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Welcome to the UCN!

Welcome to the new U.S-Jordanian University Cooperation Network (UCN) Monthly Newsletter. This newsletter aims to expand knowledge, opportunities and collaboration among UCN members by highlighting funding opportunities, fostering interest on relevant topics and promoting current, past and future events. We hope that you enjoy this edition and we invite you to share ideas, news and your achievements with us. We look forward to hearing from you!

About us

The U.S.-Jordanian University Cooperation Network (UCN) has the goal of strengthening strategic and long-term institutional cooperation between U.S. and Jordanian universities and developing new mechanisms for bilateral cooperation that enhance the productivity and impact of university linkages.

  • The Jordanian network secretariat is located at the University of Jordan – contact person: Dr. Hadeel Yaseen ( 
  • The American network secretariat is located at Virginia Tech – contact person: Patricia Parera (

To learn more about the UCN and its members, please visit our website, which is currently under development.

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Upcoming Programs and Events


  • Due to the continuing spread of COVID-19 infection worldwide, and the most recent declaration from the World Health Organization (WHO)  on the COVID-19 pandemic, we must postpone the UCN conferences on Internationalization and One Health scheduled for 5-6 April 2020 in Irbid, Jordan. We will keep you posted with new dates. On this website you can find information and guidance from WHO regarding the current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
  • The International Refugee Conference in Petra on 7-8 April has been postponed until 9-10 June 2020.  For more information, please contact Georgeta Pourchot, E-mail:
  • April 5-9, 2020: Attend the University of Jordan Erasmus + International Staff Week “Best Practices Think Tank” to network and share experiences and challenges with representatives of other institutions. Attendants will have the opportunity to present promotional material about their university. Registration deadline: April 1st, 2020. Click here to register!


Past events

A male speaker at a lectern addresses an audience sitting around a large conference table
Guru Ghosh, Vice President for outreach and International Affairs at Virginia Tech, addresses the 2019 conference.


In June 2019, the Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute (LCI) held the Conference on Innovative and Transformational Ideas to Improve the Development and Policy Response to Forced Displacement. The conference had the goal of addressing issues related to the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and forced displacement in Jordan. It also aimed to promote collaboration, share knowledge, expand opportunities for multi-institutional cooperation and coordinate resources amongst its members. It was attended by over 75 participants from 12 Universities across the globe, the World Bank, the State Department and the Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Washington D.C.  
  • Click here to read the final report.
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In June 2019, the U.S Embassy in Jordan and NC State University organized the international conference Building Capacity for International University Cooperation and Research Collaboration in Amman, Jordan. The conference focused on strategies for campus internationalization, identification of research opportunities and capacity building for grant application and research administration. 
  • Click on this link to read some of presentations given at the conference.

Funding and other opportunities


The Public Affairs Section at the U.S Embassy in Jordan invites proposals to “strengthen ties between the U.S and Jordan through public diplomacy programming that highlights shared values, promotes bilateral cooperation, and builds mutual understanding.”  Deadline – ongoing.

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation aims to maximize the inclusion and integration onto society of individuals with disabilities. Under this priority, they propose a grant to “come up with a development project that is aimed at improving the community living and participation of individuals with disabilities.” Deadline: March 23rd, 2020. Click here to learn more about the grant. 

Through the New Partnerships Initiative (NPI): Conflict Prevention & Recovery Program (CPRP), USAID announces a grant to “engage new and underutilized partners to expand and amplify the Agency’s work, particularly in contexts at the risk of, or recovering from, violent conflict” Deadline: April 29, 2020. Click here to learn more about the grant. 

The National Institutes of Health announces a grant to “encourage exploratory and developmental research applications that propose to study the development, validation, feasibility, and effectiveness of innovative mobile health (mHealth) interventions or tools specifically suited for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) that utilize new or emerging technology, platforms, systems, or analytics.” Deadline:  December 03, 2020. Click here to learn more about the grant.
Attend summer school in Jordan, learn Arabic and explore the country by attending the "First International Summer School" at the University of Jordan from June 27- July 9 2020. To register, please click here

Must reads

New antiviral treatment made using sugar

Click here to learn more about how researchers from the University of Manchester, the University of Geneva and the Ecole Polytechique Fédérale de la Lausanne have developed a new ‘virucidal’ from modified sugar molecules, capable of destroying viruses without killing targeted cells. This innovative approach could lead to the development of long-lasting antivirals and help in the fight of viral resistance.

700 young people graduate with employable skills from Amaluna

Read about how UNICEF is fighting youth economic inactivity in Jordan by providing 30,000 young Jordanian and Syrian students with the opportunity to obtain technical and vocational training through the Amaluna Youth Economic Engagement program. To date the program has supported 2,500 students, with 700 students graduating in December 2019. Graduates from this program report a 70 per cent employment rate.

Rewriting the Rules to Support Refugees and Host Communities in the Middle East and North Africa

Learn more about how the rules to support refugees and host communities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have changed over the past 8 years. In MENA, 86% of refugees live in cities and towns, which increases the demand of all basic services (waste management, health, education, etc.) as well as unemployment rates. Because of this, countries such as Jordan and Lebanon face an urgent development response and risk significant loss of human capital. The international community has identified these needs and has developed a response to complement the humanitarian operations. In 2013, support included providing grants to municipalities hosting Syrian refugees to improve living conditions and expanding public services and programs for Syrian and Jordanians. It was also noted that because Jordan and Lebanon are classified as middle-income countries, they did not have access to concessional sources of financing. As a consequence, to prevent them from rapidly going into debt, a shift of perspective occurred, in which aid “followed people” and provided communities that host refugees with funding, regardless of their income. In 2016, the World Bank provided Jordan and Lebanon with US $100 million from the International Development Association (IDA), the first ever IDA concessional program for middle-income countries.

Program for International Student Assessment: Jordan

In early December 2019 the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released the results of the 2018 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). This report indicated that even though Jordan scored 55% below the basic reading proficiency level, it is “the second non-OECD country that has improved the most since 2015”.          

Jordan: Where junior and senior scientists meet as equals

Check out this Nature article to learn more about how The Phi Science Institute, a non-profit organization led by Jordanian scientists, hosts an annual summit to promote research in the Arab world and connect students, and young  researchers with junior and senior scientists.

Jordan bagpiper graffiti celebrates Middle East’s ‘Scottish connection’

Learn more about Jordan’s musical link to Scotland by reading about the introduction of the bagpipe in Jordan and how this historic bond is now being commemorated through a street art mural in the Khalda district in Amman.

Synergies between science, technology and humanities

Read the 7th Higher Education in the World Report Humanities and Higher Education: Synergies between Science, Technology and Humanities, which explores the relation between humanities, science and technology and proposes ways to have an integrated approach of knowledge.


Poverty measurements  among refugee populations

Learn more about how the World Bank used cross-survey imputations and administrative and survey data collection to measure poverty among refugee populations and to fulfill gaps in the literature regarding the measurement of income, consumption or expenditure.  


UCN Online Members Database

Request for Information- UCN Online Members Database
We need your help to complete the online UCN membership database of institutional profiles which will be an integral part of the UCN website. We hope to publicly launch the database in April 2020.  This platform will be the main way in which U.S. researchers will find Jordanian counterparts for collaborative research partnerships.  If you haven’t submitted your profile already, please try to get it in as soon as possible by contacting Reham Dannoun at the University of Jordan.

UCN newsletter submissions wanted

If you would like to share articles, funding and research opportunities, or tell us about university exchange programs or study abroad opportunities, please contact Patricia Parera, editor at

Member universities

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