About Us

The project

The success of Higher Education as an effective learning environment rests on establishing an inclusive context that promotes Life-long learning opportunities. Socio-Emotional Learning skills are considered as fundamental competencies for sustainable development and lifestyle, through which individuals acquire the ability to make decisions, to collaborate, to be prosocial, to communicate effectively, and to manage emotions. SEL, as an integral part of life-long learning, is considered crucial for individuals' academic achievement, mental health and life success. Although, universal SEL programs have produced promising findings, their administration lacks success in populations with diverse abilities (e.g. students with cognitive challenges/learning difficulties). There is growing literature indicating the potential of incorporating music and digital technology as an effective medium for SEL programs in people with cognitive challenges/learning difficulties. The purpose of the proposed project is twofold. Firstly, to develop a research informed multimodal SEL program (combining SEL+ music+ digital tools) and assess its effectiveness in university students with and without cognitive challenges/learning difficulties. Secondly, to build capacity among professionals in universities who provide SEL programs to students and raise awareness about project results in relevant stakeholders inside and outside partnership.

The project's objectives are:

To increase training opportunities, by training at least 160 students (with and without cognitive challenges/learning difficulties) in SEL, via multimodal approach, as a part of a well-designed and rigorously conducted effectiveness study.

To advance scientific knowledge in the respected field, by conducting a meta-analysis for effectiveness of SEL programs in HE, by consulting 80 stakeholders to maximize training usefulness and applicability.

To publicize the project results to 80 university professionals and 80 outside partnership professionals and train them on how to use project's materials and tools.

To contribute to partners' growth and development, by utilizing transnational cooperation in a European consortium as a mean to increase partner's knowledge and confidence in all relevant to project fields by 20%.

To raise awareness about Erasmus + program and project aims, by reaching to at least 10000 people within university community, 40 external stakeholders and 15000 people from the wider public, through targeted promotional activities.

Consortium

University of Cyprus

UCY

With around 7.000 students, 113 laboratories and 830 faculty and staff members, the University of Cyprus (UCY) is a young and rapidly expanding university (established in 1989). There are 7 faculties, 22 departments and 16 research units / centres, covering a broad spectrum within the life, social, natural and engineering sciences. UCY is the biggest employer in Cyprus for young graduates and researchers. It currently employs about 750 young scientists using external research funds. We are seeking and attracting new qualified scientists and researchers because our constant aim is to be the largest employers' organization for young researchers in Cyprus. UCY is considered the leading university and the most active research institution in Cyprus. UCY implemented a large number of research projects funded by the European Commission, the national Research and Innovation Foundation and several public and private Research Organizations. In 2020, research funding from external sources reached €26 million. UCY is currently participating in 348 projects. 153 are EU-funded projects under Horizon 2020, Erasmus+, Justice, Life, Cost Action, and Interreg. UCY is one of the eight young universities within “The Young Universities for the Future of Europe (YUFE)”. The YUFE alliance has a mission to create one of the very first 'European Universities' that will bring a radical change in European Higher Education by establishing itself as the leading model of a young, student centred, non-elitist, open and inclusive European University. A unique ecosystem linking universities to communities, YUFE will be based on cooperation between higher research infrastructures and participates in top cooperation networks.

Website: https://www.ucy.ac.cy/en/


University of Amsterdam

VUA

The VU University Amsterdam (VU) is a top tier research university, providing education to more than 24.500 students, of which 5.000 international students, and employing over 4.600 staff. From the foundation of the university, the VU has always highly valued academic freedom (Vrije Universiteit means 'Free University') and its responsibility to serve society with science, free from church, state and commercial interest. The mission statement of the university is built on three philosophical values that are represented in education, research and knowledge transfer; taking responsibility to tackle important societal problems with openness to a wide variety of disciplines, cultures and religions, while respecting personal values of the individual. To give meaning to these core values, the VU focuses education and research activities on four themes fostering collaboration within research groups, across research groups and faculties, with external stakeholders, at a national and international level. These themes are (1) Human Health and Life Science, promoting health and wellbeing, (2) Governance for Society, focusing on the management and organization of societies, (3) Science for Sustainability, focusing on a healthy balance between the individual, its environment and the role of economy in this, and (4) Connected World, highlighting the role of globalization in personal, cultural and economic relations.

Website: https://www.vu.nl/en/


University of Crete

UOC

The University of Crete (UOC) is a multi-disciplinary, research-oriented public educational institution. Located at campuses in Heraklion and Rethymnon on the island of Crete, a site rich in ancient and modern Mediterranean cultures, the University offers a vibrant social and intellectual environment for research and education. Established in 1973, the University accepted its first students in 1977-78. It now has 16 Departments in 5 Schools (Philosophy, Education, Social Sciences, Sciences & Engineering, and Medicine) as well as a number of affiliated institutions, including the Skinakas Observatory, the Natural History Museum, and the University General Hospital. Currently, over 16,000 undergraduates and 2500 postgraduate students are registered here. They are educated by an outward looking academic faculty of around 500 members, supported by adjunct lecturers, post-doctoral researchers, and laboratory instructors as well as around 300 technical and administrative staff. The international orientation of the University is reflected in its track record of collaborations with many of the leading research and educational institutions in Europe and worldwide as well as active promotion of mobility and exchange programmes. The University is committed to providing a stimulating environment that promotes education by teaching and research. We strive for excellence in teaching, research and community partnerships and aim to • provide a secure and open teaching and learning environment for our students,• take a leading role in research and the resulting innovations, • promote the cultural, social and economic development of the region and • develop and strengthen collaborations with other academic institutions within Greece, Europe and worldwide.

Website: https://en.uoc.gr/


University of Hungary

ELTE

Eötvös Loránd University is Hungary's largest and most prestigious university with distinguished international rankings and the widest range of educational portfolio. With more than 460 granted projects ELTE has considerable expertise in grant management, including EU funded grants (FP7, Horizon2020, Erasmus+, Erasmus Mundus, etc). At present ELTE has more than 70 running international projects, such as ERASMUS+, ERASMUS MUNDUS, JUST, INTERREG, ESA, Visegrad Fund, ERC (Stg, SyG), and Twinning. ELTE participates in about twenty H2020 projects.

Website: https://www.elte.hu/en


SilverSky3D

SS3D

Silversky3D (SS3D) is a Cyprus-based SME established in 2004 as a spinout company from the University of Cyprus following successful funding from the European Research Council (ERC) and the Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry, and Tourism of Cyprus (Young Entrepreneurship Program). The company focuses on the development of innovative applications in emerging technologies (VR, AR, and the web), based on research from Cognitive/Clinical Psychology and Neuroscience, e.g., tools for improving cognitive processes, applications for supporting education and training, clinical and psychological interventions, health applications etc. These applications are developed as own products or commissioned by clients. Currently, the company employees 10 full-time and 3 part-time developers and scientists. The staff is complemented by the 3 Directors, who are shareholders in the company but currently receive no salary for their service. Although 100% independent, the company maintains close ties with the Departments of Psychology and of Computer Science of the University of Cyprus, offering paid internships and part-time jobs to students and recent graduates.

Website: https://silversky3d.com/


Associated Partners

Cyprus Music Education Association

Mou.sy.ky

The Cyprus Music Education Association (Mou.sy.ky) is an organization of American music educators dedicated to advancing and preserving music education as part of the core curriculum of schools in Cyprus. Founded in 2009, the organization aims to support music educators in all regions of Cyprus with the goal to promote:

  • Building and maintaining a community of music educators characterized by mutual respect and support.
  • Fostering intercultural understanding and cooperation among the world's music educators.
  • Promoting music education for people of all ages in all relevant situations throughout the world. related skills can occur in a range of ways that are essential in satisfying peoples' diverse musical needs, interests, and capacities.
  • Promoting access to music, information about music, and opportunities to develop musical and related skills can occur in a range of ways that are essential in satisfying peoples' diverse musical needs, interests, and capacities.
Mou.sy.ky is expected to be involved in sharing and promotion activities of the project


Cyprus Music Education Association

CYMTA

The Cyprus Music Therapy Association is a resource and organization dedicated to professional music therapists. It is a member of the European Music Therapy Confederation (EMTC) and it counts numerous actions for continuous education of music therapists in Cyprus, including seminars, webinars, and courses on advances in music therapy. The organization was founded in 2010 and its main goals include:

  • To safeguard the rights of the persons who need and utilize music therapy services.
  • To cooperate with other organized music therapy groups from abroad, as well as other organizations in Cyprus and abroad aiming towards a better promotion of the Association's goals.
  • To inform and educate the public, as well as private and public organizations regarding music therapy.
  • To make suggestions towards state legislation governing the registration of music therapists and other relevant issues.
The Cyprus Music Therapy Association is expected to be involved in sharing and promotion activities of the project.


Cyprus Psychologist Association

CYPSA

Cyprus Psychologist Association (CYPSA) is the leading scientific organization of Psychologists on the island and brings expertise on the European perspective through its participation on the European Federation of Psychological Associations, which is the primary policy maker for applied psychology in the EU. It will have a primary role in supporting UCY in organizing scientific day conferences directed to professionals and the scientific community. Through its mail lists and prior experiences in organization scientific and dissemination experiences, its own website and social media pages, CYPSA has the ability to reach a large number of practicing mental health professionals and residents, in order to more easily begin the translation of findings into clinical use. It will also manage the execution of an external data monitoring committee where the potential of utilization of R5 results in real-world practice will be thoroughly evaluated. In specific, CYPSA has an extensive expertise of issues of legislation and ethics in psychology and its applications across European countries, that will be used in the project to oversee that R5 will follow all ethical procedures and appropriate scientific and professional standards.


Team Members

University of Cyprus

Georgia Panayiotou

Georgia Panayiotou

Georgia Panayiotou, Ph.D. is Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychology, University of Cyprus. Her research interests are in the domain of Emotion and its role in the etiology and maintenance of psychopathology. She studies topics like differences in fear reactivity between groups with different pathologies, emotion regulation and coping and Anxiety and Affective Disorders Emotional processes in antisocial behaviors such risky driving and childhood aggression. She directs the Clinical Psychology and Psychophysiology Lab and she is a founding member of the Center for Applied Neuroscience. In addition to basic emotion research her lab runs RCTs on preventive interventions for young people (e.g. “Travel in Myself” program for youth, “URGAME-C” project for gambling). She was PI or co-PI on multiple nationally and internationally funded projects (including Marie-Curie ETN, NEO-PRISM-C, Level UP). She is a licensed clinical psychologist in Cyprus, and she is the Coordinator of the MASH-up n' HEI project.

Website: Georgia Panayiotou


Potheini Vaiouli

Potheini Vaiouli

Dr. Potheini Vaiouli is a postdoctoral researcher at CAN UCY. She holds a PhD in Special Education (Indiana University Bloomington) and an MA in Music Therapy (New York University). Her research interests converge around social, emotional, and academic growth of individuals with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities and her work has been published in national and international peer-reviewed journals. Potheini has extensive experience participating in EU and US multi-site, interdisciplinary research projects (Creative Europe grant; Swedish E+ NA, E+ KA2). Currently, she is the Project Administration Manager of the Neo-PRISM-C project and a co-PI of the MASH-up n' HEI project. In her role, she has collaborated for the design and implementation of training activities, the coordination and organization of project-related events, and the dissemination of the project outcomes. Furthermore, Potheini’s work- experience includes more than ten years of teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level as well as clinical work with youth with disabilities and their families.


Marios Theodorou

Marios Theodorou

Dr. Marios Theodorou is a special scientist (postdoctoral level researcher) at the University of Cyprus. He holds a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology. He is a licensed Clinical Psychologist, offering trainings on skills development related to mental health, healthy relationships and wellbeing. He has gained working experience as teaching instructor at the University (e.g. Psychology of Happiness and Adaptive Behavior), as Trainer at Cyprus Family Planning Association (Sexual Health promotion), psychosocial skills trainer at the School of Central Prison in Nicosia, and employment counsellor at the Nicosia District Labour Office. He is currently involved as a Co-PI in the MASH-up n' HEI project.


Maria Orphanidou

Maria Orphanidou

Maria Orphanidou, Ph.D. is a licenced clinical psychologist. Her research interests are in social-psychological approaches to mental health issues. Her Ph.D. thesis examined the ways in which depression is represented in the media and the public, as well as the subjective experience of depression among people of different ages diagnosed with depression. She has experience in the use of qualitative methodology (i.e., design, data collection, data analysis, presentation of findings) and has published qualitative research in peer-reviewed academic journals. She has experience in the organisation and execution of psychoeducational group interventions. She is currently involved as Researcher in the MASH-up n' HEI project (Focus groups and Qualitative Analysis).


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Elke Vlemincx

Elke Vlemincx

Elke is Assistant Professor at the Health Sciences department, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Her research focuses on investigating the mechanisms underlying (mal)adaptive stress and emotion regulation, and the effectivity of innovative stress management techniques. Within this research domain, she specializes in psychophysiology, examining bidirectional relationships between physiological functioning (e.g. breathing, heart rate variability) and psychological factors (e.g. stress and emotions, interoception and symptom perception, flexibility and resilience). She is currently involved as a team leader in the MASH-up n' HEI project.


University of Crete

Panayiota Dimitropoulou

Panayiota Dimitropoulou

Dimitropoulou Panagiota is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology. She is an experienced Educational psychologist with national and international publications and teaching experience. She has extensive work experience in various educational institutes across Greece, at all education levels. Furthermore, Dr. Dimitropoulou has worked on developing and implementing systemic prevention and intervention programs, as well as training students, school psychologists, teachers and HEI students on various skills such as communication skills, consultation, counselling skills and soft transversal skills. Also, some of these projects involved the close collaboration with stakeholders and policy makers related to educational and organizational contexts. Finally, she is the national representative of Greece and Convenor of Board of Promotion and Prevention of European Federation of Psychologists Association (EFPA), Co-cordinator of the Division of Psychology of the Hellenic Psychological Society and at the committee of the national representatives of young scholars in European Association for Research on Adolescence. She is currently involved as a UoC team leader in the MASH-up n' HEI project.


Alexios Arvanitis

Alexios Arvanitis

Assistant Professor Arvanitis is a social psychologist that has done research on negotiations and motivation. His academic publications introduce a new perspective to the study of negotiation that focuses on co-regulation and entitlements and apply a widely established motivational theory, Self-Determination Theory, in morality and public policy. He has communicated his scientific ideas to the broader public by authoring several newspaper articles and a book in Greek, as well as several newspaper and magazine articles in English. Most important, he has taught extensively on these topics both at the university and in applied professional settings, trying to instill transversal skills in students, lawyers, executives, teachers. He is currently involved as a team co-leader in the MASH-up n' HEI project.


Eötvös Loránd University

Ferenc Honbolygó

Ferenc Honbolygó

Dr. Ferenc Honbolygó is a cognitive psychologist, working as senior researcher at the ELKH Research Centre for Natural Sciences, Brain Imaging Centre, and he is the head of the Neurocognitive Development Research Group. He obtained his PhD degree in 2010 at Eötvös Loránd University. His research interest is focused on how the human brain deals with speech and music. In his research, he uses event-related brain potentials and fMRI methods to examine human brain function. He has participated in several international and national research projects and published over 40 scientific articles as well as several book chapters in Hungarian. In addition to his research, he teaches at the Faculty of Pedagogy and Psychology of Eötvös Loránd University. He is currently involved as a team leader in the MASH-up n' HEI project.


Csaba Kertész

Csaba Kertész

Csaba Kertész is a PhD student at Eötvös Loránd University. He studied music at Franz Liszt Academy of Music and Psychology at Károli Gáspár University. In his research, he focuses on the relation between rhythmic entrainment, language and reading development. In addition to his research, he works as a school psychologist at the Szent István Conservatory, Budapest and as a lecturer at Franz Liszt Academy. He is currently involved as Researcher in the MASH-up n' HEI project.


Silversky 3D Virtual Reality Technologies Ltd

Alex Andreou

Alexandros Andreou

Alexandros (Alex) Andreou is the CEO of Silversky 3D Virtual Reality Technologies Ltd. Recently, he has earned his MSc in Business Administration from the Open University of Cyprus. He has previously obtained a degree in Psychology from the University of Cyprus in June 2010. He is a high caliber designer, and a managing prodigy, expert in a variety of design software and platforms including Unity, Unreal, 3Ds max, Substance and Photoshop. Alex has over 7 years' experience in managing app dev teams for a breadth of sectors including Architecture & Design, Education, Sports, Shipping, Military, Advertising and Psychology. He is currently involved as a team leader in the MASH-up n' HEI project