Academic institutions produce research, teaching tools, and innovations to solve the most stubborn global health challenges. But their contributions don’t always make it out of the lab and into the hands of the broader global health community. STAR’s Academic Partnerships program is working to change that. STAR encourages institutions in both the U.S. and around the world to partner mutually and beneficially, and to share knowledge towards the development of stronger global health programs.
STAR aims to give targeted funding, attention, and support to U.S.-based Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and universities in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). With targeted funding, attention, and support, these institutions can contribute even more to research, policy and advocacy, and education of the next generation.
STAR provides two avenues for academic partnerships:
The CoLab is STAR’s strategic approach to facilitating knowledge-sharing experiments and studying what makes a successful partnership.
Through the CoLab, STAR pairs global health academic institutions (either 1 U.S. and 1 LMIC institution OR 2 LMIC institutions) to spend one year working toward a concrete goal or objective they’d like to achieve through a formal partnership and scope of work (SOW). Example scopes of work may include policy or advocacy materials, joint research papers, joint curriculum development, or a small part of an existing larger project.
During their year-long partnership, the paired institutions, with the support of STAR staff, will document their successes and challenges. These insights and lessons learned will help inform and refine scalable, replicable partnership models for other global health academic institutions.
Frequently Asked Questions
STAR’s Knowledge Sharing Vision
What’s the purpose of STAR’s knowledge-sharing mandate?
STAR will pair academic institutions in knowledge-sharing experiments. The goal is to stimulate out-of-the-box thinking and creative solutions for complex global health challenges, and better understand what makes for long-term, respectful, and sustainable partnerships between academic institutions in different countries.
Knowledge-sharing experiments are deeply supportive, facilitated environments. STAR will either pair one US-based and one overseas academic institution; or two overseas academic institutions (from different countries/regions). For example: a U.S.-based university that’s working to bolster its curriculum on a global health topic (ex: health equity and social justice) may be paired with an overseas university that has a well-established academic program in that area. This kind of bi-directional learning is critical in our globalized world.
How will you facilitate knowledge sharing and experiments among institutions?
STAR will launch its Collaboration Laboratory, which is an approach to knowledge sharing, rather than a platform. Through the Collaboration Laboratory, working groups will convene and organize to complete specific tasks or deliverables that advance global health practice. During laboratory experiments, STAR staff will also document successes and challenges in creating mutually-benefitting partnerships between institutions, in order to refine a scalable and replicable partnership model for academic institutions globally.
What's the application process to become an academic partner?
Institutions will respond to a Request for Applications (RfA). The RfA will outline the criteria and guidelines for participation, as well as resources available to support their experiments.
Do academic institutions have to pre-identify a partner to apply for grants?
We anticipate and will allow for three types of proposals:
1. A partnership that already exists but would like to propose a new and agreed-upon scope of work (clear 12-month objective)
2 Pre-identified partners, who have not previously worked together, but submit a joint scope of work
3. An individual academic institution that proposes a scope of work that could be carried out with another institution (STAR will then pair the institutions)
Equal consideration will be given to all three types of proposals. It’s important that all three will be a formal partnership, not simply a collaboration.
Can academic institutions that are not host sites (for Fellows/Interns) still apply?
Yes. Academic partnerships are not limited to host sites.
Resources and Support
Do paired academic institutions receive financial support toward their knowledge-sharing collaborations?
Yes, each pair will receive a small grant to support their partnership and the achievement of their goal.
What will the grant cover?
It is intended to support in-person or virtual facilitated meetings, learning events, or equipment needs to ensure the sustainability of the partnership. It will not be used to cover personnel time, funding gaps, institutional capacity/funding needs, or incidental travel outside of the parameters of the experiment.