Duke and Exeter renew partnership to tackle societal challenges together

Exeter has extended its partnership with Duke University to work together and tackle some of the most pressing global challenges

The University of Exeter has extended its partnership with Duke University through a new collaborative agreement to work together to tackle some of the most pressing global challenges.

The new three-year partnership was signed by Professor Richard Follett, Exeter’s Vice-President Global Engagement, and Professor Mohamed Noor, Duke’s Vice-Provost for Academic Affairs. The agreement will build on the already strong working partnership between the two institutions, and support a range of new collaborative research projects.

Based on the connections developed over years of partnership and complementary expertise at both institutions, a number of thematic areas of focus have been identified under which new research and education projects will be developed.

These are Investing in Health; Sustainability and the Environment; Public Policy and Global Security; and Digital Worlds – Approaches to Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Computational Social Sciences.

Institutional support is in place to support staff and student exchange to develop new research projects and external funding proposals aligned to these thematic areas.

Professor Follett said: “Duke University is one of the very best universities in the world and we are delighted to re-commit to working together for a further three years. We have numerous academic colleagues working together and clear synergies in our institutional strategies, as we seek to work together to create a greener, fairer, and healthier future.

“Exeter and Duke have a track record of producing impactful research together across a wide range of topics, captured in our areas of thematic focus, and I am excited to see how our refreshed partnership will catalyse impactful projects over the coming years.”

Duke University is currently ranking 26th globally in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, confirming their position as one of the world’s premier institutions.

The University of Exeter first signed an institutional Memorandum of Understanding with Duke in May 2019, focused on encouraging graduate student exchange and promoting joint faculty research. Since then the partnership has gone from strength to strength; grant awards totalling in the millions have been won by Duke and Exeter academics; co-authorship of work in a range of vital areas has followed.

Co-taught online classes & new teaching material for clinical practitioners in different countries have benefitted students and transferred expertise into new contexts.

Projects between Exeter and Duke are wide-ranging. Recent examples include the Shame in Medicine project, which produced a range of new resources for medical education exploring the theme of shame experiences in medical learning, including the award winning NOCTURNISTS podcast.

In Marine Conservation, the Loggerhead project have focused on the conservation of northwest Atlantic and mediterranean loggerhead turtles, looking at how large datasets on marine turtle populations can help support conservations efforts. In Health, multi-million dollar grants have enabled joint research using The Dunedin Study cohort and machine learning to analyze DNA methylation patterns in blood samples has resulted in the creation of DunedinPoAm, a novel blood test developed by researchers, using DNA methylation patterns to estimate the “Pace of Aging.”

Working through the Venice International University Network, of which both Exeter and Duke are members, PhD training explores rural migration, adaptation, and sustainability transitions in an age of climate change. In total, over 40 Exeter – Duke collaborations have been supported via the partnership over the past five years.