Of the six collaborative research projects selected for funding in the second call for research proposals launched by CIVICA – The European University of Social Sciences, three will be led from the EUI. The most recent call aimed to jump-start innovative research and create new ties between CIVICA’s member universities.
“As with the 2021 research call, the winning projects cover a broad range of disciplines and confront some of the most important issues of our times,” said Carsten Q. Schneider, Professor in the Political Science Department, Central European University, and Co-chair of the Permanent Design Team (PDT), the alliance’s research governance body that evaluated the submissions. “The second series of funded projects confirms CIVICA’s ambition to support excellent research in the social sciences.”
Getting research off the ground
The seed funding from CIVICA will enable researchers to scale up their projects and apply for larger research grants.
The alliance awarded the six winning projects approximately €100,000 in total funding, financed from the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, and partners’ own resources. One of the selection criteria was a project’s potential to develop into fully-fledged research and be eligible for larger grants. The PDT also considered aspects like innovation, coherence, and contribution to CIVICA’s efforts towards integrated research.
New possibilities for researchers
The winning projects span across six of the CIVICA universities and connect, on average, experts from three different institutions.
At the EUI, two of the proposals align with CIVICA’s focus on democracy and Europe. The first, led by Jelena Dzankic, Part-Time Professor at the Global Governance Programme (RSC), and run in collaboration with her partners Eleanor Knott and Szabolcs Pogonyi at LSE and CEU, respectively, is entitled ‘Contestations of Citizenship in Contexts of Democratic Backsliding: Lessons from Post-communist Europe’ (CITDEM).
Speaking for the team, Dzankic states "We are grateful to CIVICA for the opportunity to create lasting synergies between the EUI, LSE and CEU. The CITDEM project comparatively examines how stalled democracy and rising authoritarianism in post-communist European countries affect citizenship regimes. Our empirical results will have broader implications for understanding and studying how citizenship changes when democratic governance becomes a façade veiling populist and authoritarian political objectives.”
Another collaborative project, led by Research Fellow Richard McNeil-Willson with Professor Jeffrey Checkel, part-time Professor Caitlin Procter and Dr Georges Fahmi, alongside colleagues from the LSE, will examine ‘Counterterrorism and Safeguarding in Response to Islamic State’ (CASIS).
In a statement, McNeil-Willson expressed, “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with CIVICA university partners on this project. The CASIS project will bring together researchers at CIVICA institutions to understand how countries are responding to young returnees from Islamic State. This timely issue has great implications for Europe, determining how migration continues to be governed, the resilience of democracy in Europe, and the current and potential impact of counterterror approaches on human rights.”
A third winning project to be based at the EUI will connect four of the alliance’s institutions.
EUI Economics Professor, Thomas Crossley will team up with CIVICA members CEU, the Hertie School and Sciences Po to set up a ‘Pilot Network for Research Ethics and Data Management Training’ (PiNRED).
Crossley says, “I am delighted to begin this project that brings together four CIVICA universities. This project will explore best practice in research ethics and research data management, and will identify ways in which CIVICA universities can coordinate their efforts to ensure that the best possible social science research is undertaken, while protecting research subjects”.
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