Global Partner Spotlights

United Kingdom

The University of South Florida and University of Exeter Partnership

The University of South Florida and the University of Exeter, both premiere research universities have enjoyed a long history of shared research interests with a focus on student and faculty mobility. In 2009, USF identified the University of Exeter as one of the five strategic international partners.

student sitting next to the University of Exeter welcome sign

Exchanges and Partnership Highlights

During the past five years, exchanges between the two large research universities have included the following unique groups:

Higher Education Leadership Exchange

July 2015: Joint USF Board of Trustees Meeting with University of Exeter’s Council in Exeter. A joint working group was established with a focus on Medicine and Engineering.

Former USF President Judt Genshaft presents to USF and Exeter representatives

March 2018: A University Leadership Forum and Partnership Agreement was signed during the University of Exeter’s visit to USF. President Judy Genshaft and Provost Ralph Wilcox met with a contingency of university leaders from the University of Exeter. Vice Chancellor, Sir Steve Smith confirmed the importance of the partnership during this visit and pledged continued support of the relationship.

Advancement Collaboration

June 2016/March 2017:  University of South Florida and University of Exeter Advancement Leaders traveled to each university to share strategies and best practices in advancement and fundraising.

Professional Services/Administrative Collaborations

March 2017: Alongside academic collaboration, connections were made within Professional/Administrative Services to help share expertise and best practices. Planning and Data centered discussions and exchanges were planned between the two universities

Education Exchange

Approximately 10-15 USF students each semester travel to the University of Exeter for a semester or summer academic experience. Similar numbers of University of Exeter students enjoy a semester or summer as a USF Bull and enrich USF classes with their presence. 

Provost WIlcox speaking with exchange students from Exeter at USF


Provost Wilcox meeting with exchange students from the University of Exeter.


Partnerships Collaboration

Over the past years, the leaders of the international work at the University of Exeter and USF have met frequently in person and by video conference to discuss the opportunities for research and education partnership. The Catalyst funding was one of the outcomes designed to identify and encourage additional partnerships.

Catalyst Funding
Exeter and USF faculty meeting to discuss collaborative projects

An initiative between the University of Exeter Global Partnerships Office and USF World, the Research Catalyst Fund provided funding to support collaborative research activity between academics at Exeter and USF. Identified collaborations will receive support for project activities including, but not limited to, faculty exchange, post-graduate student exchanges, joint symposia, or resource sharing. The maximum amount applicants received was £8,000 ($11,200) for the completed project.

Project recipients for the 2018-2019 cycle were:

Huw Williams and Edelyn Verona: Neuropsychological Approaches to Violent Crime and Suicide Risk in Multiple Vulnerable Populations. Travel to University of Exeter enabled discussion/evaluation of literature and development of a joint research project; participants include researchers from USF, University of Exeter and colleagues at University College London and University of New Mexico. Data collected incorporated related assessments on incarcerated individuals and added to the data needed for the research. One project in Florida by Dr. Verona and her Criminology colleague Dr. Fox involved collection of data on inmates at the Pasco County Jail, partly using measures of TBI developed by Dr. Williams in the UK. Part of the project is to determine whether patterns of brain injury are linked to offending and recidivism, and forms part of Dr. Verona’s graduate student’s master’s thesis (Lauren Fournier). Data collection is ongoing with over 600 inmates assessed, partly with funds provided by the USF-Exeter Research Catalyst grant, with Dr. Williams providing input as needed.

In another project, Dr. Williams had received a MRC grant for work in South Africa, in collaboration with Dr. Leigh Schrieiff at University of Cape Town, to examine trauma in context of offending. Data have been gathered over the past year and are now being collated. Dr. Verona will be asked to provide guidance on Forensic Psychology issues within the data. Across the Pasco jail and Cape Town projects, Drs. Verona and Williams, with Bryanna Fox at USF and Leigh Schreiff at Uni Cape Town as collaborators, are developing a plan for publication and dissemination. Two major projects and two papers on the study were expected to be completed with additional funding sources being explored.

Philip Stern and Wolfgang Jank: The Impact of IT on General Practitioner Prescribing. Catalyst funding was used for data collection/analysis and facilitated the creation of a working paper submitted for publication. A visit to USF by Dr. Stern fast tracked work on revisions to the original research publication and allowed him to present a related seminar to USF students on the importance of replication research. The project developed and became the vehicle for a successful Ph.D. submission from Uktarsh Shrivastava, co-supervised by Dr. Zantedeschi.

Mark van der Giezen and Rays H.Y. Jiang: (Note: Dr. van der Giezen has left the University of Exeter but Exeter collegues, Dr. Peter Petrov, Dr. Peter Winlove, Corey Holt, and Skye Marshall continue the catalyzing genomics collaborations research with Dr. Rays Jiang and USF research scientist Swamy Adapa.) After Dr. Rays Jiang visited the University of Exeter and identified viable research collaborations, two external pre-proposals for trans-Atlantic collaborations have been submitted. A Ph.D. exchange occurred in the spring of 2019 when Corey Holt came to USF to work on his genomics project. The group is also moving forward with an experiment that can test the USF-Exeter hypothesis on red blood cell membrane complexity and examining the lysis-resistant cells with proteomics or flow cytometry; comparing them with total population.

A symposium and workshops are also being planned for the upcoming months in addition to co-authoring a manuscript to publish the collaborative results and assist Skye in finishing her interdisciplinary Ph.D. work.

Philip Durrant and Nicole Tracy-Ventura: (Note: Amanda Huensch and Tuc Chau took over the project after Nicole Tracy-Ventura left the University of South Florida.) My Reviewers Doctoral Exchange. Additional individuals involved in the project were University of Exeter, Ed.D student, Lee McCallum and Tuc Chau, Ph.D. student from USF. A UE Doctoral student, Lee McCallum traveled to USF, attended courses and worked on the MyReviewers ( database. USF Doctoral student, Tuc Chau then traveled to Exeter in the spring of 2019 to work with Dr. Durrant on the main analysis of the database and to begin drafting a publication. The progress made in using the database will influence future use and opportunities. Plans involve making the database fully searchable and having open access.

Hazel Lawson and Phyllis Jones: (Note: Dr. Alison Black, UE, and Alisha Braun, USF, replaced the original researchers and carried the project to completion.) Research Seminars: Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and Inclusive Education / What Does Inclusion Mean in Contexts of Well-Established Specialist Provision? Additional individuals from the University of Exeter who were involved in the project are Darren Moore, Brahm Norwich, Helen Knowler and George Koutsouris. From USF, Alisha Braun, Jennifer Wolgemuth, David Lamb, Karen Colucci, Vonzell Agosto, Zorka Karanxha contributed to the project. Since May of 2018, the groups have met monthly over Zoom or Skype to share information about schools systems, special education needs and disability systems in each of the two regions. The research scope and sites used for comparative analysis were established along with a shared document site. A research assistant, Lodi Rohrer was appointed by USF and a summit was held (through Zoom) to bring the two groups together.

To answer the overarching research questions, the team generated 19 sub-questions based on the data collected from multiple sources. These data sources include the Florida Department of Education’s PK-20 Education Information Portal, the National Center for Education Statistics’ Common Core of Data, Exceptional Student Education (ESE) data from Pasco County Schools, and Pasco County Geographic Information System (GIS) data. The team finalized the descriptive analyses for each sub-question, and results were presented at the USF research seminar. The USF research seminar was featured in this USF College of Education news story. The group has made strides toward ultimate goal of publication and academic connections for future collaborations.