International partnerships offering new opportunities for research students

Swansea University has launched a series of ground-breaking qualifications which will give PhD students the opportunity to study alongside world-leading experts.

Collaborations have just been established with the University of Cape Town in South Africa as well as the Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris.


The pioneering Cape Town programme is led by expert biologists Dr Andrew King and Dr Ines Fürtbauer in Swansea and their South African counterpart Prof Justin O’Riain.

It sees PhD students spending time in the field in Africa as well as utilising tracking technology at Swansea as they attempt to understand more about conservation conflicts.

A juvenile baboon in Cape Town pictured with some contraband by Gaëlle Fehlmann.

Dr Fürtbauer said:

“The Swansea-University of Cape Town PhD programme is the first trans-continental doctoral degree offered by Swansea and acts as a pilot model for others in the process of negotiation at Swansea.”

Swansea University’s Academic Partnership team has also joined forces with one of the most prestigious universities in the world, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University, to establish a post-graduate programme particularly topical to the ongoing Brexit debate.

Devoted to international migration and social inclusion in France and the UK, the researchers will explore issues of integration of new migrants in Europe, especially relevant as mobility principles of the EU are re-evaluated.

Dr Sergei Shubin, Associate Professor of Human Geography and the Director of Swansea University's Centre for Migration Policy Research, said:

“This double PhD programme links Swansea with one of the world’s top research universities and sets up an extensive research framework providing access to strategic funding and collaborative support from a wide range of European research programmes.” 

He described the programme as a major achievement for the university and said it would support its future internationalisation strategy by pulling together an interdisciplinary research team from both sides of the Channel.

“It would not be possible to offer such a unique opportunity without the support from the Academic Partnerships department,” he added.

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The latest research programmes follow in the wake of a thriving collaboration with Houston Methodist Research Institute in Texas which is now entering its sixth year.

Professor Steve Conlan (Swansea University Medical School) and Dr Bruna Corradetti (Houston Methodist Research Institute) with their PhD student Simone Pisano.

Professor Steve Conlan, of Swansea University Medical School, said the joint PhD programme which sees participants enhancing their research by spending extensive periods in the Texan laboratories, has just been renewed following a very successful first phase.

“To date eight students have participated in the scheme, resulting in 16 top-rated research publications in this partnership between Swansea University and Texas’s number one hospital system,” he said.

Director of Academic Partnerships Huw Morris said:

“We are delighted we have been able to create such exciting new research opportunities with such esteemed partners.

 “The collaborative PhD programmes aim to not only give our students the chance to complement their studies by spending time at partner institutions but also contribute to important research in a wide variety of disciplines, whilst being co-supervised throughout their candidature.”

Find out more about research opportunities offered by Swansea University