Opportunities & events
Call for applications: Flagship 1 PhD Workshop

Apply by: 31 May

Call for applications: Flagship 1 PhD Workshop 'Multidisciplinary perspectives on Disability: towards an inclusive European society'

University of Milan, 7-8 October 2024

Disability is a very relevant issue at both the global level and specifically in Europe, where over 101 million persons (25% of the European adult population) live with disabilities. Although aging is associated with an increased probability of acquiring some kind of disability, 29% of the European citizens with disability are aged below 34. Disability poses multiple challenges to individual daily functioning and quality of life across all life stages: school dropout, unemployment, poor economic resources, unequal access to care, barriers to social participation, marginalization. Family caregivers – 85% of them represented by women – experience relevant psychophysical and social burden. All these challenges, and the need to address them, are related to several UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Health and Well-being for All (SDG 3), Quality Education (SDG 4), Gender Equality (SDG 5), Decent Work and Equitable Economic Growth (SDG 8), Reduction of Inequalities (SDG 10), and Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11).

Flagship 1 core themes revolve around urban health and demographic changes. Within this field, relevant topics are the promotion of health, well-being and a good quality of life for all citizens, community cohesion and inclusion, and the development of sustainable and resilient urban contexts. Within this general perspective, a two-day workshop open to PhD students will be organized on 7-8 October 2024, with the aim of identifying core problems and potential solutions to disability related challenges, at the individual, family and community levels and across disciplinary areas.

Participants will be PhD students, possibly addressing the issue of disability in their own doctoral project, and university researchers from different disciplines actively working in this domain. The workshop will be an opportunity to share knowledge on the most recent advancements in research, practice and policy implementation, and to design joint research and intervention projects to be submitted to European agencies. The ultimate goal is to start a stable 4EU+ collaborative group, working on the topic of disability from different disciplinary perspectives, and focused on the promotion of an inclusive European Research University, in the context of an inclusive European society.

Who can apply?

PhD students from the 4EU+ Alliance member universities.

As for graduates from the Medical School (having acquired the MD degree), we consider the call open to them as well, if they are enrolled as students in a university-based specialization course.

How to apply

Please send the following documents by 31 May 2024 to the members of faculty of the University you belong to, indicated below:

  • Abstract of your research thesis (please indicate the PhD Programme you are enrolled in),

  • Letter of motivation (max 500 words).

If eligible, you will be awarded a 4EU+ allowance for travel and accommodation expenses.

University of Milan:;;

Charles University:;;

Heidelberg University:;;

Sorbonne University:;;

University of Copenhagen:;;

University of Geneva:;

University of Warsaw:;

Workshop timetable

7 October 2024


Introductory roundtable


Presentation of research topics/projects (faculty and students)

Coffee break


Presentation of research topics/projects (faculty and students)



Domain specific state of the art, challenges and goals (faculty)


Plenary discussion

Coffee break


Domain specific state of the art, challenges and goals (faculty)


Plenary discussion and preparation of multidisciplinary groups

8 October 2024


Group work on project proposals

Coffee break


Plenary discussion to identify topic priorities and joint projects



Group work on joint projects

Coffee break


Plenary discussion and action definition


University of Milan

Prof. Giuseppe Arconzo

Professor of Constitutional Law, his academic expertise lies primarily in the fields of Italian constitutional principles, legal theory, and jurisprudence. His research mainly concerns the legal status and rights of people living with disabilities.


Prof. Davide Cattaneo

Associate professor of Rehabilitation Sciences and coordinator of the Technological Lab for Research in Clinical Environment at Fondazione Don Gnocchi, his areas of interest include motor learning in rehabilitation medicine, with a specific focus on neurological disorders and telerehabilitation with digital and robotic tools.


Prof. Antonella Delle Fave

Professor of General Psychology at the Faculty of Medicine, her research activities concern health promotion among persons with chronic/degenerative diseases and disabilities, with a specific focus on positive mental health, optimal daily functioning, and family resilience.


Sorbonne University

Dr Giovanna Fancello

Postdoctoral researcher at Sorbonne and the French Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm), her studies are focused on urban accessibility, and on the role of exposure to noise, pollution and urban landscapes in mental health symptoms.


Prof Eleonore Bayen

Professor of Medicine and Director of the Neuro-Rehabilitation Department at Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, her research is focused on neurocognitive rehabilitation techniques promoting effective compensation strategies and on the impact of dementia and multimorbidity on healthcare costs.


Charles University

Prof. Ludek Sykora

Professor of Urban Studies at the Department of Social Geography and Regional Development, his research is primarily focused on the effects of globalization on urban transformation, with specific attention to the role of urban policies and planning in urban development and suburbanization.


Prof. Pavla Brennan Kearns

Associate professor and head of the Department of Epidemiology at the Second Faculty of Medicine, her research is focused on neurological and psychiatric health across the lifespan, in particular the impact of gender and socioeconomic status and education on affective and cognitive symptoms.


University of Warsaw

Prof. Bogusław Lackoroński

Assistant professor in the Department of Civil Law at the University of Warsaw, his research is focused on liability for indirect damages, compensation for non-material damages resulting from the infringement of family ties and private law aspects of disability (active legal capacity) in the context of Art. 12 of the CRPD.


Prof. Joanna Smogorzewska

Associate professor in the Department of Education, she is interested in the longitudinal relationship between theory of mind development and educational settings in primary and special education, and in the promotion of inclusive education for children with sensory and cognitive disabilities.


Heidelberg University

Prof. Maja Hempel

Professor at the Institute of Human Genetics and head of the Genetics outpatient clinics at the University Hospital Heidelberg, she is extensively studying the role of genetic variations in patients with developmental disabilities, exploring the connections of their functional impact and symptoms in patients.


Prof. Johannes Eurich, Practical Theology/Study of Christian Social Services

Professor of Practical Theology and director of the Institute for the Study of Christian Social Services, his research is focused on the role of religion in social services and innovation, in particular on the significance of welfare and justice for marginalized populations, particularly people with disabilities and the elderly.


University of Copenhagen

Dr. Lena Skovgard Andersen 

Assistant professor in Global Mental Health, her research is mainly focused on psychological and psychosocial interventions for mental health prevention and treatment in resource-constrained settings, and specifically in cultural adaptation of interventions for mental disorders in people living with HIV in South Africa.


Dr. Maria Marti Castaner

Assistant professor in the Danish Centre for Migration, Ethnicity and Health, her research is focused on the determinants of children’s mental health and on community-based interventions in disadvantaged contexts, with specific attention to the perinatal mental health of refugee women and their offspring.


University of Geneva

Dr. Minerva Rivas Velarde

Senior research associate at the Faculty of Medicine, her research is focused on disability policy, global health, and biomedical ethics, with specific attention to the impact of disability on the marginalized populations of refugees and indigenous communities in the Global South.