With 20 'Marie-Curie' grants Ca' Foscari enters the European Top 10


Ca' Foscari University of Venice confirms its attractiveness for young talents in research and wins European funding for 20 'Marie Skłodowska-Curie' projects totalling 4.7 million euros.

"The attractiveness of Ca' Foscari is growing among researchers from European and non-European universities," said Rector Tiziana Lippiello during the Academic Year’s inaugural address. "A few days ago, the outcome of the 2023 Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowships call was announced: our university won 20 fellowships for a total funding of 4.7 million euros. This brings us among the top 10 European universities for the total number of fellowships won. Since 2014, we have been the Italian university winning the highest total number of individual Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowships. Almost 200 Marie Curie fellows are global ambassadors for the research carried out at Ca’ Foscari ".

Research topics span from the religious life in Late Imperial China to the care and medicine of the female body in Renaissance Italy, from transnational fatherhood among Pakistani migrant men in Italy to the syntactic functionality of motion verbs in Italo-Romance languages The projects will be carried out by scholars of 11 nationalities, mainly from foreign research centres (UK, France, USA, Pakistan, Spain, Czech Republic, Germany). Fellows will conduct their two- or three-year research projects between Ca' Foscari and other universities or research centres in Japan, the United States, Singapore, Chile, Canada and Switzerland.

Named after the first female Nobel laureate, the European Commission's "Marie Skłodowska-Curie" programme annually selects and funds the most promising talents in research by offering them the opportunity to develop their scientific project in different institutions and countries. This edition of the prestigious European call has awarded 1,249 grants, selected from the 8,039 projects presented, for a total of 260 million euros.

These research grants are divided into Global (two years of research abroad followed by one year at Ca' Foscari) and European Fellowships (two years of research at Ca' Foscari). Thanks to the university's focus on these competitive international funding schemes, the Ca’ Foscari community of "Marie Skłodowska-Curie" fellows has significantly grown and is now made up of 188 researchers.

Ca' Foscari has been a trailblazer in Italy regarding the career opportunities of Marie Curie fellows. Thanks to initiatives such as the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) and the “Young Researchers” ministerial programme, "Marie Curie" candidates who were rated as excellent but couldn’t be funded by the European Commission can be recruited by universities as fixed-term researchers.

The Global Fellowships 

Pietro Terzi: SCI-PHIL - Scientific Philosophy: Rise and Fall of a European Ideal, provides an in-depth historical and theoretical account of the rise and fall of the ideal of ‘scientific philosophy’ (SP) in Europe from the mid-19th century, to the 1930s, with the first international congresses on SP, and WWII, which put an end to the project. It focuses primarily on five geographical areas: France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, England and Italy, with a foray into the Russian context.

Artemis Papatheodorou: Modern Mediterranean Archaeological Regimes in a Global Context (MMARe) investigates the Mediterranean legal archaeological regimes from 1789 to 1945, individually and comparatively. It similarly traces their influence at the international level, through the League of Nations (LN). It is hosted by Ca’ Foscari University (UNIVE) in Italy and Columbia University (CU) in the US and includes a secondment at Brown University (BU), also in the US.

Jacopo Scarin: This research project focuses on REligion And Conversion in China (REACCH). It constitutes an interdisciplinary endeavour aiming at surveying and analysing how people who lived in late imperial China discussed, conceptualised and described phenomena that can be heuristically categorised as “conversion”. The ultimate goal is to develop a comprehensive theory of conversion that transcends the Western origins of the concept and can account for the unique features of the Chinese context.

Martina Biondi: HICAMA - HIstory of CAre in the MAghreb. Infectious diseases, healthcare infrastructures and international aid (1956-1999) explores the implementation of healthcare in the Maghreb region by examining the historical interactions between national sanitary institutions, civic experiences of health outreach, and international institutions involved in global health preservation. HICAMA examines the efforts made by Maghreb independent countries against the spread of diseases with both a respiratory and a sexually transmitted nature.

Flavia Tudini: Procuradores - Crossing the Atlantic. Diocesan Representatives of the Viceroyalty of Peru in Rome (XVI- XVII century) aims at conducting a historical investigation of human mobility in local and global contexts through the case study of religious agents (the procuradores) that moved across the Atlantic from the ecclesiastic province of Lima to the Holy See to represent their communities’ political and religious interests. The project will be implemented in 3 different institutions: Pontificia Universidad Cattolica de Chile (outgoing phase), Universidad de Barcelona (5-month secondment) and Ca' Foscari Venice (incoming phase).

Altea Pericoli: ISLAMICAID - Aid from Islamic Donors in conflict zones has the overall objective to provide a broader understanding of humanitarian aid in conflict zones as implemented by Islamic actors and improve the dialogue between Western and Gulf donors. The project aims to contribute to the DG ECHO Humanitarian Logistics Policy, which promotes effective coordination with other humanitarian organisations in complex crises.

Chiara Cigarini: IDRA - Aquatic Imaginations: Interrelation of Fiction and Policy in Shaping a Sustainable Future wants to explore the interplay between literary studies and policy studies focusing on what is referred to as “aquatic imaginations”. IDRA's first section will demonstrate how these representations of ravaged oceans, magical tides, rising sea levels and polluted rivers, represent a measurement of public anxiety towards the limited foresight of the political visions. IDRA's second section, also focusing on present and future waterrelated issues, builds on the CoFUTUREs methods to approach “aquatic imaginations” from a different angle.

Daniele Durante: FCDEMMJ - Female Cross-Dressing in Modern Japan aims at investigating the urban culture of female cross-dressing, i.e. the social movement that revolved around the custom for women to wear the clothes and use the body language and the linguistic characteristics the contemporaneous culture reserved to men, that existed in Japan from the 1750's to the 1940's and of the control strategies Japanese governments and police promoted from the 1830's to the 1940's to forbid the practice.

Laura Agar Paz Rescala: THIS - Theater in Imperial Spain: studying a commercial activity during the first globalization from the perspective of labor and economic history studies the Hispanic theater professionalization process during the second half of the 16th century and the early decades of the 17th century from the perspective of labor and economic history. Furthermore, this process is approached in light of the first globalization, that is considering both Spain and its overseas colonies, as well as the interconnections between them.

Dunja Jelenkovic: FESTWAR FM - Film Festivals and War.  A Fe-Male Perspective (1939–present) will offer the first sustainable analysis of film festivals (FF) and war from a gender perspective. The project will break new ground by investigating FF’s evolution as places of memory in conflict situations with a specific focus on women’s position within this process.

Valentina Serio: GARZONI - Tommaso Garzoni's Encyclopaedia of Wonders and the European Debate on Superstition and Marvels of the late Renaissance aims to provide the first historical and philosophical analysis of Tommaso Garzoni’s understudied encyclopaedic work on wonders "Il serraglio degli stupori del mondo" (1613) within the context of late Renaissance debate on marvels.

Valeria Russo: MEDLUNI - Vernacular Literature and Medieval Universities. The Birth of a New Transnational Literary Identity (France and Italy, 1220-1399) sheds a light on how medieval universities shaped a European literary identity during their rise and growth between 1220 and 1399. This goal will be pursued by investigating representative case studies across France and Italy, where medieval universities became the core and the cradle of a new vernacular literary tradition.

The European Fellowships

Demyan Belyaev: The goal of LOTRAC - Local-Level Use of Transparency Against Corruption and International Institutions is to analyse what impact the internationalisation of public policies generates locally for the effective use of transparency as an anti-corruption tool. The project will analyse three sector-specific cases examining the effectiveness of transparency-based anti-corruption policies at the local level and the influence of international institutions on it in an "old" EU member state, a "new" EU member and an EU candidate country.

Giacomo Savani: WomenAndTheBaths - Women and the Baths: Ancient Medicine, Pleasure, and The Female Body in Renaissance Italy will re-evaluate women’s experience of baths in Renaissance Italy, revealing their prominent role as consumers and patrons of balneological treatises as well as users of spas. It will also highlight how women’s influence spurred physicians to mine ancient medical texts in search of gender-specific medical knowledge. Through this investigation, the researcher will address broader questions concerning the nature and extent of physician-patient networks in Renaissance Italy and women’s agency in disseminating medical knowledge.

Julie Lefort: LACONC - Language contact and heterogeneity in the Hybrid Chinese dialects in North-West China focusses on highly endangered hybrid Chinese dialects spoken in the Gansu-Qinghai aera. The main objective is to determine their position within the North-Western branch by identifying the different strata of Altaic influence found on the morphonological level. It aims at demonstrating the high degree of heterogeneity of certain specific features that are reputed to have been induced by contact with Mongolic and Turkic languages.

Imran Syed: TFNMPC - Transnational Fatherhood, Negotiating Masculinity and Parental Care in the Digital Communication Era aims at investigating the relationship between transnational fatherhood, negotiation of masculinity, and parental care practices among Pakistani migrant men in Italy. This study seeks to explore how transnational fathers navigate their roles across family, work, and society and use digital communication tools to maintain family connection.

Irene Amato: SynFuMIR - Syntactic functionality of motion verbs in Italo-Romance investigates functionality in syntax by analyzing complex motion verb constructions in regional Italian. Functionality concerns various grammatical aspects of certain linguistic items that allow lexical units to be assembled together in more complex structures. The main objective of the study is the development of a new theory of syntactic functionality based on the role of location as a syntactic element.

Nicolas Stoll: MESMERISE - iMpuritiES in the Microstructure of Eemian gReenlandic Ice via laSEr ablation aims at investigating the oldest sections of the NGRIP, NEEM, and RECAP ice cores from Greenland, which reach back to the last interglacial, the Eemian, and thus enable important insights into the conditions of a warmer world. MESMERISE will compares chemical impurities in Holocene and Eemian ice using two state-of-the-art laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) 2D Imaging systems.

Donato Verardi: The aim of SECRETS - The Academia Secretorum Naturae: Magic, secrets and instruments of Experimental Science in the Sixteenth-Century Naples is to provide the first, complete historical-philosophical reconstruction of the Academia secretorum naturae, one of the earliest Societies in Europe, to explore innovatively the "secrets of nature", by performing experiments in the field of physicochemical and mechanical sciences.

Victor Willi: DEVELOP-MENTALITIES – Islamic and Islamist Views of State, Society, and Economics in Yemen examines Islamic and Islamist views on state, society, and economics in Yemen – the poorest country in the MENA region. The project contrasts divergent ideas of development among Yemen’s Islamists-in-exile, focusing on the Houthis, the Salafis, and members of al-Islah living in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman, comparing local "developmentalities" with those prevailing among Western donors.