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The University of Oxford has enjoyed a successful collaboration with McGill University in Canada since 2009 in the area of neuroscience. This has provided funding for workshops and small collaborative projects. This has been a great success and has benefited both institutions, adding diversity and enrichment to their research programmes. However, the level of funding in this scheme has been relatively low and therefore the impacts modest. To address this, the partnership has been developed into a tripartite scheme including the University of Oxford, McGill and the prestigious Zentrum Fur Neurowissenschaften (ZNZ), Zurich (a partnership of neuroscience groups in Zurich University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology). 

This new Oxford McGill ZNZ Partnership in the Neurosciences was launched at a signing ceremony in Montreal on 25th June. At the ceremony, Professor Kennard, Chair of the Oxford Neuroscience Strategic Oversight Committee, said, ‘The signing of the tripartite agreement offers the opportunity to bring together world-class neuroscientists at McGill, Oxford and Zurich in collaborative programmes of research in both the basic and clinical neurosciences.  This will provide an unprecedented opportunity to enhance human health, particularly in neurological and psychiatric disorders’.  

The new partnership, which it is hoped will offer increased levels of funding, will focus on ‘Ageing and Brain diseases’ and in particular; Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, psychiatric diseases, multiple sclerosis, cognition, chronobiology, neuroplasticity and pain. It is envisaged that the increased resources and longer duration of these projects will maximise the potential benefits of this research to patients, carers and society as a whole.  It is anticipated that the first call for applications will be later this year.