Partnerships & Collaboration

To pursue its goals effectively, LERU maintains contacts with (research) organisations around the world that contribute to science policy making and research funding.

Central European Universities

The research-intensive universities that are members of LERU have been able to form a unique bond over the past fifteen years and have been successful in advocating the interests of research-intensive universities in Europe and beyond. They are also keenly aware that, regardless of their location and other differentiating factors, all research universities in Europe face similar challenges affecting all aspects of their intertwined activities - education, research and societal engagement. There are similar challenges for universities all over Europe, which differ more in intensity and in degree of development, than in fundamental characteristics.

That is why in 2016, a group of Central-European universities (CE7) and LERU decided to join forces. The aim is to improve the framework programme conditions for research and education across a broad front in Europe. The CE7 universities comprise the Universities of Belgrade, Eötvös Loránd, Ljubljana, Prague (Charles University), Tartu, Warsaw and Zagreb.

Global Council of Research-Intensive Universities

Aiming at the creation of a Global Council of Research-Intensive Universities, LERU has been gradually intensifying its contacts with sister organisations worldwide such as the Association of American Universities, the Association of East Asian Research Universities, the Group of Eight in Australia, the U15 in Canada, the C9 in China, the U15 in Germany, the RU11 in Japan and the Russell Group in the UK.

The Hefei, Leiden, Tokyo and Shanghai Statements, as adopted by these networks, illustrate the international nature of research, innovation and education issues, and their needed actions and solutions.

United Nations

Convinced of the important role universities can play globally, LERU has decided to link up with the UN activities in the field of research, innovation and education in two ways:

Firstly, LERU and its members have signed up to the UN Academic Impact Principles (UNAI). UNAI is an initiative to align institutions of higher education, scholarship and research with the UN. It aims to generate a global movement of minds to promote a new culture of intellectual, social responsibility. It is driven by a commitment to such bedrock principles as ‘freedom of inquiry, opinion and speech’, ‘educational opportunity for all’ and ‘global citizenship’. By sharing ideas across borders and disciplines it should be possible to find solutions to many interconnected problems.

Secondly, LERU obtained special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). This status allows LERU to express its views and influence the work of the UN Council through meetings, events, presentations, etc. LERU can, for instance, provide expert analysis, raise public awareness of relevant issues, etc. LERU thus wants to raise its voice about the importance of fundamental research worldwide.

Geneva Science-Policy Interface

LERU is a member of the Geneva Science-Policy Interface (GSPI)’s Governing Board. As such, it supports and collaborates with the GSPI in its effort towards strengthening the relationship between scientific research and international organizations based in Geneva. The GSPI is an independent, neutral platform that strives to enhance scientific engagement with global governance actors, aiming to facilitate the emergence of effective policy and strategic solutions to complex problems.

The GSPI welcomes expressions of interest from LERU researchers and institutions who wish to have an impact through their research and expertise. More information and contact details on