WUN in short

The WUN has identified four major Global Challenges  :

Around each of these Global Challenge networks of researchers from WUN member institutions work on a number of topics and sub-themes. WUN members can also propose topics themselves and create a network of WUN researchers, for instance via projects proposed for WUN’s Research Development Fund. For more information on current research projects, please visit the WUN website   

Other Core Activities stimulated by WUN

  • Research Mobility Programme (RMP)
  • Research Development Fund (RDF)
  • Research programmes and Summer school exchange

WUN Research Mobility Programme

Call for applications
The WUN Research Mobility Programme (RMP) is an opportunity for Maastricht University PhD students or research staff in any academic discipline  to apply for funding to visit any Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) partner university. The aim is to facilitate research collaboration of early and mid-term career researchers leading to international exposure, networking, joint publications, increased research career opportunities and grant acquisition.

Eligibility and Assessment criteria:

  • Be a UM PhD student or academic staff member
  • The research mobility should last a minimum of 4 weeks
  • Provide a support letter from a dean or scientific director on the importance of the project in relation to the existing research priorities of the university, faculty and department/school.
  • Provide a support letter from the host supervisor which confirms the approval of the host university to welcome the researcher should be attached to the application (The relevant contact person for WUN in each partner university can be found here.)
  • Fill in the WUN RMP application form
  • Should the applicant be awarded the grant he/she has to make use of it within 12 months from the date of receiving the award.

The programme is co-funded by the University Fund Limburg. The mission of the University Fund Limburg/SWOL is to support scientific research and education at Maastricht University.

Please note that due to the Covid 19 crisis the WUN Research Mobility Programme has been temporarily suspended. If you are interested, you can contact Han Aarts for information on the current situation and on the perspectives for next year.

Selection procedure:

  • for the year 2021, a maximum of four proposals from the UM will be awarded the grant
  • the grant will cover an international economy airfare and a contribution towards a subsistence cost (a maximum of 1.000 euros a month) for visits up to 3 months
  • the deadline to submit the proposal is still to be announced, the application needs to be complete with all relevant documentation attached
  • decisions are made by the WUN RMP Selection Committee
  • successful awardees are invited to a pre-departure meeting and required to submit a post-visit report within one month of return.

The application form should be sent to Han Aarts, in hard copy (MUO Mundo, MBB 8) and by email.

Research Development Fund

WUN encourages international collaborative research among its members via its Research Development Fund (RDF). The RDF aims at bringing together researchers to undertake innovative, high quality, research projects that addresses the one of the global challenges on which the WUN focuses:

Calls for proposals for the RDF fund are launched annually, usually in August and with a deadline at the end of October. The call for 2020/2021 will be launched in August 2020. For more information, please refer to the WUN website. For additional questions you can contact Han Aarts.

RDF projects led by UM researchers as ‘principal investigator (PI)’ in the past years include Recommender Systems in Academia (2014), the creation of a Community of Learning for African PhD fellows (2015; Dr Mindel van de Laar), a project on urban solid waste management (2018; Prof. Shyama Ramani and Maria Tomai from UNU-MERIT) and a project on developing a platform to share accelerometer data (2018; Dr. Annemarie Koster at FHML (CAPHRI).

Information on all of these projects can be found here.

Joining WUN

Maastricht University is very pleased to have joined the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN). It gives us a unique opportunity to connect with a selected number of international network universities who share our vision on research and education, while at the same time staying connected to their own region.
The research focus of WUN matches very well with the strategic themes of Maastricht University enhancing a content-guided cooperation with our network partners.

Prof. Dr Martin Paul,
Maastricht University President and President of the WUN Partnership Board 2018-2020​


  • WUN Brexit event


    Thursday, October 15, 2020

    Maastricht University’s President Prof. dr. Martin Paul has completed his time as Chair of the Partnership Board at Worldwide Universities Network (WUN). He looks back on a time that really brought home the idea of global challenges.

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  • Nine UM researchers receive support from WUN Research Development Fund

    Monday, March 2, 2020

    Nine researchers from Maastricht University (UM) are to receive grants this year from the Research Development Fund (RDF) of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN). A total of 15 research projects were selected out of 31 applications in the 2019-2020 funding round. UM is participating in seven projects that have been awarded grants.

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  • WUN

    WUN Network – UM research projects funded 2019!

    Tuesday, February 19, 2019

    In December 2018, two UM research groups were successfully chosen and awarded seed financing from the WUN Research Development Fund (RDF).

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  • SDG Conference in Norway

    WUN network: Global Partnerships for Transformational Action on the SDG 2030 Agenda!

    Tuesday, February 12, 2019

    The University of Bergen in Norway, a member institute of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), hosted the second national SDG conference last week. Tasmin Rüffert, Strategy Coordinator at the UM Green Office and Maria Tomai Research Assistant at UNU-MERIT represented UM during this conference and gathered intel for UM on this pressing topic.


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  • FL_ana.ramalho_dig_pass_photo.jpg

    Ana Ramalho wins WUN Research Mobility Programme grant

    Wednesday, March 21, 2018

    Ana Ramalho (Assistant Professor of Intellectual Property Law) has been awarded a grant within the framework of the WUN Research Mobility Programme. She will be conducting research in collaboration with the University of Auckland. The topic of the project is "Reconciliation of intellectual property policies in the framework of EU-New Zealand trade relations".

    The project will be carried out next year, exact dates to be confirmed.

    Find more information on Ana's background and research on our website.

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  • WUN event: Effects of Brexit on higher education

    Friday, February 17, 2017

    On the 9th of February Maastricht University’s Campus Brussels hosted a workshop of the Worldwide Univerisities Network (WUN) on Brexit.

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  • Worldwide Universities Network Conference brings five continents to Maastricht University

    Friday, April 1, 2016

    Next week almost 400 academics from five different continents will descend on Maastricht for the annual conference of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), hosted by Maastricht University from 2 to 7 April. 

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  • COLA project receives financial support from WUN Research Development Fund 2015

    Wednesday, December 16, 2015


    Dr Mindel van de Laar (UNU-MERIT) received a financial contribution from the WUN Research Development Fund for the Community of Learning for Africa (COLA) project. 

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