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Research Matters Newsletter - Issue 05 | Summer 2016

Research Matters is a quarterly newsletter developed by the University of Nicosia  Research & Innovation Office that aims at highlighting important news and developments relating to research and other academic matters that faculty of the University of Nicosia engage in, as well as activities and initiatives that the Office is involved with.

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Therapeutic Exercise at Workspace: Web-platform dedicated to musculoskeletal pain symptoms in the back, neck and extremities!

According to the 2010 European Survey on Working Conditions (ESWC), 46.5% of workers in Europe complain of back pain, while 45% complain of muscle aches. One in two workers in Europe noted working in conditions that resulted in pain. Each year, millions of European workers engaged in various occupations suffer from musculoskeletal disorders that can lead to permanent disability and loss of employment (European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, 2010), and the costs to employers arising from such disorders amount to billions of Euros. Research has shown that the individuals affected the most are office workers or machine workers who repeat the same movement throughout the day.
Two University of Nicosia faculty members from the Department of Life & Health Sciences, Dr. Stefanakis and Dr. Kioumourtzoglou, are currently engaged in a European-funded programme involving a team of academics and orthopaedic specialists from five partnering countries. The project, entitled ‘Therapeutic Exercises in the Workplace’ (Acronym: THEWS), is funded through the ERASMUS+ Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education Programme, via the National Agency of Greece and the European Union. The team of experts developed a free, innovative tool that aims to improve the lives and working conditions of workers. The web-platform – a free, online application (app) – offers office workers specially designed exercises suitable for the office environment. In the long-term, the aim is for businesses to adopt the educational therapeutic exercise programmes that have been validated through the THEWS project, in order to effectively tackle musculoskeletal disorders arising from sedentary office work.
The health and welfare of workers should feature prominently on the agenda of organisations’ CSR and HR activities. When one in two workers complains of pains in his/her back and waist due to sedentary work and incorrect posture, it is important for employers to act immediately and to understand that their workers’ health is an essential prerequisite for the company's productivity and prosperity. The cost for the company, the employee and, in turn, public health is currently unsustainable. Both the programme and the online tool can assist in addressing this issue. For more information contact Dr. Stefanakis at or visit


Diplomatic Academy – University of Nicosia

The Diplomatic Academy at the University of Nicosia was established in 2011 to provide training and promote education, information, and analysis on diplomatic and international relations developments. Furthermore, the Diplomatic Academy aims to link individuals and organizations interested in advancing their knowledge and understanding in the field of diplomacy and international relations. Towards this goal, the Academy organizes and hosts events with professionals, representatives from trade, commerce, the military, the diplomatic community, as well as governmental and non-governmental organizations. Over the past year the Academy operated on three main levels:

  1. Government Links: Set up strong relations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the Ministry of Defense (MoD). An indicative example is the recent conference, entitled “Fostering Resilience for the EU and the Southern Neighbourhood: Challenges and Choices for the EU’s Global Strategy”, co-organized with the MFA and the European Union Institute for Security Studies. In September, the Academy will organize another conference with the MoD and the European Security and Defence College.
  2. Academic Activities: The Academy also organized and co-organized a series of academic events related to diplomacy, including conferences, workshops, roundtables and book presentations. Furthermore, it established the highly successful “Dialogue with a diplomat” lecture series, where foreign diplomats stationed in Cyprus have the opportunity to interact with the students and faculty of the University.
  3. Model United Nations: In September, the Diplomatic Academy in collaboration with the United Nations Youth Student Association of Cyprus (UNYSA), will organize for the first time a four-day Model United Nation educational simulation. Model UN events take place in some of the most prestigious academic institutions such as Harvard. The 100+ young delegates will have the opportunity to learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations, while concurrently developing skills in critical thinking, researching, public speaking, debating, and teamwork. The event is supported by the MFA, the European Commission in Cyprus, as well as the President’s Office.

Visit for more information on the Diplomatic Academy.


Mediterranean and International Conferences Successfully Organised within the Framework of the European Union Funded Project ‘Water-DROP’


The University of Nicosia successfully hosted the Mediterranean and International conferences organised within the framework of the European Union funded project entitled ‘Water Development Resources: Opportunity Policies for the Water Management in Semi-Arid Areas’ (Acronym: Water-DROP). The two conferences took place on 30 and 31 May 2016 in Paphos, Cyprus and were attended by over forty local and international participants.
The Water-DROP project, funded by the European Union within the framework of the ENPI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme, is coordinated by ENEA and includes nine partners from Italy, Cyprus, Spain, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan. The main objective of Water-DROP is to develop an integrated water cycle management approach at the Mediterranean Sea Basin level for managing the related cross-sector issues through the enforcement of multi-stakeholder partnerships, in particular with public and private actors. During his opening address, local project coordinator Dr. Marios Valiantis, Director of the Centre for Green Development and Energy Policy of the University of Nicosia stressed the importance of the development of effective water management policies in the Mediterranean area and expressed his gratitude for the excellent collaboration among the partners of the project.

Read More 


A Suitcase Full of Flavour!

Sigma TV, in collaboration with the University of Nicosia Research Foundation (UNRF), implemented a project co-financed by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and the Republic of Cyprus that aimed to understand the culture of foreigners residing in Cyprus through gastronomy. The project resulted in the creation of a cooking show, which featured individuals from a number of different countries who currently reside on the island.

Dr. Stefanos Spaneas, Assistant Professor and Social Work Programme Coordinator at the University of Nicosia was involved in the development of the show, which introduced viewers to the cultural, historical and gastronomical aspects of foreigners living in Cyprus. By showcasing famous attractions and natural landmarks, as well as traditional cultural rituals, and national dishes and drinks, the show strives to promote the various nationalities sharing the island. The overall aim of the initiative was to assist with the active integration of foreigners by promoting common activities and highlighting differences that should be respected by the local community. As we continue to move towards a global society, the project supports the view that all nationalities are equally important and that cultural diversity can enrich the quality of everyday life.

To view episodes of the series visit


Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the University of Nicosia 

The Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the University of Nicosia gathers the expertise and competencies of high-level experts (including Jean Monnet Chairs and/or Jean Monnet Module coordinators) and aims at developing synergies between the various disciplines and resources in European studies. The Center has a project duration of three years (2014-2017) and it is led by the Jean Monnet Chair Professor Attalides of the University of Nicosia, and supported by other faculty and administrative members at the University. The project activities include – besides teaching EU-related courses – the organization of several events that are either related to European integration or are of particular importance for Europe, such as immigration developments. The project regards the inclusion of civil society as a top priority and, thus, aims to ensure openness to civil society and the promotion of further engagement between the academic community and civil society in Cyprus.

The Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the University of Nicosia also cooperates with other institutions with the most important one being the European Parliament Representation in Cyprus. The events that have been organized so far are two round-tables on Turkey’s EU accession progress, a workshop on migration, a workshop on higher education in the EU and a conference on the same subject.

Further information regarding the Center and its events can be found at

Copyright © 2016 University of Nicosia Research & Innovation Office 

Editor: Elisa Bosio, Senior Research Officer

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