In December 2017, the University of Oxford, Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin and the university hospital, the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding underpinning the establishment of a broad, academic collaboration.
This partnership will build on diverse existing research links whilst simultaneously advancing novel joint activities across the five institutions, including all areas of academic research as well as cooperation with museums and libraries. Additionally, reciprocal visiting arrangements for scientists, students and academic staff will be established, thus enabling Oxford academics and researchers to spend time in Berlin, collaborating with colleagues at the Charité teaching hospital and the three Berlin universities, whilst providing academics and researchers from Berlin with the opportunity to spend time in Oxford University departments and colleges. Furthermore, it is envisaged that in due course, the partners will set-up reciprocal physical entities in both Berlin and Oxford. These physical centers would provide accommodation plus working and meeting space for students and academics involved in exchange projects within the partners’ university departments, laboratories and libraries. In the short term, Oxford University will first establish an office and legal presence in Berlin, which will support the intense, immediate collaboration that will be necessary for the partners to submit joint research applications for EU funding programmes as well as further grants from German and British research funding foundations.
The cooperation represents an entirely novel form of partnership for both Oxford University and the Berlin university partners and aims to foster excellent and highly innovative, interdisciplinary academic collaboration that crosses institutional as well as national boundaries.