Western Washington University’s Border Policy Research Institute Launches New Cross-Border Partnerships

2026 FIFA World Cup planning, COVID travel restriction impacts, and cross-border disaster management to be addressed in partner research projects


Western Washington University's Border Policy Research Institute (BPRI) is pleased to announce its participation in two new research collaborations with colleagues from the University of Victoria and Simon Fraser University.

The first partnership is the 21st Century Borders Partnership, a seven-year, multi-million-dollar research collaboration led by the University of Victoria. It will foster and integrate policy, research, training, and publications on the evolving field of border studies, and will undertake several research projects focused on issues facing the Cascadia border region between British Columbia and Washington State. These include cross-border natural hazard management, the hosting of the 2026 FIFA World Cup games (with both Vancouver, BC and Seattle as future host cities), and an inventory of cross-border infrastructure and institutional frameworks in the region. Importantly, this partnership will also train and network students and post-doctoral fellows.

The second partnership is a new two-year project that will examine the impacts of travel restrictions, quarantine, testing and immunity certificate requirements on selected equity-deserving groups on both sides of the Canada-US border. This project, which will be led by researchers at Simon Fraser University and WWU’s BPRI, aims to better understand the impacts of travel measures and develop tools to mitigate travel measure inequities in the future.  

The project will contribute to understanding the complex and intersectional impacts of international border restrictions on mobility and equity. The collaboration between Simon Fraser University and BPRI will bring together a diverse group of international researchers across disciplines to address a critical gap in our understanding of the impacts of travel measures during the pandemic. BPRI will be hiring a Postdoctoral fellow to assist with the project.

“We are thrilled to build on our success in forming cross-border partnerships with Canadian universities to better understand the influence of our shared international border on many facets of life in our region,” said Laurie Trautman, director of the Border Policy Research Institute at Western Washington University and Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center & Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

The partnerships are funded by the Social Science and Human Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Partnership Grant and New Frontiers in Research Fund, respectively.

About the Institutes / Collaborations: The Border Policy Research Institute (BPRI) at Western Washington University is a multi-disciplinary institute that undertakes research that informs policymakers on matters related to the Canada – U.S. border, particularly in the British Columbia – Washington State region. These are our newest cross-border collaborations with our colleagues at Simon Fraser University and their international research group Pandemics & Borders and the University of Victoria’s The 21st Century Borders Partnership.