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Date: Oct 23, 2019

Important visit from Melbourne Strategic partnership to be further expanded

A high-profile delegation of the University of Melbourne visited the University of Bonn in order to discuss a closer cooperation in research and training of early-career researchers. The Australian university is one of three strategic partnerships the University of Bonn maintains. Close links already exist especially in the areas of Food and Nutrition Sciences and Agricultural Sciences.

The Australian delegation of five was led by Vice-Chancellor Prof. Duncan Maskell. The position of Vice-Chancellor is equivalent to the position of a Rector in the German higher education system. Prof. Dr. Andreas Zimmer, Vice Rector for Research and Innovation, and Prof. Dr. Klaus Sandmann, Vice Rector for University Development and Equal Opportunity provided a warm welcome to the honorable guest. Rector Prof Dr Dr hc Michael Hoch met the Vice-Chancellor the following day at the reception of the University of Melbourne at the Australian Embassy in Berlin.

Founded in 1853, the University of Melbourne is the second oldest university of Australia. Besides approximately 50,000 students and more than 8,000 members of staff, this leading Australian publicly-funded research university comprises ten faculties and fifteen Graduate Schools. Numerous institutes and research institutions are affiliated to the university. Vice-Chancellor Maskell states: "Bonn is an excellent university, as shown by achieving such tremendous success in the latest Excellence Initiative. It is pleasing to see that our researcher-driven collaborations are reaching such scale, and at their heart have been driven by shared commitment to training the next generation of global leaders in research."

A year ago, the University of Bonn and the University of Melbourne had agreed on a far-reaching declaration of intent, aiming, amongst others, at establishing joint research projects in various disciplines and a stronger exchange of young researchers, in particular through the launch of additional joint doctoral programs. Vice Rector Zimmer says: ”The University of Melbourne is regarded as one of the most distinguished universities worldwide and we are very pleased about the close cooperation already in place in the fields of Medicine and Agricultural Sciences, allowing us to exchange important new impulses in research and training of early-career researchers. The joint graduate training in Immunology is a pilot project in the context of internationalization and has laid the foundation for further projects which we hope to realize together with Melbourne in the coming years.‟

During the delegation visit, Associate Professor Sammy Bedoui of the University of Melbourne was appointed Bonn University Ambassador, thus joining the global network of multipliers and points of contact. From their current base of work, University Ambassadors may provide early-career researchers with information on Bonn, its sponsorships and career opportunities.

After this the Australian guests visited the Venusberg in Bonn, where they met doctoral students and scientists, being shown around the expansive area of the University Clinic by Clinical Director Prof Dr Dr hc mult Wolgang Holzgreve via bus tour.

The Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation and the University of Melbourne have been working together closely since 2016: Under the name ”Bonn & Melbourne Research and Graduate School‟, the two partners launched an International Research Training Group with by now over 30 jointly mentored doctorates. The exchange of doctoral students, young academics and researchers is promoted by the ”Bonn & Melbourne Academy for Excellence in ImmunoSciences/Infection‟ (BM-AXIS). Bonn’s Faculty of Agriculture cooperates with the Research Center Jülich and the University of Melbourne in the mentoring of doctoral students.

Apart from the University of Melbourne, Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan and the Scottish University of St. Andrews are strategic partners of the University of Bonn.


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