Welcome to Research Matters, the University of Nicosia Research & Innovation Office Newsletter. 
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Research Matters Newsletter - Issue 02 | January 2016

Research Matters is a monthly 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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FP7 Programme “ENGAGE”: Equipping the Next Generation for Active Engagement in Science

ENGAGE is an FP7 funded programme led by Sheffield Hallam University in which the University of Nicosia is a partner. The ENGAGE project is part of the EU Science in Society agenda to promote more Responsible Research and Innovation’ (RRI). ENGAGE is about equipping the next generation to participate in scientific issues to change how science is taught. Traditionally students gain an image of science as a body of content, whereas RRI deals with uncertain areas of knowledge, where values and argument matter as much as facts. This shift is hugely challenging. ENGAGE focuses on a more inquiry-based methodology, which gives students opportunity for self-expression and responsibility for coming to informed decisions. The project aims to help teachers address contemporary science issues and applications relevant to students; to develop teachers’ beliefs, knowledge and classroom practice for ‘RRI’; and, to provide students with a strong foundation to engage in science issues they will meet during their lives. To date, teaching materials have been disseminated through the project website, as well as through six face-to-face workshops with teachers across Cyprus. An online course aiming to provide teachers with the skills to help them incorporate ENGAGE lessons in their classes is currently ongoing. Dr. Maria Evagorou, Assistant Professor, Science Education, School of Education, University of Nicosia is the local project coordinator. 

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UNic Partners in an Erasmus+ Project Aimed at the Professional Orientation of Vulnerable Young People


University of Nicosia faculty member Dr. Stefanos Spaneas, Social Work Programme Coordinator, Department of Social Sciences is engaged as a project partner in a new Erasmus+ funded programme. In this current period of recession, both the labour market and social conditions remain extremely challenging in Europe. Eurostat (2015) estimated that almost 24 million people were unemployed in the EU-28, of whom over 18 million reside in the Eurozone. The youth unemployment rate is more than double that of adults – 21.2% compared to 9.8%. Although young people are considered as the world's greatest asset for the present and the future, they represent a group that are more likely to suffer from unemployment, low paid jobs and job insecurity. Specifically, more than 7.5 million young people across the EU are neither in employment nor education or training (NEETs). In line with the Europe 2020 Strategy and the European Agenda for Adult Learning, the ‘Professional Orientation of Vulnerable Young People’ project seeks to promote re-skilling and up-skilling across 8 Member States, providing vulnerable young people with e-career guidance and improving the orientation measures offered by the adult education providers in the field. In particular, it aims to reduce the number of low-skilled adults by providing career guidance using Open Educational Resources and offering tailored learning opportunities, with particular emphasis on vulnerable young learners on the basis of transnational comparison and cooperation. The project partnership is multidisciplinary and includes ten organisations and researchers from Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Lithuania, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria and the UK. The project is coordinated by Altius Francisco De Vitoria Foundation in Spain. For more information contact
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ERASMUS+ Programme 'YESict': An Innovative European Project Aimed at Fostering Young Entrepreneurs 


The University of Nicosia is pleased to announce its involvement as a partner in the Erasmus+ funded programme entitled ‘Young Entrepreneurship Skills by ICT’ (YESict). The three-year programme led by aNTIC Pays Basque (France),  includes partners from five European countries including Spain, Cyprus, Denmark and Austria. How can a digital approach encourage young people to become entrepreneurs of the future and overcome the economic crisis? That is the challenge put forward by the project consortium. To tackle this, the YESict programme aims to design and implement an innovative digital teaching method to help teachers encourage entrepreneurship in school children between the ages of 11 and 15. The project kick-off meeting took place in Copenhagen, Denmark between 10 and 11 December 2015. University staff engaged in the project include Professor Angelika Kokkinaki, MBA Director, and Dr. Despo Ktoridou, Management & MIS Department, School of Business.

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Three New Appointments for UNic Vice Rector for Faculty and Research 

The Research & Innovation Office is pleased to announce three new appointments received by Professor Constantinos Phellas, Vice Rector for Faculty & Research.

Prof. Phellas has been appointed:
  • By the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research & Innovation to be a member of a Horizon2020 Advisory Group for Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation (four-year appointment). The expert members of the Advisory Group will offer advice to the Commission on objectives and scientific, technological and innovation priorities and will also serve as focal points for processing inputs from a wider range of relevant research and innovation communities.
  • By the Ministry of Health as the official representative for Cyprus on the Council of Europe Committee on Bioethics (DH-BIO). Under this four-year appointment, members of this Committee will carry out the tasks assigned to the Steering Committee on Bioethics (CDBI) by the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being concerning the Application of Biology and Medicine.
  • By the Cyprus Council of Ministers to the National Organ Transplantation Council, founded in 2013. Responsibilities of this three-year term include, amongst others, supervising the establishment of an electronic system for the management and matching of transplant patients and organ donors, organising educational and awareness-raising campaigns for the public and professionals working in the area of health, and proposing a national quality control mechanism that encompasses donation, transplantation and the proper disposal of organs.
The Office congratulates Prof. Phellas and wishes him the best in each new undertaking!


Invitation: Workshop on EU Migration Challenges and Policies 

The Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the University of Nicosia is organising a workshop on EU migration challenges and policies that will take place on Thursday, 28 January at the University of Nicosia. The workshop will bring together academics, policy-makers and civil society representatives to discuss challenges in the policy area of reform in European higher education and to serve as an empirical needs assessment on which further events can expand. The workshop will consist of two parts: an official morning session with presentations and a rather informal afternoon session. The morning session starts at 9:30 (registration from 9:15) at the UNESCO Auditorium of the University of Nicosia and ends at 13:00. The afternoon session starts at 15:00 at Conference Room M106 at the Millennium Building of the University of Nicosia until 18:00. The event coordinator for this workshop is the Vice Rector of the University of Nicosia, Prof. Constantinos Phellas.
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A Sit Down with Professor Edna Yamasaki


Professor Edna Yamasaki joined the University of Nicosia ten years ago and is currently Head of the Department of Life and Health Sciences at the School of Sciences and Engineering of the University of Nicosia. Her quest for knowledge and her inquiring disposition are among the drivers that have led to a rich career in academia and research.    

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Sharqi: The Latest Book and Exhibition by Nicos Philippou 

Faculty member, Nicos Philippou, a Lecturer in the Communications Department of the University of Nicosia launched his latest publication and exhibition, Sharqi, on 15 January 2016 thanks to a new programme by the Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre, Associated with the Pierides Foundation, under the general title Contemporary Photographic Practices at NiMAC. The programme aims at presenting the work and research of contemporary photographers from Cyprus and abroad and is curated by Yiannis Toumazis. Sharqi –Arabic for Sirocco– is an exhibition and a book that consists of 27 Polaroid photographs of Cypriot landscapes, which have been produced over a period of three years. The photographs show aspects of a Cypriot landscape that have been visually silenced: a dry, arid landscape, almost post-apocalyptic, filled with cactuses, reptiles, palm trees, red lakes, but also with man-made industrial and mining remnants, as well as decorative artifacts like fake moufflons, eagles and classic columns. The title alludes to Cyprus’ geographical position and the influences “blown” inwards from the region. Sharqi, the wind that is responsible for the phenomenon of the Haboob (sandstorm) – which often covers Cyprus with dust from the Sahara – is here used as a metaphor for regional cultural currents enriching Cypriot culture eternally. The exhibition is on until 12 March 2016
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Communicating Science: Take Part in the Upcoming 2016 Fame Lab Cyprus Competition 

Based on the highly successful FameLab® UK model, FameLab® Cyprus is a national talent competition aimed at finding the best new talent in science communication. The winner of FameLab® Cyprus will then represent Cyprus in the FameLab® International competition held in Cheltenham, UK in 2016. The competition strives to encourage young people with a passion for science and technology to share their enthusiasm and knowledge with the general public. FameLab Cyprus is organized by the British Council in partnership with the European Office of Cyprus. Entrants have three minutes to impress the judges and the public by giving an entertaining and original oral presentation that is scientifically accurate and also engaging to a non-scientific audience. The University of Nicosia will host the intermediary round of the competition on Wednesday, 16 March. 
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Copyright © 2016 University of Nicosia Research & Innovation Office 

Editor: Elisa Bosio, Senior Research Officer

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