The members of the EUTOPIA Alliance have selected the 18 laureates of the 2021 PhD co-tutelle call.

Exploring DNA structures, Modeling language learning in robots, Investigating the role of dance in post-colonial imaginaries, Treating lung cancer, Understanding social cohesion or the influence of education on health, Upcycling waste geomaterials: just a few examples of the subjects that will be researched by this year’s cohort of Eutopia PhD Students.

The EUTOPIA PhD co-tutelle programme, now in its third year, is a flagship initiative that funds excellent research projects with global impact and provides exciting joint doctoral training opportunities. Projects are submitted by pairs of researchers belonging to EUTOPIA’s different institutions and research centres. Successful applicants co-supervise PhD candidates under a bilateral co-tutelle agreement. In addition to receiving a scholarship, PhD candidates enrolled in the programme benefit from experiencing two world-class research environments and from having access to common training and scientific exchange activities. This programme illustrates the willingness of the members of the Alliance to integrate their research communities and their commitment to scientific excellence, international research collaboration and academic mobility.

The 2021 edition of the EUTOPIA PhD co-tutelle programme, coordinated by CY Cergy Paris Université, was launched in January 2021 and allows the funding of PhD scholarships between four universities of the EUTOPIA Alliance: Vrije Universiteit Brussel, CY Cergy Paris Université, University of Ljubljana and University of Warwick. The programme is jointly funded by the four participating universities.

70 projects were submitted to the 2021 Call for Projects across a range of academic disciplines. The evaluation process involved an internal evaluation within each institution and a joint selection panel gathering the partners of each co-tutelle project.

EUTOPIA is an alliance of six universities that have recently been awarded an Erasmus+ ‘European Universities’ pilot project. The core mission of the EUTOPIA Alliance is to promote a connected and inclusive academic community, addressing global and local challenges, advancing excellence and inclusion, geared towards impact and fostering European economic development and innovation through a deep engagement of the Alliance with its local and regional ecosystems.


CY Cergy Paris Université. Directorate for International Scientific Development
Kate Robinson, International Scientific Development Officer
+ 33 (0)1 34 25 23 65


Co-Tutelle Projects for 2021
  • Aesthetics and politics of decolonial practices in contemporary dance in three continents: Uruguay, the USA and Italy
    Milija Gluhovic, School of Creative Arts, Performance and Visual Cultures, University of Warwick
    Alioša  Pužar, Department of Cultural Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana
  • Benchmarking everyday life? Measuring social security in post-Communist welfare states
    Alexandra Homolar, PAIS, University of Warwick
    Dieter Vandebroeck, Sociology & ECCI, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • Bone marrow niche – lung cancer crosstalk: gossip or fatal choice of words?
    Cleo Goyvaerts, Laboratory for Molecular and Cellular Therapy, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
    Eissa Ahmed, Materials and Polymers Research Cluster, University of Warwick
  • Computational modelling of language learning in robots: the development of meaning potentials in social and emotional contexts
    Lola Cañamero, ETIS, CY Cergy Paris Université
    Ann Nowé, AI Lab, Vrije Universiteit Brussel 
  • Embodied intelligence in robotic arms: leveraging human-inspired morphology for intra- and interpersonal coordination
    Tom Verstraten, R&MM, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
    Ghilès Mostafaoui, ETIS, CY Cergy Paris Université
  • Enhancing the inclusiveness of smart cities: reinterpreting Data Protection Impact Assessment under the General Data Protection Regulation through intersectional gender lenses.
    Paul De Hert, LSTS research group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
    Dimitris Kotzinos, ETIS, CY Cergy Paris Université
  • Fluid circulation in sheared zones of granite bodies- application to geothermal systems for energy production
    Béatrice A. Ledesert, Geosciences and Environment Cergy, CY Cergy Paris Université
    Philippe Claeys, Research Unit Analytical, Environmental & Geo-Chemistry- AMGC, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • Learning Space: Education and Its Pathways to Health Belief and Behaviours
    Marco Johannes Haenssgen, Division of Global Sustainable Development, School for Cross-Faculty Studies, University of Warwick
    Elizabeth Auclair, Le laboratoire MRTE (Mobilités, Réseaux, Territoires, Environnement), CY Cergy Paris Université
  • Multiscale modelling of pesticide transport in soil and water systems
    Mohaddeseh Mousavi Nezhad, Warwick Center for Predictive Modelling, University of Warwick
    Marijke Huysman, Groundwater Hydrology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • Nanobodies to recognize non-canonical DNA structures and regulate their formation in vivo
    Remy Loris, Structural Biology Brussels (SBB), Vrije Universiteit Brussel
    Jurij Lah, Physical Chemistry (UL FCCT)), University of Ljubljana
  • Organometallic chemistry of cycloalkane-based metallocatenanes
    Adrian Chaplin, Chaplin group, University of Warwick
    Mercedes Alonso Giner, General Chemistry, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • REcycling and upcycling of waste geomaterials and their application as valued durable constituents for high-level CONstructions (RECON)
    Elhem Ghorbel, L2MGC ( Laboratory of Mechanics and Materials of Civil Engineering), CY Cergy Paris Université
    Mohammad Rezania, Civil and Environmental Engineering/Ground Engineering, University of Warwick
  • SADFake: Self-supervised Anomaly Detection for deepFake spotting
    Vassilis Christophides, EITS lab, MIDI group, CY Cergy Paris Université
    Peter Peer, Computer Vision Laboratory, Faculty of Computer and Information Science, University of Ljubljana
  • Security of ML Systems by Design (lightweight ML for IoT)
    Denis Trček, Lab od E-media, University of Ljubljana
    An Braeken, Department of Engineering Technology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • The origin of flocking behavior
    Fernando Peruani, LPTM, CY Cergy Paris Université
    Matthew Turner, Department of Physics – Theory group, University of Warwick
  • Title of the project: (WALL-EE) Wide-area Adaptive control in InteLLigent cyber-physical power systems exploiting dEEp reinforcement learning
    Subhash Lakshminarayana, School of Engineering, University of Warwick
    Elena Veronica Belmega, ETIS/ENSEA, CY Cergy Paris Université
  • Unity in diversity? Exploring the effect of polarisation on social cohesion in Europe
    Didier Caluwaerts, POLI, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
    Renske Doorenspleet, Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick
  • Visual Analytics for Explainable Survival Analysis of High-Throughput Molecular Data
    Blaž Zupan, Bioinformatics Laboratory, University of Ljubljana
    Cagatay Turkay, Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick