From left to right: Giannantonio De Roni, UniCredit Foundation secretary general, Monica Billio, Director of the Ca' Foscari Department of Economics, Marco Di Cataldo, postdoc researcher at Ca' Foscari from September 2019, Jean Pierre Mustier, Unicredit CEO.

Ca' Foscari brings young economist back to Italy thanks to Unicredit funds

Marco Di Cataldo, winner of the Unicredit Foundation “Top-up Foscolo Europe Fellowship”, will be leaving the London School of Economics to return to Italy. Thanks to the award, Ca’ Foscari has offered this brilliant researcher a four year contract and a highly competitive wage. 

“It’s already been three years since we started recruiting our junior researchers at the international job market. But the difference between our academic salaries and the ones in the rest of the world was definitely not out strong suit - explains Monica Billio, Director of the Department of Economics - The top-up funded by Unicredit Foundation has finally allowed us to align ourselves with the best European and North American universities, in terms of economic compensation”.

The results were incredible: 350 applicants (many of them foreign), 35 candidates interviewed in Naples (where the European job market took place) and 10 young researchers who were invited to visit the department and meet the faculty members. 

“All together - states Monica Billio - this process generated great interest and it also proved to be a precious opportunity for the department to grow. We are all very happy to welcome the successful candidate Marco di Cataldo, who will now be able to carry out his research in our Department for the next four years” 

Back to Venice

32-year-old Marco di Cataldo graduated in Bologna and got his PhD from the London School of Economics. In the past 2 years, he has worked in a research team on a project funded by the European Research Council. He will begin his activity in Venice in September, as a postdoc researcher in Applied Economics.

In his research, he deals with the evaluation of the impact of public policies, the economics of organized crime, the analysis of the correlation between institutional quality and economic growth, the study of the causes behind populism and euroscepticism

“I believe that the Department’s choice of using the Unicredit funds with the specific goal of attracting young researchers who got their education abroad, is extremely important and commendable - comments Marco di Cataldo - Initiatives like these, which encourage the acquisition of human capital, are fundamental in a country like ours that suffers from a constant hemorrhage of talents. They contribute to the development of a better research environment by increasing the variety of experiences of its members. I’m extremely honoured to be the chosen candidate for this position, after competing against some of the best and youngest economists in Europe” 

“Being from Venice - he adds - I’m firmly convinced that Ca’ Foscari represents a pivotal characteristic of the city. If we want to make sure Venice stays alive, we need its universities. In particular, the Ca’ Foscari Department of Economics is a reality that deserves to be protected and promoted. I’m glad I get to give my contribution, however small, to the development of this institution”

The Top-up Foscolo Europe Fellowship 

Maurizio Beretta, President of the Unicredit Foundation “This year, the engagement of Unicredit Foundation in attracting talents from the field of economics and finance has doubled, as shown by the 4 young economists who have returned to Italy from abroad, where they were carrying out their research. The Ca’ Foscari Department of Economics has been selected from a large panel of applications from the most prestigious universities in the 14 countries where UniCredit currently operates”

The prize consists in a total sum of 150.000 euros, to be used as a top-up to the salary offered by the two winning universities to the selected researcher. 

Other awards

From the University of Cambridge, where he has just concluded his PhD, Dario Palumbo is returning to Italy, thanks to the prestigious “Carlo Giannini” Fellowship for Econometrics launched by Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and supported by the Carlo Giannini Association, the Interuniversity Center for Econometrics, the Bank of Italy and Unicredit Foundation. Palumbo has also chosen the Ca’ Foscari Department of Economics for a two-year postdoc research.

Aurelio Nocera an Economic and Finance student here at Ca’ Foscari, has received one of the 5 Summer School Program scholarships by Unicredit Foundation.