record number of grants for collaboration with universities outside the EU

Good news for international collaboration: the EU’s International Credit Mobility programme has awarded 163 grants to students and researchers from Leiden University and partner universities in 19 countries outside the EU. The grants are for 19 projects that have arisen from existing partnerships.

A record 163 Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility grants have been awarded this year; last year this was 93. The applications were submitted in January. The grants will enable students and lecturers from partner countries to come to Leiden or The Hague and vice versa, but some plans will have to be postponed because of the corona crisis. ‘We’re hoping that students from Leiden and our partner universities will be able to go on exchanges in 2021 again,’ says Jesca Zweijtzer from Student and Educational Affairs. She coordinated the applications together with grant advisers Kathelijne Smits and Dorien Jansen. Lecturers and researchers may be able to use their grants sooner if the corona restrictions for the particular country that they want to visit are eased. 

From Armenia to Bhutan

The 19 projects that the grants have been awarded to are very diverse. Psychologists will conduct PhD research in Australia, students from Bhutan will do an exchange with Leiden and legal experts from Leiden will be able to contribute to teaching about restoring the rule of law in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Zweijtzer: ‘The money has been awarded for three years, which should provide enough time for these mobility projects to come to fruition once the travel restrictions have been lifted.’ See the list of all the projects. Below are four examples of multi-year partnerships.


Faculty: Science
Project coordinator: Michelle Willebrands
Partner institutions: Yerevan State University & Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory
Relates to: Developing astronomy research and teaching 
Mobility type: Exchange of academics (for research and training)

Astronomers from Leiden want to strengthen their ties with their Armenian peers by sharing their expertise in research and management. This collaboration will enhance the research capacity in Armenia and offer Leiden access to the network of East European astronomy institutes. The astronomers from Leiden will also be able to use the excellent knowledge and facilities there. The astronomers already have comparable projects running with Colombia, Ethiopia and Nigeria, all within the scope of the same European network that operates from Leiden. 


Faculty: Social and Behavioural Sciences 
Project coordinator: Anke Klein 
Partner institution: Macquarie University 
Relates to: Psychology, research into anxiety and depression in children and adolescents 
Type of mobility: Exchange of researchers and students

This mobility project is to further strengthen and expand the present successful collaboration. A joint PhD programme will be developed to enable Dutch and Australian PhD candidates to conduct part of their research at the partner university. The aim is also to develop a structural exchange programme for bachelor’s and master’s students. Psychologists are also working on a joint research project into effective treatment for young persons with anxiety and/or depression.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Faculty: Leiden Law School
Project coordinator: Nadia Sonneveld
Partner institution: University of Sarajevo 
Relates to: Development of rule of law 
Type of mobility: Researchers and students

This project is an exchange between lecturers from the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Sarajevo and Leiden Law School. The collaboration is part of the Universities Peace Hubs initiative, which focuses on the role of universities in peacebuilding. Legal experts from Leiden and philosophers from Bosnia each have their own expertise in rule of law and peacebuilding. They can learn from each other’s expertise and involve students in joint teaching and research projects. 


Faculty: Medicine/LUMC
Project coordinator: Maria Yazdanbakhsh
Partner institution: Nagasaki University
Relates to: Medical technology, infectious disease and ageing
Type of mobility: Exchange of researchers and students

Nagasaki University’s School of Medicine offers the oldest medical training in Japan and works closely with the LUMC. The two partners will complement each other in the field of medical technology, infectious disease and ageing, and the students will have the opportunity to increase their knowledge. Nagasaki specialises in medical care for the elderly and Leiden in biomedical markers that predict biological ageing.

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