Project Experience

HUP supports collaborations of all shapes and sizes between Hennepin County and the University of Minnesota. HUP’s involvement varies by project, ranging from administrative support to an active project partner. We work to ensure projects are meaningful, impactful, and aligned with priorities such as disparity reduction, climate action, and student research.

How Collaborations Start

We work with county and university leadership to proactively identify  collaborative opportunities, including through events like the HUP Mixer. In addition, county staff frequently contact us with requests for expertise, and UMN faculty contact us with collaboration ideas. Interested partners can come to HUP at any stage in their project development. From having a general need to a clearly defined project proposal, HUP can help. To start a collaboration, submit an interest form here.


The HUP Project Experience

A graphic depicting the four project stages described below


HUP tailors its support based on each project’s particular needs, but in general, collaborative teams can expect the following when working with us:

Initial Conversation (and Contract Creation)
HUP meets with teams to ensure projects are set up for success from the start. Topics include project goals, communication practices, and deliverables. HUP also supports the contract process for projects that require it.

Periodic Check-ins
Teams determine how often to check in with HUP to discuss progress, challenges, and changes.

As-Needed Support
When projects encounter challenges or need to make changes, HUP can help teams adapt, connect with resources, and trouble-shoot.

As projects near completion, HUP works with teams to communicate results, identify opportunities to influence policy and practice, and determine the next stage of the work. This usually includes creating a policy brief.


What Makes an Impactful Collaboration?

We put together a 2-page guide that will help you craft a productive and impactful partnership between the university and the county.

In general, HUP collaborations have the best chance of success when:

  • Teams establish a shared understanding of the project and its goals.
  • The role of each institution and each project lead is well-defined.
  • Teams have access to the resources needed to carry out the work, (e.g.  staff time, data sets, or community partners)
  • Teams consider the end use(s) of the project from the start.