Tatiana Korneeva and Zehra Zaidi

8 ambitious projects and 2 new women researchers thanks to SPIN

Rector Michele Bugliesi has announced the names of the first 8 winners of the ‘Supporting principal investigators’ (SPIN) Ca’ Foscari grant, one of the top initiatives of the University, which debuts with an investment of 552.000 euros for the first call, while assessments for the second call are still underway.

Amongst the 8 winners there are two women, foreign scholars who come from different institutions: Russian classicist Tatiana Korneeva, currently working at the Freie Universität Berlin and visiting professor for the German Center of Venetian Studies, and Zehra Zaidi, an English Pakistani expert in climate risk and development management and researcher at the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change. 

They will both receive a two-year research grant, thanks to which they will be able to work on their research idea and on the presentation of a proposal for the prestigious Consolidator grant of the European Research Council (Erc).

Tatiana Korneeva will be assigned to the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage to work on researching Italian theatre in the XVII century, as a paradigm of knowledge transfer between Eastern and Western Europe. Apart from her degree in Moscow and a PhD at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Korneeva has numerous fellowships under her belt, as well as an experience in a research team for an ERC project.

Zehra Zaidi will carry out her project at the Department of Economics, analyzing the risks that climate change poses for women, incentivizing the planning of adaptation and mitigation strategies and policies. Zaidi has studied in the USA and at the University of Sussex, before receiving her PhD from the King’s College in London. Amongst her fellowships, a “Marie Curie” at CMCC.

'Measure 1', conditioned to the presentation of an Erc proposal, has awarded two Ca’ Foscari professors with funding to develop their projects. Physicist Flavio Romano, professor at the Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems, will work on a new ‘protein folding’ model. Nipponist Marcella Mariotti, researcher at the Department of Asian and North African Studies, will study language learning as a phenomenon that takes place both inside and outside the class, promoting cohesion and active citizenship. 

With 'measure 2', 4 Ca’ Foscari researchers have proposed winning research ideas that could now become collaborative projects with an international network and funding. 

Archeologist Elena Rova (Department of Humanitites) will handle the problem of exact dating in the context of archeological research in Southern Caucasus territories and its integration in near Eastern archeology.  

Science philosopher Eleonora Montuschi (Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage) wants to launch a collaboration between historians, scientists and philosophers to tackle the debate on the trust in science.  

Ecotoxicologist  Marco Picone (Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics) will analyze how and how much some relevant bird species in the Venetian lagoon ecosystem are exposed to active ingredients in medications. 

Chemist Marco Bortoluzzi (Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems) will try to synthetize luminescent materials that could be used in innovative light technologies. 

The call in numbers  

About 110 researchers took part in the first two SPIN calls. The proposals of the first call have been evaluated by and internal committee and then 41 external evaluators. All the projects which have already been funded, will last 2 years and shall be activated by March 2019. Ca’ Foscari made 1.2 milion euros available for the first SPIN edition. 600.000 euros have already been allocated for the second edition, which will begin in May 2019.