Back Eight researchers to start their scientific career at UPF thanks to Marie Curie grants

Eight researchers to start their scientific career at UPF thanks to Marie Curie grants

So proclaimed the European Commission on 29 January. By fields, three grants are for researchers with the Department of Humanities, two with the Department of Economics and Business, one with the Department of Law, one with the Department of Information and Communication Technologies, and one with the Department of Language Sciences. A total of almost 1.3 million euros to boost research.



On 29 January 2018, the European Commission announced the adjudication of individual Marie Skłodowska-Curie grants to 1,348 researchers considered highly talented and capable of having a significant impact on society and the economy. In this call, Pompeu Fabra University has received eight grants to boost the projects submitted by individual researchers. By fields, three grants are for researchers with the Department of Humanities, two grants for the Department of Economics and Business, one for the Department of Law, another for the Department of Information and Communication Technologies (DTIC), and one last one belongs to the Department of Language Sciences. The overall funding of the call is 248.7 million euros, of which almost 1.3 million euros are for UPF researchers and projects.

COLONINFO:  Judit Chamorro, Oscar Camara, Department of Information and Communication Technologies. Improving COLOrectal cancer screening: Novel INverse and FOrward algorithms for a new real-time microwave endoscope.

Every year in Europe, more than 470,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer (CRC). For early detection, screening protocols are established that include endoscopic examination. However, after a negative colonoscopy, the risk of having CRC is 60-70%. The DTIC’s PhySense and SIMBIOsys groups in collaboration with Hospital Clínic and AntennaLab-UPC have recently proposed MiWEndo, a system that generates low-cost microwave, anatomic and functional images of the gastrointestinal tract. COLONINFO aims to ensure the computational efficiency and robustness of MiWEndo (in terms of resolution and computing time) through the development of reconstruction software able to guide diagnosis and enable real-time quantification.

MAGICElia Bruni, Gemma Boleda, Department of Translation and Language Sciences. Multimodal Agents Grounded via Interactive Communication.

To fully command language, an agent with artificial intelligence needs to know how to use it to achieve a goal; to interact with another speaker; and refer to the objects in the external reality. The project proposes an approach based on recent advances in the formation of neural networks using reinforcement learning, which will allow going from static learning, totally supervised, to dynamic and interactive learning where the agents need to use the language to accomplish a task in the visual world.

MAPDUNG: Shira Gur-AriehMarco Madella, Department of Humanities. Dung as Construction Material During the Emergence of Animal Domestication: A Multi-Proxy Approach.

In the Neolithic period, the human transition from hunter-gatherers to farmers involved the first crops and the domestication of animals, as well as the exploitation of by-products such as milk, wool or manure. Manure is a valuable material that can be used as a fertilizer, fuel, and for construction, but, unlike other by-products, the use of manure has been less studied. The aim of the project is to explore the use of manure for construction in order to understand the relationships between humans and animals and the ecosystem, expanding knowledge about human technology, the exploitation of resources and subsistence practices during the course of the first Neolithic period, one of the most important transitions in the history of mankind.

MYlandOURlandMarco Fabbri, Benito Arruñada, Department of Economics and Business (DEE). How Institutions Shape Culture: Survey and Experimental Evidence from a Large-Scale Land Tenure Reform Implemented as a Randomized Control Trial.

This project questions the effects of the reform in land tenure, collectivist and informal property to a system similar to that of individual private property. The reform carried out by hundreds of villages in West Africa will be studied randomly. Data drawn from surveys and laboratory experiments will be used to evaluate the effects of institutional reforms on cultural variables that influence the economic development of society, for example, trust, cooperation, orientation to social value, competitiveness, work ethic.

SCOMLéla Mélon, Carlos Ignacio Gómez Ligüerre, Department of Law. Sustainable Company.

This project is based on the need for a sustainable corporate policy in Europe. It seeks to provide new solutions to the challenges of sustainable corporate behaviour by analysing the “best practices” of “highly sustainable companies”, using the experience of “green public procurement” in Catalonia as an example. The implementation of the results of the research in university curricula will contribute to consolidating the sustainable business model, instilling these concerns in future entrepreneurs and lawyers.

SOCRESJeanne Moisand, Josep Maria Fradera, Department of Humanities. Social Republicanism in 19th c. Spain

The project will investigate the ‘Cantonalista’ revolution of 1873, an insurrection that, despite being quite similar to that of the Paris Commune (1871), was later forgotten. The project aims to cast fresh light on the history of political thought and also to challenge stereotypes about the political backwardness of southern Europe and on the political “apathy” of the Spanish society up to 1931. In addition, the project will pay special attention to the role played by the exiled, deportees, migrants and sailors in the global dissemination of socio-republican ideas at that time. This will show that the political and cultural movements of the metropolis had roots and echoes in the colonies (mainly the Philippines and Cuba) and the rest of the world.

SPIKEMiguel EspinosaBenito Arruñada, Department of Economics and Business. Specialization in the Knowledge Economy.

A project that seeks to understand how human capital affects the organization of companies and economies, with the aim of providing information about the determinants of productivity and governance in the knowledge-based economy. The first part deals with the relationships between pressure groups and lobbyists; the second studies the consequences of the differences in human capital resulting from specialization by fields of knowledge; and, finally, the project considers whether employees’ productivity in service companies is better explained with the knowledge of their clients or of their occupations.

TENUMECA: Markku Lehtonen, Albert Presas, Department of Humanities. The technopolitics of nuclear megaproject pathologies, economic controversies and varieties of socioeconomic appraisal.

Controversy, the so-called diseases of megaprojects and the possible means to relieve the problems, coincide with the specific context of the country: “technopolitical regimes” or “technopolitical cultures”. This project will explore the controversies arising from megaprojects such as those related to the nuclear sector. It will perform an international assessment of the matter: Spain, Finland, France and the United Kingdom, combining various lines of research, and in the light of historical and contemporary examples of controversies around the nuclear economy in the countries mentioned. The methodology will include the analysis of documents, interviews, sociolinguistic analysis of corpuses of text, with the help of “Próspero” software.




SDG - Sustainable Development Goals:

Els ODS a la UPF