The University of Western Australia and the Spanish National Research Council have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will result in collaboration and PhD positions being offered in four broad areas of research.


The two research institutions will collaborate in the areas of ocean sciences and technology; astrophysics and radio astronomy; plant and agricultural sciences; and computationally-intense sciences and complex system theory.


CSIC and UWA have committed to developing staff exchanges, leading to applications for joint research funding and joint supervision of higher degree by research students and postdoctoral fellows, as well as jointly badged publications.  It is expected that over five years this will result in major joint research programs.


The two organisations have already established joint positions in ocean science with the appointment of Professors Carlos Duarte as the new Director of the UWA Oceans Institute and Susana Agusti as Professorial Fellow in the School of Plant Biology.


In addition to those two joint appointments, there will be two new, three-year postdoctoral fellowships and at least two PhD studentships created in the first three years of the UWA - CSIC collaboration involving ocean science and technology.


For the other three areas of the collaboration, funding will be provided for UWA and CSIC staff to hold planning workshops in Australia and Spain during 2011, so that these collaborations can develop to the level of the ocean sciences and technology partnership.


Further positions are expected to arise in all these three research areas as the joint teams secure future Australian, Spanish and EU grants to support research projects.