Welcome to Research Matters, the University of Nicosia Research & Innovation Office Newsletter. 
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Research Matters Newsletter - Issue 06 | Fall 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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University of Nicosia Engaged in Six New Funded Projects

The University of Nicosia is engaged in six new European and locally funded projects either as a coordinator or partner. The Research & Innovation Office wishes to congratulate the faculty members involved in the projects and wish them a successful project life-cycle! 

Intercultural Learning in Mathematics and Science Initial Teacher Education
Dr. Nicolas Mousoulides, Department of Education, School of Education / Partner / ERASMUS+ KA2 / September 2016 (36 months)
European Network for Academic Integrity (ENAI)
Professor Angelika Kokkinaki, Department of Management & MIS, School of Business / Partner / ERASMUS+ KA2 / October 2016 (36 months)
Digital Tools for Inclusion of Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants
Dr. Stefanos Spaneas, Department of Social Sciences, School of Humanities & Social Sciences / Partner / ERASMUS+ KA2 / November 2016 (12 months)
Next Generation Networked Media over 4G+ Infrastructure (NEREUS)
Professor Constantinos Mavromoustakis, Department of Computer Science, School of Sciences and Engineering / Partner / ERASMUS+ KA2 / November 2016 (36 months)
Migrants Info Centre
Dr. Stefanos Spaneas, Department of Social Sciences, School of Humanities & Social Sciences / Coordinator / Ministry of Interior, Cyprus / November 2016 (12 months)
Mentoring Platform for Young Social Innovators
Professor Angelika Kokkinaki, Department of Management & MIS, School of Business / Partner / ERASMUS+ KA2 / December 2016 (22 months)


'Teaching Excellence in Higher Education' Conference Organised within the Framework of the European Funded Project ‘TeachEx’

A conference on ‘Teaching Excellence in Higher Education’ took place on Wednesday, 7 December at the University of Nicosia, organised within the framework of the European funded project ‘Teaching Excellence in Israel - TeachEx’ (financed under the ERASMUS+ KA2 programme). The University is engaged as a partner in the project under the coordination of Professor Philippos Pouyioutas, Rector at the University of Nicosia. TeachEx is led by the Interdisciplinary Centre Herzliya, Israel, and involves a total of 14 partners from seven countries. The project aims to contribute to the continuous professional development of academic staff, by offering adequate support structures (Centres for Teaching Excellence) and innovative, high-quality, flexible programmes, designed to promote better teaching and, therefore, enhanced learning. Speaking at the conference, Professor Pouyioutas presented a Teaching in Higher Education Quality Model (THEQM) that helps quantify the commitment of Higher Education institutions in terms of their provided quality of education. He also presented a supporting web-based tool (THEQMTOOL) that he developed, which employs 100 indicators in evaluating Higher Education institutions in quality-related areas. This tool can be used by institutions to compare and contrast their performance in quality-related areas with universities around the world and, by extension, to focus and improve on specific quality areas. Other speakers included Professor Peter McCrorie, Dean of Medical Education at the University of Nicosia and Dr. Eric H. Zimmerman, Director of Research & Global Engagement at the Interdisciplinary Centre Herzliya, Israel. The conference was chaired by Dr. Marian McCarthy, Director of the Centre for the Integration of Research, Training and Learning (CIRTL), University College Cork, Irelend.


Unconventional Linkages: Blockchains and S3Cy

The University of Nicosia (UNIC) was the world’s first university to formulate a holistic strategy in leveraging the ground-breaking nature and disruptive potential of blockchains in 2013. It has since announced a Digital Currency Initiative (2013), launched a full MSc degree in Digital Currency (2014) and a series of professional development courses on blockchains (2015). Further, it has proposed to the Cypriot Government a comprehensive framework for developing Cyprus into a hub for blockchain research and innovation development. Blockchains represent a core segment of technology innovations that create significant opportunities for a major and disruptive refresh of a wide spectrum of infrastructure and applications. Blockchains can be radically disruptive on their own, as well as underpin other innovations, such as smart contracts and the Internet of Things. Read More → 


Human Biology Programme Participates in the 10th Annual European Researchers' Night 

Faculty and students of the Human Biology Programme took part in the annual European Researchers’ Night 2016 on Friday, 30 September. The European Researchers’ Night is a Europe-wide public event dedicated to popular science and fun, interactive learning, which takes place each year on the last Friday in September. Currently, more than 30 countries and over 300 cities are involved in the initiative which aims to showcase what researchers really do for society, in interactive and engaging ways; thus, promoting research careers to young people and their parents. This year marked the tenth anniversary of the first Researchers’ Night event organised in Cyprus in 2006 and the theme of the event was “Research Unlimited”. The event was organised by the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation. The activity organised by the Human Biology Programme, entitled “What group are you?” focused on the on-the-spot identification of an individual’s blood type. Special thanks to our colleagues Dr. Myrtani Pieri, Dr. Kyriakos Felekkis, Dr. Christos Papaneophytou, Dr. Iris Charalambidou, and Dr. Vicky Nicolaidou for representing the University at the event.


University of Nicosia Moves on to the Final Stage of the ECF Call: Idea Camp 2017 – Moving Communities

Idea Camp is a collaborative working platform initiated by the European Cultural Foundation (ECF) with the aim to address the societal challenges that Europe is currently facing by investing in local initiatives. ECF’s ‘Idea Camp 2017’ call was about creative and critical ideas that could foster open and inclusive communities and societies. More than 600 proposals were submitted but only 50 have been selected to go through to the final stage. Dr. Evi Tselika (Assistant Professor, Fine Art Programme) and Dr. Niki Sioki (Assistant Professor, Graphic Communication Programme), will present their idea at a 3-day workshop and compete for an R&D grant. The idea is entitled ‘Sharing Common Paths’ and proposes the publication of a cultural multi-lingual journal, which will be entirely co-created and co-produced by non-European community groups of migrants that reside in Cyprus. Through the journal, migrants will expose their creativity and contribute to the enrichment of local cultural life.


University of Nicosia Hosts the 3rd Annual Bi-communal Junior Achievement Cyprus Innovation Camp Attended by Over 90 High School Students 

On Friday, 4 November, the 3rd Annual Junior Achievement Cyprus Bi-communal Innovation Camp took place at the University of Nicosia. The Innovation Camp aimed at encouraging young people to use their skills in enterprising and innovative ways, fostering their employability and entrepreneurial flair in the process. 93 Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot students, aged between 15 and 18, from private high schools from all over Cyprus, participated in the event. In groups of 4-5 persons, the students were asked to come up with an answer to a business challenge unveiled to them on the same day. The challenge, which focused on social entrepreneurship, required the students to suggest an innovative product, service or solution that would address a specific social issue in Cyprus and create a positive impact on society. At the end of the day, all teams presented their ideas to a panel of experts. The winning team will take part in an international student programme next summer. The event was supported by the US Embassy in Nicosia. Read More →


A Sit Down with Professor Constandinos Mavromoustakis

Prof. Constandinos Mavromoustakis joined the University of Nicosia over ten years ago and is currently a faculty member with the Department of Computer Science. Constandinos has always possessed an innate curiosity about how things operate and, starting from a very young age, would often take apart devices in order to gain a better understanding of their inner workings. Beginning with radios and video recorders, he soon moved on to constructing various airplane engines and models using construction kits and technical manuals. In time, this hobby would develop into a lifelong passion and serve as the impetus for his research work which, today, focuses on anywhere-anytime-anything devices and their respective running applications. Read More →


Crowdhelix Platform Available to University of Nicosia Faculty 

Crowdhelix is a newly developed platform that matches companies and academics for collaborations on grant proposals and short projects. University of Nicosia faculty enjoy access to this platform due to the University’s membership with the Vision2020 Network. Crowdhelix is an active community, with over 800 members, and offers access to a wealth of opportunities connecting companies and academics for collaborations by removing a layer of administration in creating matches, thereby saving time and money. In October, the Research & Innovation Office organised two tutorial sessions to introduce faculty to the platform. Read More →


Mentor: Programme for Social and Personal Guidance Successfully Implemented within the Framework of the International Mentoring Organisation ‘Perach’

Mentor is a carefully structured programme, based on an innovative coaching model that belongs to a larger family of such programmes found abroad. It pairs up university students with children from underprivileged families. Students have the chance to act as mentors, friends and role models for these children, giving them the opportunity to build a positive, empowering, stable and supportive relationship that will lead them to develop their abilities and talents. The students meet with the children over the course of one academic year (typically twice a week for a period of two hours). The Mentor programme accepts applications from students coming from any field of study and is open to students across Cyprus. The University of Nicosia successfully implemented the first pilot year of activities and is now launching the programme for the second year thus promoting social responsibility among its students. Read More →


RIO Welcomes a New Addition to the Team

Ms. Renata Prince joined the Research & Innovation Office in August assuming the role of Research Finance Officer. Renata received her BSc in Finance and Accounting from the University of Salford (UK) in 2006 and is in the final stages of completing her ACCA Qualification. She has ten years of experience working with local audit firms and, most recently, was as a senior auditor running audits for local and international companies. Currently, she is responsible for the financial management of local and EU funded programmes at the University of Nicosia and is involved from the pre-proposal stage through to the final financial reporting required for funded programmes.


“From Cyprus With Love” Publication Launch 

Dr. Marilena Zackheos, Director of the Cyprus Center for Intercultural Studies and Assistant Professor of Social Sciences at the University of Nicosia, in collaboration with Kathy Kattashis, launched a new publication, “From Cyprus With Love” on Friday, 16 December. The publication includes a set of 11 postcards and a booklet containing the curated visual and creative writing texts in English, as well as editors’ introductions. “From Cyprus With Love” showcases a range of contemporary islanders’ own narratives about their everyday experiences of Cyprus and attempts to shift the tourism sector’s focus to the lesser emphasised aspects of the physical and social island space, including culture, the arts, and disregarded but familiar perspectives. 

Copyright © 2016 University of Nicosia Research & Innovation Office 

Editor: Elisa Bosio, Senior Research Officer

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