Penn State, University of Auckland kick off partnership with workshop, RFP

Nathan Rufo
January 17, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In November 2019, 11 Penn State faculty members attended the University of Auckland – Penn State Collaboration Development Workshop, organized by Auckland’s International Office and the Office of Global Programs. Faculty from both universities utilized the time to work on joint projects in preparation for submission to the first joint collaboration development seed fund call.  

The two universities have had conversations and planning meetings since 2018 with plans to engage in a true strategic partnership. The goal of this strategic partnership is to identify and facilitate collaborative research, education and service activities that neither could achieve independently.  

“The workshop presented a unique opportunity for Penn State and Auckland faculty to collaborate on their projects in both the research and education fields, provide presentations on their project plans and goals, and for administrators to define the direction and set the stage for future years of the joint collaboration,” said Alexandra Persiko, strategic initiatives coordinator for the partnership.   

The workshop days also included meetings of research leadership, individual collaboration meetings, and cultural and social events, such as an evening of performance by Maori dancers at the University of Auckland’s Fale Pasifika. The Fale Pasifika is the spiritual home of the university’s Pacific community and a touchpoint between the university and Pacific communities. Persiko described the evening as “unforgettable.” 

As a follow-up to the workshop, Penn State and the University of Auckland are seeking proposals to foster collaborative, sustainable, self-supporting research programs, and integrated educational activities between university programs. Interested faculty members are encouraged to apply online at the University of Auckland - Penn State 2020 Collaboration Seed Fund. Applications are due by March 15. 

“This workshop was just the starting point of building a strategic relationship between the University of Auckland and Penn State,” said Martin Trethewey, director of the Global Engagement Network. “We expect that the partnership will create unique opportunities and span all university research, teaching and professional service activities. The universities will be organizing future activities to promote and organize the collaborations.” 

For additional information, contact Alexandra Persiko, Office of Global Programs, at or 814-867-5941. 


Last Updated January 17, 2020