International Research and Development Program
The international research and development program’s purpose is to deliver services to the University of Minnesota community that empowers international research collaborations and catalyzes their impact.
The program utilizes a set of strategic, proactive, and capacity-building activities, which are designed to support individual faculty members and research teams in attracting funding, creating relationships, and developing and implementing strategies that bolster institutional growth.
Planting the seed
In 2015, an analysis of publication data and other metrics allowed the Office for the Vice President of Research (OVPR) to pinpoint countries that showed the highest potential for new research collaborations for the University of Minnesota. Andres Perez, DVM, PhD, Endowed Chair of Global Animal Health and Food Safety and director of CAHFS, further honed the department’s vision for international partnership by applying for the grant.
As a result, CAHFS received a two-year International Capacity Building grant from OVPR—which was matched by endowed chair funds from CAHFS—to partner with Latin American countries, specifically, in furthering research solutions. Going forward, the funding will serve as the framework for forming new research projects in various regions of the world, surrounding subjects that can benefit both the U.S. and its international counterparts.
Outcomes, early on
The Center for Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS) partners with faculty in the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM), School of Public Health (SPH), and the College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Sciences (CFANS) to build relationships with researchers around the world in order to build capacity for new collaborative research opportunities into improved animal, human, and environmental health.
In the first year, the International Capacity Building funding has propelled CAHFS to garner many results in its collaborative efforts that focus on Latin America (and Spain, because of its relationship to that region). The program has submitted several proposals in targeting fields such as aquaculture (farming fish or shellfish for food), livestock health, zoonotic disease prevention, and ecosystem preservation—along with the areas where these four areas intersect. This includes:
- Partnerships with 15 institutions in eight different countries
- Collaborating with Chilean researchers and industry experts to conduct research on disease control and prevention in salmon industry
- Working with Argentinean partners to improve accuracy of diagnostic testing and determine the most effective methods to control and eradicate bovine tuberculosis
- Developing tools and communication to better understand and address challenges in sustainable dairy production with partners from Peru, Panama, and Uruguay
CAHFS’ international research looks to apply the framework used to build relationships in Latin America (and Spain) to countries around the world. Going forward, the center hopes to:
- Continue and expand engagement in international collaboration of University of Minnesota faculty
- Create more sustainable long-term collaborations that mutually benefit researchers at the U of M and partnering institutions
- Explore new regions, such as Central America, Egypt, and Kuwait
- Seek new approaches to facilitate multidisciplinary work groups within the U of M
- Engaging graduate students in research opportunities in partnering countries
- Curate a repository of resources to facilitate international research