The University partners with the world's most renowned institutions and individuals to address global grand challenges—challenges that increasingly extend beyond geographic boundaries.

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Key Units and Contacts

Office of the Vice President for Research

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) is a central resource for faculty, staff, students, and external partners to conduct, manage, and sponsor research. Support for international research includes export controls.

GPS Alliance

The Global Programs and Strategy Alliance is the central international office for the University of Minnesota system. Support for international research includes advice and counsel on evaluating foreign partners and signing of agreements, travel resources, and funding.


The Strategic Partnerships and Research Collaborative (SPARC) is a research and innovation hub based at the University of Minnesota. SPARC engages researchers and practitioners across disciplines in the U.S. and globally to establish new large-scale programs that catalyze collaboration, innovate for new discoveries, and deliver practical new solutions that address these critical challenges. SPARC promotes and advances partnerships and projects that put our partners, faculty, staff, and students at the forefront of global innovation, impact, and change.

Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility

The mission of the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility is to advance health world-wide through collaborative partnerships, sustainable programs, and academic excellence—and do it in a socially responsible, equitable way. The center supports global health research at the University of Minnesota as well as through networks around the world.

Institute on the Environment

The Institute on the Environment supports breakthrough research across disciplines, develops the next generation of global leaders, and builds transformative partnerships across the state, region, and globe.

International Partnerships

The University of Minnesota has a long and rich tradition of partnerships, exchanges, and informal linkages with institutions and organizations abroad.

United Nations Strategic Development Goals (SDGs)

The Global Programs and Strategy Alliance (GPS Alliance) leads a system-wide initiative focused on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UMN SDG Initiative seeks to support and promote transdisciplinary research, teaching, and partnerships to advance sustainable development in Minnesota, the US and the globe through grants, information, and opportunities linked to SDG targets and indicators. The GPS Alliance is partnering with the Office for Public Engagement and other University centers, institutes, and research groups in developing this initiative.

The UMN Sustainable Development Goal Initiative released a round of funding to support research related to the SDGs at the University of Minnesota.