As an institution of both higher learning and world-class research, UC Berkeley has had a long history of engaging in research efforts with professionals from around the world.
According to U.S. News & World Report, UC Berkeley is the No. 1 public university globally. The same rankings, however, also gave campus its lowest category score in the international collaboration section.
“Relative to other schools in the overall ranking, a smaller proportion of UC Berkeley’s papers have international authors,” Robert Morse, chief data strategist for U.S. News, previously told The Daily Californian in an email. “However, the school is still in the top one-third of schools in that indicator.”
According to SciVal, a research output website by Elsevier, 44.2% of campus’s scholarly output from 2012 to 2021 involved international collaboration with more than 8,000 international institutions.
According to campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof, campus also hosts lectures, events and visiting scholars throughout the year, with many of them having affiliations outside the United States. Campus hosted over 3,000 visiting scholars per year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Mogulof.
Campus has several organized research units with a global focus, according to Mogulof. These include the Institute of East Asian Studies, the Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute and the Center for Effective Global Action.
“Collaborations exist in virtually every discipline, and with researchers from countries around the globe,” Mogulof said in an email. “In addition to research collaborations, UC Berkeley is host to a robust Study Abroad program that allows students to study and conduct research abroad.”
According to Laura Counts, campus Haas School of Business spokesperson, the Haas Visiting Scholar Program hosts national and international scholars interested in collaborative intellectual work with Haas faculty.
Currently, there are 16 international visiting scholars listed on the Haas website.
Gail Brager, director of the campus Center for Environmental Design Research, said they host visiting scholars and collaborate with research groups abroad on a weekly basis.
“Berkeley Lab has a long and productive history of collaborating and partnering with many of the world’s top scientific and academic research institutions and distinguished scientists in the United States and around the world,” said Matt Nerzig, a Berkeley Lab spokesman, in an email. “The most important scientific breakthroughs of our time would not be possible without international collaboration.”
According to Nerzig, drawing on the talent from these collaborations allows the lab to further its ongoing research goals. He highlighted the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, which is managed by the UC system and the U.S. Department of Energy; it involves 1100 researchers from 70 institutions in 12 countries.
Julie Gipple, campus Rausser College of Natural Resources spokesperson, said the college’s agricultural and resource economics department and energy and resources group have many professors working collaboratively on issues in foreign countries.
“In research it’s interesting to have teams of people from different parts of the world, because the research becomes a little bit broader and not parochial in the sense that it tries to address questions that are more general,” said Paolo D’Odorico, campus professor of environmental science.
D’Odorico recently published a paper in which he collaborated with researchers in China and Italy. Conducting the study in multiple countries produced “stronger results,” and the team plans to expand their study to further regions in the future, D’Odorico noted.
Mogulof added that while competition between investigators, universities and organizations is natural in “the quest for new discoveries,” most researchers seek collaboration.
“The University’s engagement with the world offers the best chance for solving societal challenges that benefit the citizens of California, the nation, and the world,” Mogulof said in an email. “International research and collaboration has been part of the UC Berkeley tradition since its founding 150 years ago.”