Policy and Objectives
High-calibre scholarly research is one of the main pillars of development of the University of Cyprus and has been a central tenant in its mission statement since the University’s establishment in 1989. In recent years, the University has become internationally recognized as a leading research institution for its contribution to the advancement of science and culture. This recognition has brought the University substantial external research funding as well as a number of highly prestigious chairs of excellence.
The University’s research aims include the following:
- Active participation in the Unified European Research Area through the promotion of basic and applied research programmes, covering a wide spectrum of scholarly and scientific fields so as to make a significant contribution.
- The contribution, through research, to the upgrading of technology, strengthening of the knowledge society, improvement of the natural environment, public health, social organization and self-actualization of the individual.
- The exploration of Cyprus’s European identity, the island’s traditions, and its cultural heritage, the current multicultural realities and their impact on the island.
- Protection of academic freedom, unobstructed scholarly and scientific exploration and the diffusion of ideas.
Basic and Applied Research
The impact of scholarly research on society is complex and multidimensional. Some aspects are directly quantifiable, for example, the number of doctoral titles awarded in an academic year and in which disciplines, others, such as the impact of basic research, are very abstract. The need to couple basic with applied research is nowwidely recognized, as the knowledge acquired through basic research can -and should- be utilized for the solution of real life problems that concern society. In most areas the dividing line between basic and applied research is not clear, and this distinction becomes even more obvious as the problems under consideration become more complex and multidimensional.
Besides training researchers through doctoral programmes and conducting basic and applied research, universities are also highly concerned with the utilization of knowledge – a component that has become even more significant in the light of “Europe 2020” strategic goal of transforming Europe into the most dynamic knowledge-based economy. It is often stated that where Europe lags behind North America, Japan and other economic powers is the economic utilization of research results. For this reason, governments and other economic stakeholders are increasingly focusing more attention on the utilization of research results for economic gains. The effective utilization of knowledge is not the sole responsibility of universities, it requires a close, sincere and effective collaboration with other stakeholders, primarily from the economic and industrial world.
The University of Cyprus more than adequately covers the first two components of university research activity-those which are placed solely under its responsibility. At the same time, the University has started to branch out into the third component, the utilization of research results. This has been accomplished through an office that promotes cooperation between business /industry and the various universities in the Republic of Cyprus, approved and funded by the European Union Structural Fund, and through pursuing and obtaining its first patents.
The Research Committee coordinates the research strategy and policy of the University of Cyprus. More specifically, the members of the Committee look into research policy issues and make appropriate recommendations to the Senate, as well as coordinate the preparation, formulation and implementation of the University’s research projects and activities. The Research Committee aims to provide conditions that will both support and stimulate quality research among the University’s academic staff, and, it promotes all their research endeavours. The
Research Committee is chaired, ex officio, by the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs.
Irene-Anna Diakidoy, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs (Chairperson)
E. Phoevos Panagiotidis – Associate Professor, Faculty of Humanities
George Spanoudis – Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences and Education
Sofronis Clerides – Associate Professor, Faculty of Economics and Management
Stavroula Constantinou – Associate Professor, Faculty of Letters
Elias Athanasopoulos – Assistant Professor, Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences
Panos Papanastasiou – Professor, Faculty of Engineering
Since 2000, the A. G. Leventis Foundation has supported the research activity of the University of Cyprus through funding a number of research programmes in basic research, especially in the Humanities. The A. G. Leventis Foundation provides the University with €170,000 annually.
The A. G. Leventis Foundation has funded 48 research programmes to date and its research programmes are highly sought by members of the academic staff of the University of Cyprus.
The Leventis Committee has been established to manage the annual funding that the University of Cyprus receives from the A.G. Leventis Foundation. The Committee monitors the relevant procedures of the research programmes that are announced. Three of its members come from the A.G. Leventis Foundation and two from the University of Cyprus.
Irene-Anna Diakidoy, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs (Chairperson), University of Cyprus
Charalambos Bakirtzis, Member of the A.G. Leventis Foundation
Sir Michael Llewellyn, Member of the A.G. Leventis Foundation
Aristoula Georgiadou, Member of the A.G. Leventis Foundation
Andreas Charitou, Member of the Academic Community, University of Cyprus
Several outstanding advances and innovations have been achieved through rigorous university research. The University of Cyprus has recently obtained its first patents. This is a significant achievement since the commercialization of patents and import of the technology in the global market will bring important economic benefits to the University. What is more, the inventions patented by the academic researchers at the University constitute an integral part to the progress of the science and technology in Cyprus; such achievements strengthen the economy, create new jobs and enhance the welfare of the Cypriot population.
As a result, an Ad hoc Committee has been created in order to manage the applications for patents for academic from the University of Cyprus.
More information on patents and patent application, can be found here.
Faculty of Humanities
The research profile of the Literature section of the Department of English Studies is theoretical, interdisciplinary and transcultural in character. Literary and cultural texts of different historical periods (from the 15th to the 21st century) are approached from a variety of perspectives which bring together attention to history, awareness of problems relating to aesthetic and literary form, and a concern with the philosophical, psychic, ethical and political stakes involved in any engagement with cultural practices of representation. One of the main strengths of the members of the Literature Section is their ability to use the resources of different fields in their pursuit of aesthetic questions and their individual interventions in theoretical or cultural debates. To the present, the transcultural nature of their research has consisted in an insistence on addressing topics in “English Studies” from both the centre (Anglo-American theory and culture) and its margins (which include as much “continental” theory and philosophy as “other” literatures and cultures: Indian, Caribbean, Asian, African, etc.). As new maps of the world take shape and, along with them, new conceptual and political challenges, the Literature section’s focus is gradually shifting toward sites (i.e. the island, the Mediterranean, Europe, the Balkans or the Levante) whose theoretical significance for the field of English Studiesis yet to emerge. Members of the section have also developed a growing interest instudies of sustainability and culture. Beyond sustainability studies, members of the sectionare involved in research programmes focusing on issues of literature, literary history andcultural memory.
The research profile of the Linguistics section is theoretical, applied and multidisciplinaryin nature. In the area of theoretical linguistics, research delves into such issues as theoryformationwithin the prevalent generative approach to syntax, syntactic analyses ofgrammatical phenomena in English (but also cross-linguistically), Greek linguistics, and experimental approaches to phonetics and phonology. As for the area of applied linguistics, investigations focus on phenomena pertaining to language contact and lexical innovation, language attitudes, bilingualism and multilingualism. In the context of the multidisciplinary focus of the section, attempts are also made to: a) study the relationship between language and society in the international and Cypriot context, b) explore the social motives of multilingual advertising, c) explore policy matters in dialectal education, d) examine factors affecting second language acquisition, e) evaluate critically current and innovative language teaching methodologies, and Faculty of Humanities f) raise issues of ethics and deontology in current language testing practices. Members of the Linguistics section also examine such areas as the theory of translation and interpreting, translation didactics and cultural issues in translation.
The research activities of the members of the Department of French Studies and Modern Languages cover a wide range of topics which can be subsumed under the broader disciplines of literature, theory of literature and culture, history of ideas and language sciences. The academic staff’s research interests include poetry and fiction, comparative literature, literary theory and cultural studies, gender studies, history of European civilization and European studies, as well as lexicology and lexicography, lexical semantics, pragmatics and discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, applied linguistics and second language acquisition, history of linguistics, and translation studies and automatic translation.
Research carried out by members of the Department of Turkish and Middle Eastern Studies covers a wide spectrum of disciplines ranging from linguistics and literature to history and politics. This research covers the geographical area from the Balkans through the Middle East to Central Asia, from the Middle Ages to the present day. Within this vast regional coverage and time frame, research activities are undertaken partly as individual initiatives, partly in collaboration with several members of the Department and partly in conjunction with colleagues and academic institutions abroad.
Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences
The research activities of the faculty of the Department of Biological Sciences cover the fields of molecular, cellular and developmental biology, vertebrate embryology, cancer chemoprevention, human molecular genetics, virology and biotechnology, bioinformatics, cancer-causing viruses, epigenetics and chromatin biology.
The basic research areas of the Department of Chemistry are: analytical/ environmental chemistry and radiochemistry, biophysical/bioanalytical chemistry and food chemistry, computational and synthetic chemistry, heterogeneous catalysis, environmental catalysis and catalytic technology, physical chemistry of colloidal systems and interfaces, applications of colloid chemistry in materials science, fullerene and supramolecular chemistry, polymer science, analytical chemistry and instrumental methods of analysis, inorganic and bioinorganic chemistry, inorganic chemistry/synthesis and study of metal ion-based molecular materials, inorganic chemistry/synthesis and study of metal-organic frameworks, physical chemistry/molecular spectroscopy.
The research activities of the Department of Computer Science cover a wide range of topics, including: algorithms and complexity, artificial intelligence, computer architecture, computer graphics and virtual reality, computer networks, databases, grid computing, intelligent systems, internet technologies, medical information systems and telemedicine, mobile computing, parallel and distributed systems, software engineering and system specification and verification.
The ongoing research activities of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics cover various areas of Mathematics like Algebra, Geometry, Analysis, Mathematical Physics, Numerical Analysis, Probability and Statistics. The Department has developed activities in numerous areas, some of which extend beyond the traditional areas of mathematics research, for example: computer-aided design (CAD), modelling of rainfall, computational oceanography, biomedicine, molecular genetics.
The research areas of the members of the Department of Physics cover: applied physics, theoretical and computational biophysics, theoretical condensed matter physics, experimental high energy physics, theoretical and computational high energy physics, experimental nuclear physics, solid state physics and optoelectronics.
Faculty of Social Sciences and Education
The research interests of the Faculty cover a broad spectrum of topics across Education, Psychology and Social and Political Sciences. The research areas include: history of education, philosophy and sociology of education, educational effectiveness, didactics of specific domains of education, principles of private law, history and theory of private law, contract law, European private law, comparative private and public law, domestic and European public law, constitutional law and international law, emotion, anxiety, and mood disorders, behavioural disorders, cognitive science, learning, language, and developmental disabilities, social interaction, perception and spatial orientation, memory and cognitive disorders, clinical neuropsychology, developmental psychology, the Cyprus problem, Cypriot economic culture, nationalism, the Greek Diaspora, ethnicity, human rights, the European Union and European cooperation within the Mediterranean context and contemporary issues such as sociology of work, sociology of technology, social memory, representations of the past, gender issues and social Europe.
Faculty of Economics
Research and publications in the Department of Economics cover several fields, including microeconomics and macroeconomics, mathematical economics and econometrics, international economics, industrial organization, labour economics, monetary economics, public economics, economic growth, income inequality, finance and financial econometrics and welfare economics. Studies examine the effects of the determinants of growth and productivity, the wage gap between women and men and the effects of immigration on economic growth, wages, participation in the labour market, part-time work and unemployment.
The research interests of the Department of Public and Business Administration are many and diverse. Multidisciplinary and issue-based research activities explore key business challenges and reflect a diverse and rigorous research agenda. The research topics have a strong orientation towards applications in a wide range of issues such as investments, savings and debt decisions, the efficiency and productivity of financial operations, the economic impact of population aging, risk management, real options, modern methods for derivatives pricing, investigations of fundamental relations for currency exchange rates, supply chain management, service management, neural network applications in management, decision making for accountants, human resource management, entrepreneurship, innovation, consumer behaviour, exporting, globalization, etc. These studies are conducted in close collaboration with local institutions and address specific problems of priority and concern for the national economy, businesses and the domestic financial sector.
Faculty of Engineering
The research activities of the Department of Architecture aim, at an interdisciplinary level, at the transfer of new knowledge and innovation in the wider area of Architecture. The research interests of the faculty cover thematic topics such as: space syntax, architectural analysis and practice, the social dimension of architecture, epistemology and architecture, environmental theories in architecture, technology and intelligent architecture, construction systems and materials, advanced structural concepts, steel buildings, earthquake resistant buildings, traditional and modern architecture. In all cases, design based research is of substantial importance within the programme of Architecture.
The research activities of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering cover all the traditional disciplines of Civil and Environmental Engineering, such as structural and earthquake engineering, building materials, construction management, geotechnical engineering, transportation, computer-aided civil engineering, hydraulics and fluid mechanics, waste management, water resource management and environmental pollution. Furthermore, the CEE Department strives to integrate aspects of sustainability in the built environment, environmental health, infrastructure management, construction law and energy efficiency into its academic programmes and research directions.
Research plays a central role in the activities of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and covers a wide spectrum of areas in electrical and computer engineering, including biomedical engineering, computer networks, digital hardware design and embedded systems, electronics, information systems, instrumentation, sensors and nanotechnology, intelligent systems and control, power and renewable energy, telecommunication systems, trustworthy system design and waves and optics.
The main research areas of the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering are: computational mechanics (including thermo-fluids and semi-solid metals processing), vibrations, system dynamics, biomedical engineering [including imaging techniques (ultra sound and mri), cardiac mechanics, tissue engineering scaffolds, and haptics], nanomanufacturing and thermal processing, and materials science and engineering [including super-hard coatings, powder processing techniques, polymers, (nano)composites, thermoelectrics, magnetic materials, semiconductor nanowires for photovoltaic devices, thin film deposition by CVD, sputtering and laser ablation).
Faculty of Letters
The Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies covers the subjects of Byzantine Philology, Modern Greek Literature, Theory of Literature, Comparative Literature and Linguistics. More specifically, the research areas of the Departmental staff include
a) Byzantine Philology: Byzantine literature; theory of rhetoric and aesthetics with emphasis on Byzantine romance; culture and history of ideas in Byzantium; Byzantine literary genres; poetics; performance, narrative and feminist approaches; the body in Byzantine literature and culture; the literary image of the other; Byzantine autobiography; history of medieval Greek, lexicography; history of emotions; history and theory of exegetic and homiletic texts, and their role in the Byzantine education.
b) Modern Greek Literature: early modern Greek (vernacular) language and literature of the period from the 12th c. to the early 19th c.; medieval Cypriot literature (Leontios Machaeras); modern Greek literature of the 19th and 20th centuries; editions of literary texts; editorial techniques applied to early modern Greek texts; history of Cypriot literature (19th-20th centuries); literary periodicals; literary criticism (19th-20th centuries); bibliographical issues; history of ideas; book history; freemasonry; cultural history; ‘pop’ fiction and ‘pulp’ fiction; contemporary crime fiction; metrics.
c) Theory of Literature: intertextuality; literary genres and modes; satire; polyphonicnovel; autobiography; matters of periodization and origins of early modern Greek literature; poetics, in general, and generic classifications, in particular, from the renaissance to the present; gender studies; iconological studies and, especially, the construction of the image of the other in combination with the formation of ‘national’ identities before the creation of modern national states; interrelation of history and
d) Comparative Literature: methodological questions of comparative poetics, literature and painting; Greek and European enlightenment; Greek and European travel literature (1700-1850); Cypriot and Cretan literary and historiographical production of the 16th and 17th centuries; modern Greek literature of the 19th and 20th centuries in the context of the European literature; interrelation of modern Greek literature and Romanian literature.
e) Linguistics: the grammatical description of modern Greek (description of the greek dialects of southern Italy, Greek sign language); syntactic theory (the syntactic description of standard modern Greek and Cypriot Greek); comparative syntax; the interfaces between syntax and the other branches of theoretical linguistics, namely phonology, morphology and semantics; lexicography; sociolinguistics; language policy and language planning; minority/lesser used languages; urban dialectology; applications of linguistic technology; technical translation and terminology.
The research activities of the Department of Classics and Philosophy, because of the nature of the subject-matter studies, cover a wide range of scholarly fields in the study of the Greco-Roman antiquity and philosophy. More specifically, the research interests of the members of the academic staff of the Department are as follows:
a) Ancient Greek Literature: Homer, archaic lyric poetry, attic tragedy, comedy, historiography, the sophist, computer and the humanities, reception of antiquity in modern times, epigram, Hellenistic literature, papyrology, ancient lexicography, epistolography.
b) Latin Literature: Cicero and the Ciceronian age (literature and culture), Latin funeral speeches, Roman historiography, Greco-Roman poetical thought, Roman grammarians and scholars, Roman archaism , Augustan poetry, literature of the early imperial period, satire, rhetoric, epistolography.
c) Methodology and History of Classical Literature: textual criticism and editing of ancient texts, I/T and classical studies, technology and education.
d) Linguistics: Greek dialects, koine, sociolinguistics, electronic lexicography
e) Epigraphy: syllabic scripts in the Greek-speaking world, Greek inscriptions from Macedonia and Cyprus.
f) Papyrology: study of the Papyrological Collection of the Department consisting of about 70 more or less fragmentary papyrus documents from the Heracleopolite nome of Egypt, dating from the middle of the 2nd c. B.C.
g) Philosophy: The Presocratics, Ancient Greek Philosophy (Plato, Aristotle), political philosophy, moral philosophy with emphasis on applied ethics and the ethics of life, German idealism, philosophy of science, logic.
Research at the Department of History and Archaeology focuses on the fields of History and Archaeology. In particular, the Department of History and Archaeology is the leader in the scientific investigation of the history and archaeology of Cyprus, which consequently has become the focus of increasing international scholarly attention. The Department also plays a fundamental role in research into the past of the wider Eastern Mediterranean basin, from prehistory to the present, and contributes to the study of western Europe as well.