knowledge (1)

Call for the A.G. Leventis Research Innovation Programme on Cyprus 2019

The LSE’s Hellenic Observatory (HO) established a new initiative in 2019, dedicated to innovative research on Cyprus regarding issues of contemporary academic and policy-relevant significance. The new programme is funded by the A.G. Leventis Foundation and is based on research calls put out by the HO for projects to be conducted by external researchers. The purpose of the programme is to develop and support high-quality academic and policy-related research and publications within the social sciences on Cyprus. The LSE’s Hellenic Observatory invited applications from researchers to conduct high-quality and policy relevant research on contemporary Cyprus. Projects were eligible for consideration from across the social sciences; had either a domestic or external focus; and/or placed Cyprus in comparative perspective. Projects should normally be having a clear relevance to public policy in Cyprus.


Research Themes & Level of Awards

1. Small Research Project: GBP £8,000 grant – the project will be running for a maximum of 12 months (one award).

Researchers were invited to submit a research proposal on one of the following themes for an award of up to £8,000. One project has been selected.


1(a) “The effectiveness and efficiency of judiciary systems: Cyprus and Greece compared”

Judicial independence is a cornerstone of modern democracy. This independence, though, can complicate efforts to change the judicial system even when reform is badly needed.  Court systems in Cyprus and Greece are among the least efficient in the European Union, though they reflect different judicial traditions. According to comparative EU data, it takes a very long time to resolve civil, commercial and administrative cases in these two countries.  Moreover, in recent times, judiciaries have come under scrutiny by international monitoring bodies, such as the Council of Europe, and domestic actors, like the Attorney General, for conflicts of interest.  Responding to these challenges, the executive and the judiciary have undertaken efforts to reform the court system. We invite proposals that will examine continuity and change in the Cyprus and Greece judiciaries, analysing the factors impacting on performance, facilitating and inhibiting the reform of the court systems, and placing these in an internationally comparative perspective.

1(b) “Immigration in Cyprus: Developments, challenges and implications”

Like other states, Cyprus faces a number of challenges arising from the increased flow of migrants.  Yet, there is as yet limited research on the public policy implications of these challenges.  There are tensions noted in terms of the processing of migrants and ethnic minorities face risks of social exclusion and restrictions on their economic (labour market) and political participation, as well as their access to public services.  We seek research that will explore such features and their impacts on the immigrant communities in Cyprus.  We welcome applications within different disciplines and methodological approaches.  The research should have clear policy relevance. 

1(c) “Youth and politics in Cyprus”

Youth is undoubtedly a key component in the conduct of politics in Cyprus, yet surprisingly it has been absent in specialised academic study. We know little about young people as political actors in Cyprus, both on the formal and informal level of politics. We know far less about intersectional experiences of the realm of the political, especially across lines of gender, ethnic, and class differences as well as differences in citizenship status and minority belonging. Proposals here might address questions such as: (1) What forms of politics do young people in Cyprus engage with and what forms of politics do they reject, and why?; (2) In what ways does youth political engagement differ between the two communities on the island?; (3) What kind of alternative politics can we envision for the future, based on indications from past and recent youth political engagement?; (4) How does the Cyprus conflict figure in formal and informal youth politics?; (5) How do young people experience the transition from civic education in school to civic participation in the public sphere?; and (6) What forms of inclusion and exclusion, e.g. of gender and sexual difference, or of migrant and minority groups structure youth politics.  This list is not however intended to be exhaustive.

2. Collaborative Research Project: GBP £25,000 grant - the project will be running for a maximum of 24 months (one award).

We invited proposals for collaborative projects on topics relating to the economy, society and/or politics of Cyprus. Proposed projects were designed to have a maximum duration of 24 months and with a maximum budget of GBP £25,000. They are based on a collaboration with an LSE (non Hellenic Observatory) academic (Assistant Professor equivalent) or higher, with a target budget for the LSE component in the area of 20-25% of the total budget of the project.

Collaborative Research Project

This was an open call inviting top-quality research on Cyprus that falls within the interests of the Hellenic Observatory. Submissions related to the following two areas were of preference:

 (a) Cyprus and the economic adjustment programme, e.g. the short and long-term impacts on political and economic institutions, continuity and change in the workings of the economy, fiscal performance, banking governance and stability, as well as evaluation of structural reforms that should advise policy making in the future.

(b) Immigration and migrant communities, e.g. evidence on the actual lives of migrant workers, refugees and asylum seekers in Cyprus, their daily living and working conditions, how they come to the country, exploitation by their employers and within their communities and networks, and their integration process within the society, the labour market and the educational system.

An essential requirement of this Call was that the project would be delivered in a collaborative fashion, with the applicant team (principal investigator) pairing with an LSE -non Hellenic Observatory- based academic (Assistant Professor equivalent) or higher, who would substantially contribute to the project (with a target contribution in the area of 20-25% of the total project budget). The Hellenic Observatory did not offer advice or mediation in establishing partnerships with LSE academics. Submitted proposals briefly explained the rationale for the collaboration (synergies, complementarities), any previous history of collaboration across the members of the research team, and the current contact with the LSE staff member. They  also explained in sufficient detail the specific role of each member of the research team (including the LSE academic(s)) in the project. 

Useful Information

Selection Process 

Proposals were assessed by the Hellenic Observatory and members of its Research Advisory Group according to the following criteria:

  • Originality, significance, rigour and impact of the research
  • Evidence that the individuals involved have the capacity to execute the proposed project and deliver on stated outcomes
  • Contribution towards policy-relevant challenges facing Greece and/or Cyprus
  • Value for money
  • Compatibility of the research with the broader work of the Hellenic Observatory

The Hellenic Observatory and the Research Advisory Group are solely responsible for approving the eligibility of applications and reserve the right to request additional information from the applicants. In all cases, the decisions of the Hellenic Observatory and the Research Advisory Group are final. Correspondence concerning the reasons behind the decisions cannot be entered into.


The successful researcher / research team will be required to provide:

  • Policy Brief: A Policy Brief of 2,000 words (after 6 months where project run is 12 months and after 12 months where project run is 24 months).
  • Final Research Note: A Final Research Note of up to 10,000 words at the end of the project together with a detailed breakdown of all the expenses.
  • Other: Scholarly publications and publications in other outlets, stemming from the research project will be a significant criterion for the evaluation of the applications submitted.

The researcher / or research team are obliged to give full acknowledgement to the Hellenic Observatory in all publicity and outputs related to the project, copies of which should be sent to the Hellenic Observatory. The Hellenic Observatory also retains the right to publicise a summary of the results, with full acknowledgement to the authors of the research, on its website and in its other publicity outlets.