UCD Institute for Discovery awarded full membership of prestigious UBIAS international network

November 17, 2020

In this era of COVID-19 disruption, our connections and collaborations have perhaps never been more crucial.

Which makes UCD Institute for Discovery all the more delighted this week to be awarded full membership of the prestigious University Based Institute of Advanced Study or UBIAS international network.

“Through Prof. Adrian Ottewill’s leadership, UCD Discovery previously held guest member status,” said UCD Discovery Director Prof. Patricia Maguire, announcing the news today. “However, following a comprehensive proposal submission and a bid/presentation at an international meeting last month, we are pleased to share that we have now secured full member status.” She added: “This was truly a team effort led by previous and current staff members of the Institute - Dr Elva O’Sullivan, Tara Byrne, Patrice Harrington, Alex Gubic, Jenny Knell and Dr. Léan Ní Chléirigh together with the kind support of both Prof Adrian Ottewill and Discovery’s Adjunct Professor and previous CASL director Scott Rickard.”

UBIAS was initiated in 2010 to promote an excellent, innovative and international interdisciplinary academic research culture. It now brings together 44 research institutes from over 40 research-intensive universities worldwide. This prestigious network includes 4 of the top 10 (16 of the top 100) globally ranked universities, namely Stanford University, Harvard University, University of Cambridge and ETH Zurich (QS World University Rankings 2018). Moreover, it includes several current national and international partners of UCD, including Trinity College Dublin, Fudan University, University of Western Australia and Waseda University (UCD Rowan International Partnership Database).

“We are absolutely delighted to be able to add UBIAS membership to UCD’s existing memberships of international networks of world-leading and research-intensive universities, such as Universitas 21, UNICA and Erasmus Mundus,” said Prof. Maguire.  “Discovery is very much looking forward to enabling the promotion of mutually-beneficial collaborations, sharing of good practice and greater learning, together with engagement and mobility opportunities for UCD faculty and students with our new partner organisation.”

The founding of the first UBIAS dates back more than 40 years. But the last decade has seen an upsurge in such institutions across the globe. 

Unlike traditional Institutes for Advanced Study, UBIAS institutes are associated with or embedded within a university and actively contribute to the academic culture and the scientific achievements of their home university. 

By offering various fellowship programmes on different academic levels (junior and senior researchers) UBIAS institutes bring together outstanding researchers from different disciplines, nationalities and academic backgrounds, creating a productive environment for innovative research. These common characteristics have proved to be a fruitful basis for mutual exchange, although the individual institutes display a large variety of different concepts and academic pursuits. 

With their individual profiles they answer to the specific needs and strengths of their affiliate university. While many institutes have traditionally concentrated on humanities and social sciences, an increasing number of institutes now incorporate theoretical and experimental sciences. 

At UCD Discovery we are pleased to find ourselves in very good company indeed and welcome the opportunity to fully engage and collaborate with our fellow members at prestigious academic institutes across the globe. 


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