This article reflects on the research project, ‘Engaging South African and Finnish youth towards new traditions of non-violence, equality and social well-being’, funded by the Finnish and South African national research councils, in the context of wider debates on research, projects and transnational processes. The project is located within a broader analysis of research projects and projectization (the reduction of research to separate projects), and the increasing tendencies for research to be framed within and as projects, with their own specific temporal and organizational characteristics. This approach is developed further in terms of different understandings of research across borders: international, comparative, multinational and transnational. Special attention is given to differences between research projects that are in the Europe and the EU, and projects that are between the global North and the global South. The theoretical, political and practical challenges of the North-South research project are discussed.