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Research and Projects

Enhancing Resilience Through Teacher Education (ENRETE)

ENRETE is a two year ERASMUS PLUS project (2016-2018) coordinated by the Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health at the University of Malta and including the the University of Crete (Greece), University of Lisbon (Portugal), University of Pavia (Italy), the University of Rijeke (Croatia) and University Stefan cel Mare Suceava (Romania). ENRETE seeks to improve the quality and relevance of higher education by focusing on the development of innovative curricula with high relevance to Europe’s current socio-economic context. The overall aim of the project is to contribute to the creation of  learning environments through teacher education that promotes the resilience and growth of  marginalised learners by providing them with the tools, resources and learning contexts which facilitate their academic and social and emotional learning and consequently their social inclusion and active citizenship. To achieve this aim the project will develop a set of modules for teacher education at Masters level, tailored to build up educators’ competence in responding and addressing the academic, social and emotional needs of learners at risk in their development and education, particularly learners from ethnic, linguistic, and migrant communities, from socio-economic disadvantage and also learners with learning difficulties and individual educational needs. For further details go to


Enhancing Teacher Education to promote equity and social inclusion (EMPAQT) 

EMPAQT is a two years Erasmus+ project (2016-2018) aimed at contributing to the creation of learning environments that foster equity and inclusion, with a particular focus on children at risk for early school leaving. The project addresses the needs of teachers as professionals to obtain pedagogical support to enhance their skills for creating positive and supporting learning environments which increase students’ resilience . It also addresses the needs of young people in disadvantaged situations who need support and coaching for constructing positive self-concept, setting realistic personal goals and building strategies to achieve well-being through education and professional realization. The project is coordinated by Trakia University (Bulgaria) and includes six partners including the Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health at the University of Malta. For further details go to


Happiness, Optimism, Positivity and Ethos in schools (HOPEs)

HOPEs is a two year Erasmus+ project (2016-2018) aimed at improving primary school teachers’ skills by using innovative and learner-centered educational approaches that focus on students’ wellbeing character development. Strengthening teachers’ ability to positively interact and influence students’ behaviour and competences will result in more effective and meaningful education in schools. An innovative educational program will be developed during the two years of the project’s implementation that will be based on the theoretical framework of positive psychology and character education. Trained teachers will become more motivated to improve their teaching methods and to guide their students in issues related to self-awareness, psychological resilience, happiness and positivity. The project was launched in September 2016  and is implemented in five EU countries (Cyprus , Greece , Ireland, Malta and Portugal). The consortium consists of 6 expert organizations lead by the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute and includes the Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health as one of the partners.

Early Childhood Education - building sustainable motivation and value paradigm for life (MOV-UP)

MOV-UP is a three year Erasmus+ project (2016-2019) which aims to prepare a teacher training course to develop the affective domain of young learners, focusing on values, motivation and attitudes) .The training course is aimed at equipping early years teachers with tools for value assessment, pedagogic analysis and suitable intervention methodologies, supporting synchronization of the personal values and motivation of the children (notably influenced by multiple and diverse cultures) with the socially acceptable ones (particularly European fundamental values and democracy values in general). It is coordinated by the Regional Discrict Nadezda, in Sofia and Bulgaria and includes 10 partners, including the Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health. 

A Resilience Curriculum for Primary Schools (RESCUR)

RESCUR is a three year Lifelong Learning Programme Comenius project (2012-2015) coordinated by the Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health at the University of Malta, and including the University of Pavia (Italy), the University of Zagreb (Croatia), Orebro University (Sweden), the University of Crete (Greece), and the University of Lisbon (Portugal). It is aimed at developing a resilience curriculum for early and primary education in Europe through the intercultural and transnational collaboration among the partner institutions at an EU level, tapping into the resources and expertise of the various partners involved.  The partners have produced a multi-lingual resilience programme for early years and primary school: RESCUR Surfing the Waves includes a Teachers' Guide, a Parents' Guide, and three Activities Manuals (Early Years, Early Primary, Late Primary) and various other resources.  For further details go to

 Enhancing Teacher Resilience (ENTREE)

ENTRÉE (2013-2015) is a two year EU Comenius Liflelong Learning project on the enhancement of teacher resilience in Europe. The project is focused on developing a multilevel teacher training framework in teacher resilience, making use of both face-to-face and self-directed online training approach. It has developed six face to face and online teacher training modules on teacher resilience as well as a self-assessment tool which gives young and developing teachers feedback on their resilience profile. ENTRÉE is coordinated by the University of Achen in Germany and includes six European partners, including the Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health at the University of Malta. Further details may be found at:

Longitudinal Risk and Resilience Project 
This research project was started in 2005 as a national study to establish the prevalence of social, emotional and behaviour difficulties in Maltese schools. The results of the first study were published in 2008 in a report entitled Engagement Time: A national study of social, emotional and behaviour difficulties in Maltese schools (Cefai, Cooper and Camilleri, 2008) published by the Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health. The first follow-up study has examined students’ developmental trajectory from Year 1 to Year 4 in relation to risk and protective factors and has been published in Building Resilience in School Children. Risk and Promotive Factors Amongst Primary School Pupils (2011, published by the Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health). The second follow up study is taking place in 2015-2016 in collaboration with the Penn State Prevention Research Centre, USA, under the Fulbright programme.

The International Survey of Children’s Well-Being (ISCWeB)
ISCWEB is a worldwide research survey on children’s subjective well-being. The study aims to collect solid and representative data on children’s lives and daily activities, their time use and in particular on their own perceptions and evaluations of their well-being. The purpose is to improve children's well-being by creating awareness among children, their parents and their communities, but also among opinion leaders, decision makers, professionals and the general public. Seventeen countries are taking part in the study, including Malta. The Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health has participated in the second wave of the study, collecting the data with a representative sample of 3000 children and the findings were published early in 2016 in the third Centre monograph (see Publications). Further details may be found at The Centre is also participating in a qualitative study on children's wellbeing with data collected in 2015-2016. 

 Promoting Mental Health in Schools (PMHS)

A three year international project on the promotion of mental health in schools coordinated by the Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health (2011-2013). This was an FP7 international research exchange programme involving the University of Malta, the University of Leicester (UK), Hull University (UK), Flinders University (Australia) and the University of Sunshine Coast (Australia). Dr Helen Askell-Williams, senior researcher at Flinders University, spent six months at the Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health as part of the project, while Profs Carmel Cefai, Centre Director spent one term at Flinders University in South Australia. The project was concluded at the end of 2013, the findings will be reported in an edited book in 2016.

Hope Barometer 2016 Project
The Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health has participated in an international study on people’s hope and aspirations for 2016. The study is led by the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland and Swissfuture, and includes Austria, Czech Republic, France, Norway and Switzerland, as well as Malta. The study explores the hopes of individuals across various aspects of their life, including family and relationships, work, the economy, national politics, religion and spirituality, and climate and the environment. An online questionnaire was completed during at the end of 2015/beginning of 2016, and the findings will be published in a leading Maltese newspaper in 2016.

Wellbeing and Positive Peer Relations in Co-educational Middle Schools in Malta

This is an intervention project on the promotion of well-being and positive relations in the newly established co-educational middle schools, in collaboration with the School of Education, Flinders University, Australia and the Research and Development Department, Educational Directorate, Malta. The project involved teacher training in programme implementation, implementation of a six weeks programme on wellbeing and healthy relationships and evaluation of the intervention at the end of 2014-2015.

Sleep Duration, Sleep Quality and Educational Engagement in Schools

This is an international, comparative, naturalistic school-based study taking place in various countries coordinated by the Hong Kong Institute of Education.  The study will generate quantitative and qualitative data on students’ and teachers’ experience of sleep quality and sleep duration and the impact of these on their individual functioning. Data has been collected in a number of Maltese schools during 2015-2016, results will be published in 2016.

Social Capital and Wellbeing Study (SoCaWe)

(SoCaWe) is an international study on university students' social capital and wellbeing led by the Czech Positive Psychology Centre at Masiryk University, Czech Republic. The Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health is the Maltese partner in this project and data with Maltese University students was collected in 2013-2014; the findings were published in a paper in 2015.

Promoting Resilience in Education: Increasing Access to Post-Seconday and Tertiary Education in Malta.

This was a university-led project coordinated by the Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health seeking to increase access to post-secondary and tertiary education from particular regions in Malta. It took a systemic, multi intervention approach, making use of peer and youth mentoring programmes, school based support and family support to promote social and emotional education and increase access to post-secondary and tertiary education for young people coming from  a particular region with a relatively low number of students continuing their post secondary and tertiary education. The project adopted a child-centred, resilience-based, longitudinal and action-research perspective, making use of both case studies and universal interventions at various school levels. The findings of the initial project were published in an international journal in 2015 (European Journal of Psychology of Education). In January 2013, the project led to the establishment of the Cottonera Resource Centre at the University of Malta, which has continued the project and introduced various other initiatives to increase access to higher education as well as lifelong learning in the community.

 Social and emotional learning in Maltese schools
This was a collaborative research project between the School of Education, Flinders University, Australia and the Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health in collaboration with St Theresa College, Malta. It investigated school staff’s, students’ and parents’ views on social and emotional learning in school at curricular, cross-curricular and whole-school levels. All the primary and secondary schools at St Theresa College took part in the project (2011). A number of papers on the findings have been published in various international journals (2013, 2014).

Circle Time in Maltese Primary Schools
A pilot intervention study in collaboration with one primary school in Malta. All the school staff at the school have been trained on the implementation of Circle Time by the classroom teacher. A number of classrooms from Year 1 to Year 5 took part in the programme, delivering Circle Time in their classroom on a weekly basis over a ten week period. A paper on the results of this project has been published in the Pastoral Care in Education journal (2014).

Peer education programmes at University of Malta
The Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health in collaboration with Psychology students has launched a pilot peer education programme at the University of Malta for university students. The project consists of four online education programmes, namely nutrition and healthy diet (HEAT), stress management (SMART), substance use and misuse (SAM), mental health awareness (iMAP). and sexual health (SHAPE). The programme is also part of the Degree Plus Programme.







RESCUR Surfing the Waves
Training in Adelaide, South Australia

MOV-UP Training Malta, 30th-31st October 2017

To view Introduction please click here. [PDF]

ENSEC Newsletter 2017
To view newsletter please click here. [PDF]

RESCUR Surfing the Waves
Training Workshops for Teachers

ENSEC 2017 Conference Best Poster Award

Click here to view poster. [PDF]

New optional study unit
Resilience and Positive Psychology 2017-2018

New EU Report
Report on Prevention of Bullying and Violence in Schools

HOPEs Project
Please click here. [PDF]

A sexual health peer education programme

Last Updated: 18 August 2017

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