UCL Global


Research projects

In 2018-19, the Cities partnerships Programme supported 30 projects across all 11 Faculties, working with 20 partners in and around Rome.

Planning for densification and housing in London and Rome: urban design, real estate and sustainability agendas in practice.


This project investigates residential densification through analyses of recent strategies adopted in both London and Rome to address the housing crises. The collaborative research and roundtable discussions will examine the influences of urban design, real estate and sustainability on strategies of densification and explore the role that urban design plays in mediating between the sometimes conflicting requirements of sustainable and property-led development.

Lucia Nuccia, Università Roma Tre
Michael Short, Nicola Livingstone, Catalina Turcu, UCL

Urban Heritage

Architecture and conservation

This workshop begins exploring the impact of Roma Tre on the regeneration of the post-industrial Ostiense area of Rome. It builds on a research collaboration between UCL and University of Gothenburg around the role played by universities in driving regeneration programmes in different cities. The workshop considers the ways in which politicians, institutions, professional elites, and community groups address their past and/or forge new identities, and outlines a research proposal for analysing those processes in the Ostiense context.

Anna Laura Palazzo, Antonio Pugliano, Romina d’Ascanio, Maria Segarra Lagunes, Università Roma Tre
Clare Melhuish, Dean Sully, UCL
Ola Wetterberg, Krister Olsson, Maria Nystrom, University of Gothenburg

Audio / Visual Romans: Julius Caesar on Screen

Arts & Humanities

This cross-disciplinary collaboration brings together academics and students from literature, classics, film studies, history, intercultural studies and translation studies for a practical exercise in audio-description. By investigating the sound and image of ancient Rome in cinema and by exploring the visual and aural embodiment of Julius Caesar in television and social media, the project compares representations of Rome’s past. It includes a public screening of a silent film with live accompaniment by the pianist and composer Michele Scanga.

Monika Woźniak, Francesca Berno, Sapienza Università di Roma
Piotr Salwa, Polish Academy of Science at RomeMaria Wyke, Geraldine Brodie, Valentina Arena, Benet Salway, UCL

London-Rome: Together against pain


Up to 80% of patients develop chronic pain (CIPN) with chemotherapy and this can lead to interruption of anti-cancer treatment and may significantly reduce the quality of life of cancer survivors. This new collaboration study the mechanisms underlying CIPN and provide data for researchers and clinicians to develop effective treatment of the condition.

Francesco Cecconi, Università di Roma, Tor Vergata
Maria Maiaru, UCL

Railway Traffic Control

Civil Engineering

European Railway Traffic Management System (ERTMS), led by railway industries across Europe, proposes common standards and stock to improve research, development and implementation of international rail service operations. Academics are developing and demonstrating the future direction of the traffic control system and its supporting algorithms. Rome Tre and UCL lead the academic development in this area and this project provides opportunities to present their work and create hubs for European researcher networks.

Andrea D’Ariano, Dario Pacciarelli, Marcella Samà, Università Roma Tre
Taku Fujiyama, Yan Cheng, UCL

EPICentre-Sapienza Network on Earthquake Risk Reduction in Europe

Civil Engineering

Although there is increasing earthquake risk awareness among the public and policy-makers in many European countries, there is a need to develop holistic strategies for mitigating and managing seismic risk. This collaboration of world-leading experts will better integrate current research at both institutions and establish an active and impactful research community for advancing knowledge and increasing awareness of models and tools for earthquake risk assessment, disaster risk reduction, and multi-hazard resilience engineering.
Stefano Pampanin, Sapienza Università di Roma
Carmine Galasso, Roberto Gentile, UCL

Comparative urban governance amidst political and economic crises in Rome and Athens

Engineering and public policy

Pressing social, environmental and economic challenges converge in cities. The issues intersect in the everyday lives of citizens and local political structures. These comparative research workshops bring together diverse scholarly contributions to develop an in-depth understanding of the current governance challenges for deteriorating infrastructure systems and public service delivery, and the configurations of public, private and community actors that are responding to them.
Ernesto d’Albergo, Sapienza Università di Roma
Luca Salvati, Università Roma Tre
Jenny McArthur, Carla-Leanne Washbourne, UCL

Geological archives of past warm periods from Central Italy and their potential for climate research


Studies of past interglacials provide an observational context for changes occurring during intervals of ‘excess’ warmth and potential analogues for the current interglacial and its future evolution. This summer school will improve understanding by students and early career scientists of the importance of Central Appenine basins for palaeoclimate research and introduce them to key methods and approaches through hands-on experience of data analyses.

Laura Sadori, Sapienza Università di Roma
Biagio Giaccio, Instituto di Geologia Ambientale e Geoingegneria, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
Chronis Tzedakis, Vasiliki Margari, UCL

Bridging the gap between experimentalists, biocurators and analysis tool providers

Health Sciences

Experimental researchers, biocurators and tool providers come together to discuss how to support improved interpretation of genomic, proteomic and transcriptomic datasets. Researchers from across disciplines provide expertise on interpreting and interrogating datasets and share knowledge of the needs of their different research communities.  

Luana Licata, Università di Roma, Tor Vergata, Ruth Lovering, Inés Pineda-Torra, Karoline Kuchenbaecker, Reecha Sofat, Chiara Bacchelli, Snezana Djordjevic, UCL

London-Rome Workshop on Infectious Diseases: Epidemiology, Modelling and Health Economics

Health Sciences

Scholars from the Lazzaro Spallanzani and UCL are creating a new collaboration to develop a research proposal on modelling of infectious diseases. Through this project they will present and discuss the methodology and outputs of the similar studies conducted in both institutes and develop a proposal to combine data and modelling methods.

Enrico Girardi, INMI Istituto Nazionale per le Malattie Infettive Lazzaro Spallanzani
Lara Goscé, Hasan Haghparast-Bidgoli, UCL

Towards developing a cure for children with HIV

Health Sciences
This project represents an important component of the work already established between IRCCS and UCL to develop a cure for HIV in children. The proposed study will provide data using cutting edge technologies on a very rare and special population of children with HIV infection. The data collected will be processed by mathematical modellers which will inform future strategies to establishing a cure.

Paola Palma, Instituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesu
Nigel Klein, Eleni Nastouli, UCL

On the Move: Food, Merchants and the Early Modern European City

Heritage and Philosophy

This collaboration historically contextualises some of the issues associated with globalisation and the city through food and philosophies of health and status. The projects deepen understandings of merchants at the heart of cultural and ideological exchanges in the 16-18th centuries. These influential individuals enjoyed the benefits of global flows of goods, ideas and people, but publically expressed concerns about people from ‘beyond’ sharing the same space.

Nunzio Allocca, Sapienza Università di Roma
Sarah Milne, UCL

The Rise of Constitutional Identity Review in Europe: A Critical Assessment


This research workshop brings together legal scholars and judges based in the UK, Italy and elsewhere in Europe to discuss the rise of constitutional identity review in Europe. This subject has thus far not received systematic, cross-country attention. Scholars debate and reassess doctrinal and theoretical assumptions on constitutional identity in light of recent case law.

Cristina Fasone, LUISS Guido Carli
Silvia Suteu, UCL

Focus on Open Science

Library Services

Open Science has the potential to transform the research landscape. The European Commission identified eight pillars of Open Science in its Open Science Policy Platform. With the mission to “Promote the concept of, values and best practices in Open Science to European communities, with particular reference to libraries”, these workshops address the challenges posed by Open Science. What is the role of academic libraries in supporting this transition? Is there a role for libraries at all? What are the current views and agendas in various European countries?

Luciano Sasso, Sapienza Università di Roma
Paul Ayris, UCL

Mourning: Different Times, Different Forms

This interdisciplinary collaboration brings together academics from modern languages, English, and science, as well as people from the creative sector. The conference investigates the relationship between mourning and poetry, autobiography, the novel, the essay, and diaries. It then looks to the role of photography and the visual arts as expressions of mourning. Research questions explore relationships between the medieval and the modern; words and images; and the individual and the collective.

Simona Corso, Università Roma Tre
Jennifer Rushworth, Florian Mussgnug, Susan Irvine, UCL

Doctoral Development Workshop


This workshop for doctoral and postdoctoral students provides an opportunity to refine their writing skills and develop papers for publication. Students receive feedback from mentors and peers with similar research interests. Experienced scholars deliver keynote speeches offering insights into the scientific publication process and how students can improve their work to meet editors’ selection criteria.

Alessandro Zattoni, Francesco Rullani, Andrea Prencipe, LUISS Guido Carli
Davide Ravasi, UCL

Stochastic and Partial Differential Equation Methods in Finance and Economics

This project explores mathematical questions, motivated by problems in economics and finance that can be treated by methods of stochastic analysis and the theory of partial differential equations. At a workshop, experienced researchers will give a broad perspective on several areas of research, discussing with PhD students current developments and major open problems.
Fausto Gozzi, LUISS Guido Carli

Stefano d’Addona, Università Roma Tre
Piermarco Cannarsa, Università di Roma, Tor Vergata
Carlo Marinelli, Guido Germano, UCL

Sensation - new insights

Medical sciences
The researchers are working on the basic molecular mechanisms that explain touch and pain. Together, they compare their work in this area, exchange information about techniques, and carry out joint research on a single mutant mouse with potential deficits in touch and pain sensation that may have clinical relevance for the future of data analyses.

Paul Heppenstall, European Molecular Biology Organization
John Wood, James Cox, Jing Zhao, Ed Emery, UCL

Decisions about decisions: Bridging between mathematical models of decision-making and metacognition


This workshop brings together scholars from UCL and CNR, with leading figures from other EU countries, to discuss the most recent advances in the field of decision making and metacognition. Researchers working on mathematical models of both decision-making and metacognition ask whether a unified perspective can be formulated. This interdisciplinary collaboration will capitalise on the complementary expertise of the contributors.

Giovanni Pezzulo, L'Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie della Cognizione, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
Benedetto De Martino, Stephen Fleming, UCL

The limits of pain and the nature of human experience


This collaboration extends work on two fundamental, quasi-philosophical questions about pain experience. Using innocuous cold and warm stimulus to create the experience of a burning pain, this novel experiment will provide the first qualitative and quantitative descriptions of such “mini-pains” and measure the accuracy with which people can point to the location of the stimuli.
Giandomenico Iannetti, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Patrick Haggard, UCL

Biosensors and bioelectronics for healthcare, environment and dafety

Physical Sciences

This project brings together researchers from disciplines such as materials, chemistry, electrical engineering, medicine and healthcare to present their work and build closer collaboration at the frontiers of research into biosensors and bioelectronics.

Danila Moscone, Fabiana Arduini, Stefano Cinti, Università di Roma, Tor Vergata
Mingqing Wang and Kwang-leong Choy, UCL

Does talking at the United Nations matter for domestic human rights or is it all just hot air?

Political Science

This project brings together scholars, practitioners, and PhD students to present cutting edge research on the ability of rhetoric to reflect and potentially change governments’ human rights practices. This collaboration furthers understanding on the limitations of such rhetoric, and consider how and when use of the language can change the behaviour of human rights abusing states.

Elena Sciso, LUISS Guido Carli
Mohammed Abouharb, UCL

The influence of individual characteristics on the performance of government employees: A metaregression

Political Science

This project aims to better understand the determinants of employee performance in governments. Using metaregression analysis, the scholars will delve into the determinants of individual characteristics and how they relate to employee performance in the public sector. The application of metaregression techniques to this study could ultimately propose managerial studies to increase employee performance in government.

Marc Esteve, LUISS Guido Carli
Fabian Homberg, UCL

Life course transitions and Italian migrants in time of change and austerity

Social Science
Migration is one of the key challenges that Europe faces today. This new collaboration will bring together academics from different disciplinary backgrounds, policy makers and third sector organisations for public debate and to develop research ideas. Through a conference and seminar, scholars explore ideas and synergies on migration and social reproduction and the effects of migration on the life course of individuals particularly on employment, family formation and fertility.

Mauro Giardiello, Università Roma Tre
Chiara Biasin, Università di Padova
Francesco Billari, Università Bocconi Milano
Delfina Licata, Fondazione Migrantes
Michela Franceschelli, Maria Sironi, UCL

Developing the next generation of techniques and devices for studying the solar magnetic field

Space and Climate Physics
Solar eruptions are among the largest and most spectacular phenomena occurring in our solar system. This new collaboration is based on a mutual exchange of highly-profiled and complementary expertise. Scientists and PhD students will come together to share knowledge on spectro-polarimetric techniques and develop the next-generation devices for the major European solar physics project, EST.

Ilaria Ermolli, Marco Stangalini, Fabrizio Giorgi, Mariarita Murabito, INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma

Lucie Green, Deb Baker, David Long, UCL


Feu Follet: Flying Again: Ghosts in Word and Image

Exhibition and publication

Liz Rideal’s exhibition Feu Follet concentrates on the spirit world of ghosts and the Mussgnug's creative-critical text tells of the Pontine Marshes of Lazio. The texts are written and worked into the design so as to be read in conjunction with the paintings and photographs. The publication explores the boundaries between word and image and the creation of a permanent object.

Martina Caruso, British School at Rome
Liz Rideal, Florian Mussgnug, UCL

Reconstruction, Recovery and Resilience of Historic Cities and Societies

History Conference
The Silk Cities international conference addresses the issues surrounding reconstruction, recovery and resilience in historic cities. The three day conference is part of a series of events marking ten years since the earthquake, in L’Aquila. Round table discussions will bring academics together with policy makers, local activists other experts.

Paola Inverardi, Alfonso Pierantonio, Antonello Salvatori, Massimo Prosperococco, fatemah Farnaz Arefian, Paola Rizzi, Università L'Aquila

Lucia Patrizio Gunning, Julio Davila, UCL