About HUP

A program of the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, HUP's mission is to improve the well-being of our community by fostering innovative and mutually-beneficial county-university collaborations. 

HUP was established in 2004 as a jointly funded program between Hennepin County and the University of Minnesota. A master cooperative agreement (MCA) was established in 2007 to reduce administrative barriers to collaborative work between the institutions. From 2012 to 2021, HUP catalyzed more than 200 projects totaling over $3.7 million in funding. Since its inception, HUP has become a nationally recognized model of collaboration between academia and local government.

Our Work

Research & Evaluation Collaborations

HUP Mixer
  • Making Connections | We establish initial connections between faculty and county staff. These connections may lead to a collaboration, or simply be an opportunity to learn from each other.
  • Supporting Research | We work closely with county staff and UMN faculty to facilitate high-impact research and evaluation projects that support county priorities.
  • Mixers | County staff and faculty work together to identify and propose collaborative projects, which are then reviewed and selected for funding.

Learn more about how HUP catalyzes and supports collaborations


Graduate Student Research

student group studying
  • Capstones & Class Projects | Students work on county-identified projects over a semester, providing students an opportunity to apply classroom knowledge to real-world challenges.
  • HUP Evaluation Assistantship | Students develop and launch evaluation plans for select county programs. Learn more
  • HUP Collaborative Research Assistantship | Students conduct applied research while partaking in development opportunities. Learn more


Information Exchange

Exchanging Information
  • Newsletters | Bi-weekly emails outline relevant UMN and HUP events and opportunities for county staff, and quarterly emails provide updates on the impact of HUP projects.
  • Webinars | Prominent faculty present monthly to county staff on relevant topics, such as child well-being, green energy, and housing policy.

Explore Past HUP events


Annual Impact Reports