Cornell Global Hubs Year in Review 2022-23

Launched in the fall of 2022, Global Hubs are Cornell University's strategic partnerships with world-class peer institutions located across the globe.

Global Hubs collaborations enable Cornell to facilitate faculty interactions, student exchanges, and alumni integration, fostering connections with policymakers, NGOs, private sector entities, and local communities. Leveraging Global Cornell's organizational framework and backed by an engaged network of faculty and staff, we've established foundational processes supporting student exchanges, internships, and collaborative research across 18 institutional partners in 11 global locations.

Year One By the Numbers

For Students: World-Class Experiences

  • Semester or year-long: 76 students participated in exchange programs at a Hubs partner, and Cornell hosted 37 incoming students.
  • Summer internships: 73 placements across seven countries over two summers
  • Short-term programs: 47 students across five countries
“Through participating in immersive excursions and activities, I’ve gained so much insight into Ghana and its culture.”

Amara Hill '25 (CALS)

“Global Hubs are different and important because they are university-wide partnerships. They are coordinated and have buy-in at the highest level in the partner university; they are long-term; and they bring together students, faculty, alumni, and community members in a way that single collaborations don’t necessarily.”

Wendy Wolford, Vice Provost for International Affairs, Cornell University

For Faculty: World-Class Collaborations

  • $400,000 in joint research seed funds
  • 42 new research collaborations across nine Cornell colleges
  • 12 non-U.S. external funding sources suggested by collaborative teams
  • NSF proposals: 1 successful, 1 resubmitting, 1 pending

Design Solutions for Warming World

A Cornell-led project team received a joint seed grant with the Edinburgh Hub and collaborated with their partners and faculty at Hubs partners in India, Ghana, and Singapore to successfully apply for a two-year $250,000 NSF design grant for a Global Center on Household Energy and Thermal Resilience. Read about the grant.

Campuswide Initiative

Since its inception, Global Hubs has been a highly collaborative initiative, starting from the strategic conversations with the president, provost, colleges, deans, and faculty dating back to 2018. Over 60 faculty served on subcommittees to assess potential Global Hubs during the planning process.


  • 2018-19 Meetings with deans to assess priorities
  • 2020-21 Covid hits and Study Away program model established
  • 2020-21 Initial institutions are selected, and outreach is initiated to potential partners
  • 2021-23 Agreements negotiated
  • 2021 First student exchanges
  • 2022 Network launch event
  • 2022-23 First seed funds committed


Advancing Hubs activities draws on expertise across campus under the leadership of Global Cornell. The Global Hubs steering committee provides regular oversight, and a cross-campus faculty advisory committee advises and connects directly with partners.

Investing in Meaningful Student Experiences

Global Hubs has informed a transformation of undergraduate education abroad experience at Cornell. While the broader program portfolio addresses the diverse needs of Cornell students, Hubs makes a closer alignment with the Cornell curriculum possible through embedded experiences in local institutions and customized experiential learning.


Exchanges allow our students to study alongside local students, and Cornell reciprocates by hosting visiting students, which further internationalizes the Ithaca campus.

During the 2022-23 academic year, 76 students participated in exchange programs at a Hubs partner, and Cornell hosted 37 incoming students. Student exchanges AY 2023-24 are expected to rise to 216 Cornell students in outgoing exchange programs and 108 incoming students.

photo / Eman Maali was one of six PhD students from Imperial College London who came to the Ithaca and Cornell Tech campuses as part of Imperial's Global Fellows Fund.

Short-Term Programs at Hubs

We are developing experiential learning programming in collaboration with campus units, Hubs partners, and community groups. Hubs provide logistical support for faculty looking to take a group of students on a course abroad.

Summer 2022 through spring 2024:

  • Winter in Ecuador: Politics of Sustainable Development
  • Summer Engineering Exchange: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • Spring Break in Ecuador: Culture, Communities, and Development
  • Spring Break in London: Global Health and Environmental Justice
  • Summer in Ghana: AU Agenda 2063 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Winter in Zambia: History and Politics of Southern Africa

photo / Piper Sullivan '25 in India during summer 2022.

Internships at Hubs Locations

Global Cornell has expanded the offering of funded summer internship placements that range from research at partner institutions to experiences in community-based organizations.

Summer 2022 and 2023:

  • Internships hosted by the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies in Ecuador, Zambia, India, and Ghana.
  • Global Fellows internships at the National University of Singapore and the University of Sydney.
  • Imperial College London: International Research Opportunities Program.

photo / Serena Moscarella '25 (CALS) and Caleb Kimble '24 (A&S) in Salasaka, Ecuador just after the program's closing ceremony.

Curricular Mapping

Cornell's previous education abroad portfolio emphasized third-party programs, where students studied alongside other U.S. students. Global Hubs accelerated a shift towards expanding exchange relationships with select peer institutions, whose range and quality of courses align with Cornell's curricula, enabling students to advance their degree progress while abroad.

photo / Daniel Bilezikian '23 (Cornell Engineering) at Imperial College London.

“My research internship in accelerator physics at Cornell has been an extraordinary journey. I had the privilege to learn from and collaborate with world-class scientists, engage in hands-on experiments, and learnt a lot about what it means to be a researcher and a scientist. It has fuelled my passion for scientific exploration as an undergraduate.”

Shwetha Prakash, physics major from Ashoka University, spent a summer studying at Cornell

Opportunities for International Faculty Collaborations

In its inaugural year, the Global Hubs network established multidirectional relationships, enhancing the impact and global reach of research, community engagement, and teaching. At Global Hubs locations worldwide, Cornell faculty connected with researchers who share their academic interests in a range of interdisciplinary thematic areas.

Collaborations spanned numerous fields, including natural history, biology, public health, climate change, astronomy, and engineering.

Broad Faculty Interest

313 Cornell faculty connected with Global Hubs by applying for or receiving a joint seed award, applying for external funding with Hubs partner faculty, serving on Hubs committees, participating in affinity groups, or attending Hubs events. There have been interactions with 861 faculty and staff at partner institutions.

photo / Faculty and staff from Cornell and Hubs partners gathered in Ithaca for the first Global Hubs Network Meeting.

Joint Seed Funding

The Global Hubs initiative offered joint seed grants with seven Hubs partners, funding 42 emerging research projects for faculty teams from Cornell and partner institutions.

Global Cornell awarded about $200,000 in the first cycle with matching funds from partner institutions and a contribution from Weill Cornell Medicine, totaling more than $430,000 in year one.

Among the funded projects, 75% were new collaborations, and more than 60% supported female and early-career researchers.

photo / Ethan Duvall collecting soil and plant samples near USFQ’s Tiputini Biodiversity Station.

“In both our education and our research, it’s a priority for us to support the connections and collaborations that will sustain a globally diverse culture throughout the Cornell community and also help build a stronger global ecosystem of higher education.”

Martha E. Pollack, Cornell University President

Global Hubs as Aggregators

Cornell Hosts Network Meeting with Hubs Partners

The inaugural Global Hubs network meeting was held in Ithaca on November 16–17, 2022. Global Cornell welcomed partners from 16 universities worldwide to the Cornell campus.

Research Network Meetings

Global Hubs have facilitated partner- and theme-focused research network meetings where faculty teams formed through these connections continue to have virtual and in-person workshops and work on joint research projects that can be leveraged for external funding, including:

  • Hong Kong University of Science and Technology co-organized virtual network meetings in partnership with Cornell Research on sustainability, built infrastructure, and health tech.
  • The Danish Technical University's Center for Absolute Sustainability participated in a vitual workshop for DTU and Cornell faculty on sustainability which explored climate change, energy, Environment, food tech, and AI.
  • The University of Sydney (USYD) held a summit on Sustainable Development Goals, where Global Hubs Director Sebnem Oskan presented as part of a panel session. Additionaly, Cornell organized a virtual networking meeting on One Health with USYD.

Meeting in Malta

The Global Hub relationship with Queen Mary University of London connected researchers who study migration across the two campuses. Faculty met at QMUL's campus in Malta for a two-day retreat to discuss migration topics, and the teams plan to apply for funding through the UKRI-NSF SBE collaborative funding mechanism.

“Visiting our UK partners reinforced the tremendous opportunities for exchange and collaboration. The breadth and excellence of these schools ensures almost unlimited possibilities for short- and long-term exchanges and collaborations in research, teaching, entrepreneurship, and community outreach.”

Read more: Expanding UK Engineering Partnerships

Michael Thompson, Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering, faculty lead for Imperial College London

Advancing Health Care

A medical school affinity group led by Weill Cornell Medicine was established to engage in ongoing bilateral and multilateral research networking meetings and conversations.

“My visit to the National University of Singapore was an ideal opportunity to learn more about how NUS and Cornell can work together to support Southeast Asian studies in particular, but also other areas for collaboration between two comprehensive universities that share a focus on public engagement and academic excellence.”

Read more: Southeast Asia Program Leadership Visits NUS

Thomas Pepinsky, Walter F. LaFeber Professor of Government and Public Policy, director of Einaudi's Southeast Asia Program, faculty lead for NUS

Partnering with Ghana

The collaboration between Cornell and the University of Ghana enhances SC Johnson's Mastercard Foundation application for a project targeting young entrepreneurial women in agriculture, tourism, and hospitality, focusing on digital training and technology. Additionally, a global health connection was established with the Brooks School of Public Policy, potentially partnering with Pfizer to develop a drug/vaccine distribution platform and engaging in pan-Africa advocacy efforts.

Engaging with International Alumni as Strategic Partners

Global Cornell leadership visited India in the spring and met with alumni clubs in Mumbai (above), Bangarulu, and New Delhi.

Cornell's International alumni have expressed enthusiasm for the Global Hubs initiative and are interested in opportunities to connect with Cornell when leadership and faculty visit Hubs locations for research, sabbaticals, or conferences.

Looking Ahead

Global Hubs provide opportunities for university-level, coordinated support for vetted partnerships, offer gateways to new collaborations, and serve as regional nodes. In the coming year, we anticipate more students and faculty taking advantage of Hubs for various activities within the host countries.

Strategic international partnerships can yield a more significant impact than the sum of their individual components. As Hubs relationships mature, the rich benefits of deep and multidimensional collaborations that grow exchanges, broaden and find collaborative research, and deepen alumni connections will be even more fully realized.

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