With 30 new Marie Curie Fellows, Ca’ Foscari becomes 4th University in EU


Year after year, Ca’ Foscari has continuously raised the bar for its ability to attract researchers of the highest caliber on interdisciplinary topics.

Improving on its own record, which had already won Ca’ Foscari the best result in Italy, our University is now welcoming 30 new ‘Marie Skłodowska-Curie’ fellowships, for a total of 7 million euros in European funds over the next three years.

This memorable result has won Ca’ Foscari the fourth place in Europe, sharing the spot with Cambridge (the call was launched in 2020, before Brexit was finalized).

Of 11.573 applicants from all over the world, only 1.1630 have obtained the funding, which in total amounts to 328 million euros. In Italy, the total number of individual fellowships is 156.  

The European Commission programme dedicated to famous scientist Marie Skłodowska-Curie, the first woman to ever win a Nobel prize, each year selects and funds the most promising talents, giving them the opportunity to carry out their scientific project around different institutions and countries. 

“These results are a huge accomplishment that confirms Ca’ Foscari’s position among the best Universities in Europe for the ability to attract talents in research”, states Rector Tiziana Lippiello. “We are here thanks to the continuing investment in the career development of young researchers. Internationalization is still one of Ca’ Foscari’s cornerstones and the presence of scholars from all over the world is a stimulating factor for innovative research. 

I am even more proud of this accomplishment because it happens in a city like Venice, which has always been a cultural melting pot, and in a very delicate moment for all of us. Our scientific community is growing and with it the interest towards our city”

Congratulating the winners, the EU Commissioner for Innovation, Mariya Gabriel, has underlined how “today, more than ever, we need talented researchers to foresee, observe and face global challenges, but also to disseminate scientific results”

14 nationalities

The researchers who have chosen Ca’ Foscari as host institution come from 14 different countries. Alongside European researchers from Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland, Greek and Czech Republic, also we have Fellows from the UK, Argentina, Ukraine, Serbia, Palestine, Hong Kong and Turkey

Success stories

Ca’ Foscari has won a total of 21 Global Fellowships, which consist in a two-year research period outside Europe, followed by a year back in the Old Continent. Two of the winners of this call, Pascal Bohleber and Bilge Yabanci, had already won a European Fellowship in past editions. Talking about European Fellowships, in this edition Ca’ Foscari has brought home 9 of these grants, which will fund as many researchers during a two-year period at Ca’ Foscari. 

Dunja Jelenkovic at the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage and Marisa di Martino at the Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies, have obtained a Career restart fellowship (CAR), a special call for talented young people who decide to come back to research after a break in their career. 

The Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage will welcome most of the new Marie Curie fellows, for a total of 19. Some come from prestigious institutes such as Oxford, the Max Planck Institute and MIT. The remaining 11 grants have been assigned to the Department of Environmental Science, Informatics and Statistics, the Department of Humanities, the Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies and the Department of Asian and North African Studies. 

Among the fellows at the Department of Asian and North African Studies, Nicola Bassoni will be supervised by prof. Toshio Miyake, who in turn had come back to Venice in 2011 as the first Ca’ Foscari winner of a European Marie Curie International Incoming project, a fact that shows the multiplier effect that these funds have. 

At the Department of Humanities, Thea Sommerschield, from the University of Oxford, will work on a project that intends to use Artificial Intelligence to interpret Greek and Roman inscriptions in the ancient Mediterranean. 

The Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics will welcome, in addition to Pascal Bohleber, Annamaria Pazienza, with her interdisciplinary research that explores the interaction between climate variability and human action in Medieval and High Medieval Italy in Lucca and Rieti. 

After receiving the highest possible score, Alessandro Cabiati will take his project to the Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies, focusing on literature and psychiatry to analyze how fairy tale symbolism in the 19th century mirrors topics such as deviancy and abnormality, taking into consideration Great Britain, France and the United States. 

“This result is the work of a close-knit team, people who, year after year, have bested their own records, offering an increasingly effective support in European Projects and developing coordinated actions to help talents circulate - commented Dario Pellizzon, Director of the Ca’ Foscari Research Area - I would also like to remind the actions we launched in these past few years like Brain Gain, Careers+ and the HRS4R Excellence in Research certification, initiatives that have all given their contribution to making Ca’ Foscari, and Venice, the perfect place to carry out international research, with highly competitive standards on a European level. 

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships

With an increase of 80 million euros compared to the previous edition, this year, the European Commission has allocated 328 million euros for the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships, a part of the Horizon 2020 European programme for research and innovation. 

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships aim to support talented researchers that want to carry out their research project in an institution of their choice outside the country they currently work in, thus promoting talent circulation and the creation of new partnerships among universities and research institutions from all over the world

The new Horizon Europe programme has also allocated funds for researchers in a mobility programme through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND action. The launch of the first call is scheduled for April 15th, 2021. In the previous edition, Ca’ Foscari was the only Italian institution to obtain a COFUND grant

To know more about Ca’ Foscari’s fellows, visit the “Meet our fellows” page.