left to right: Odette Vassallo, Albert Gatt, Saviour Zammit, Alfred Vella, Josanne Vassallo, Adriana Vella
The Rector of the University of Malta (UM), Prof. Alfred J. Vella, welcomed awardees of the UM Research Fund at a congratulatory meeting held at the University Council Room. This is the second year that the Funds are being awarded. The UM Research Fund Committee was set up to disburse the research funds obtained by the University from the yearly Government subvention to resident academics, as well as to awardees chosen by independent external international evaluators.
Four Euro 60k awards (Euro 240,000) were presented for conducting a research project and employing support staff over a two-year period from January 2019 to 2020. The four research categories are Life Sciences/Medical/Health, ICT/Engineering/Built Environment, Natural Sciences/Economics/ Management/Accountancy, and Art/Humanities/Social Sciences.
In his introductory address Prof. Saviour Zammit, Chairman of the Research Fund Committee, congratulated the awardees and pointed out that all four projects have a specific Maltese angle.
The awarded proposal by Dr Albert Gatt, Director, Institute of Linguistics and Language Technology, entitled "Maltese Speech Recognition" was ranked highest in the thematic area of Engineering and ICT.
The project by Dr Nikolai Pace and Prof. Josanne Vassallo from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, is entitled ‘Characterisation of atypical non-autoimmune diabetes mellitus in the Maltese Islands’.
Dr Odette Vassallo, Director, Centre for English Language Proficiency, was presented with the research fund for ‘ForCE’, a project creating a national framework of student competence in English in bilingual Malta.
Dr Adriana Vella, Conservation Biology Research Group, was awarded for her proposal entitled 'Developing Innovative Tools to aid Accurate Monitoring for Biodiversity Conservation in Malta (BioCon_Innovate)' which was ranked highest in the thematic area of Natural Science.