RISE Multidisciplinary Research Groups (MRGs)
MRG Details and Contact Point for Inquiries

1. Cognitive and Clinical Applications MRG

Research focus on the development and validation of Virtual Reality and mobile applications for cognitive training and clinical interventions.
Advances in technology and the gaming industry in particular  have provided the opportunity to create innovative applications to either improve human cognition in the typical population or ameliorate behavioral difficulties associated with psychological disorders. These applications rely on interactive and fun tasks that, depending on the situation, can be self-administered (as in the case of cognitive training) or can complement the work of a therapist (as in the case of various clinical interventions). Examples are applications that exploit the appeal of Virtual Reality to improve social skills in individuals on the Autism Spectrum Disorder and applications that take advantage of the ubiquity of mobile technology to provide game-like training for cognitive mechanisms such as attention and memory.
The goal of this MRG is to capitalize on past research from Cognitive and Clinical Psychology/Neuroscience and to draw insights from computational models of cognitive processes,  to (1) develop novel technological applications for cognitive training and clinical therapy, and (2) test their efficacy in highly-controlled laboratory-based experiments with typical and atypical populations.
Ideal skills for candidates:  advance programming skills (e.g., Python), graphics design (e.g., 3DS Max, Blender, Maya), game engines (e.g., Unity, Unreal). Background in Psychology/Neuroscience and/or experience in conducting laboratory studies are a plus. 
For inquiries please contact MRG leader: Dr. Marios Avraamides,, +357 22892066           

2. Interactive Media and Education/Edutainment MRG

Research focus on multimodal interaction and learning, emerging technologies for learning and entertainment/ edutainment, learning theory.
The interactive media and edutainment MRG (EdMedia-MRG) will focus on research and innovation related to Interactive Media, Smart Systems and Emerging Technologies as applied to the domains of Education and Edutainment (media designed to educate through entertainment). EdMedia-MRG will be supporting research and development that is of importance to all other MRGs of RISE: technology-enhanced learning design, training activities, technology integration in formal and non-formal learning settings (e.g. museums, cultural and historical sites of environmental interest etc.).
EdMedia-MRG Motivation: Interactive media like ubiquitous and mobile computing, virtual, augmented and mixed reality, interactive surfaces and spaces, robotics, IoT tools, and serious games promise unique teaching and learning affordances. They can be used to develop engaging, affordable and enjoyable educational learning experiences in formal and non-formal learning settings, tearing down time, space, social and economic barriers. EdMedia-MRG will focus on the design of interactive media and their integration and use by children, adolescents and adults, in varied educational circumstances and contexts.
Potential lines for research work within EdMedia-MRG:
  • Empirical research on the integration of interactive media for learning in formal or non-formal settings
  • Use cases of interactive systems, applications or prototypes providing learning through play and edutainment experiences
  • Development of theoretical models and design frameworks for the integration of interactive media in formal and non-formal learning settings
  • New methods for engaging and enjoyable teaching and learning using interactive media
  • Training activities for teachers and students on novel interactive media for learning and edutainment
EdMedia-MRG aims collaborations with the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute (CPI) and the Ministry of Education and Culture (MOEC), who have provided a letter of commitment for RISE on the basis that the technologies RISE will be researching and developing will have a significant contribution in the field of Education. The possibilities for synergies envisioned include outreach and dissemination activities, training activities, research activities and grant-writing on topics of common interest between RISE and MOEC.
Potential technologies to be addressed within EdMedia-MRG:
  • Ubiquitous and mobile computing
  • Multi-device and immersive environments (e.g., virtual worlds and blended media-scapes)
  • Serious games
  • Virtual labs and simulations
  • Interactive surfaces and spaces
  • Robotics and IoT tools
  • Social software (blogs, email, instant messaging, social network services, wikis, social bookmarking)
Potential approaches to be addressed in EdMedia-MRG:
  • Social computing/Social learning
  • Co-design techniques and approaches to deal with new educational needs
  • Personalized and adaptive technologies for learning
  • Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL)
  • Embodied cognition/learning
  • Gamification and edutainment
  • Smart city learning
  • Technologies or techniques/methods to address specific audiences (such as special education students, under-represented or multicultural audiences etc.)
Education is often falling behind with respect to technological innovations. EdMedia-MRG work will gradually share experiences in designing and integrating interactive technologies in varied educational settings. This will goal will be addressed through innovation-driven projects aiming to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the potential benefits of the use of  Interactive Media, Smart Systems and Emerging Technologies for learning
For inquiries please contact MRG leader: Dr. Andri Ioannou,, +357 25002276

3. Museums and Difficult Heritage MRG

Research focus on museum studies, with an emphasis on difficult heritage, conflict, interactive media, citizen science and socially engaged practices
This MRG examines how museums and other cultural sites can deal with “difficult heritage". This is a timely challenge many museums face today, especially in countries dealing with social or political conflict such as Cyprus. The research projects under this MRG will use interactive media to test innovative solutions for creating participatory, empowering, and inclusive spaces in museums and other cultural sites. However, the solutions will be driven not from the technology itself, but from the needs of actual museums and the needs of society in general.
The aim of the first project under this MRG is to design and implement interactive media in/ about museums dealing with difficult heritage while having in mind the characteristics of the “reinvented museum” (participatory, empowering, inclusive, audience-focused, forward-looking, knowledge facilitator). More specifically, we will look into how citizen science and socially engaged practices can be used for the purposes of this first project.
One of the main aims of this MRG is to address real needs and problems “in the wild”. For this reason, the first project will collaborate with at least one museum/cultural site in Cyprus that deals with difficult heritage. This institution will serve as our case study. Furthermore, we plan to involve the general public from all communities living on the island (Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, foreign nationals, Armenian and Maronite) since we are more interested in bottom-up approaches of knowledge production rather than top-down approaches. Finally, connections will be made with other research centers, labs and museums from abroad that focus on similar issues.
We are looking for two researcher associates with a background in one of the following or related fields: museum studies, interactive media, citizen science, digital cultural management, digital sociology.
For inquiries please contact MRG leader: Dr. Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert,, +357 25002665

4. Real-time Populated Virtual Environments MRG

Research focus on computer graphics, animation and simulation of virtual humans, a modelling and simulation of 3D built environments.
Recent advances in virtual and augmented reality hardware have finally moved these technologies out of the lab and made them accessible as consumer items (e.g. Oculus rift or Microsoft HoloLens). Applications of such mixed-reality (MR) systems are endless and include many different fields such as entertainment, training and visualization. Fundamental to many of these applications is the representation of virtual humans. There are significant challenges to generating realistic virtual humans. Although nowadays it is possible to render virtual scenes that may sometimes be difficult to differentiate from reality from the point of view of the quality of the visualization, the whole problem of operating and interaction with objects and events within immersive environments remains wide open for innovation. For example, the representation, behaviour and interaction with virtual humans remains a highly difficult problem in immersive environments. In computer games this problem is solved by highly constrained forms of interaction determined by the game logic. In a virtual environment, where people are free to move and look anywhere that they like, and where they share space with life-sized characters, characters that can initiate interactions through close approaches, gazing directly in the eyes of participants opens up a major field of research. In this MRG we will look mostly at techniques for adding realistic, reactive virtual humans in virtual environments. We will look mainly at the body animation and behaviour of the characters and use existing systems for the rendering, facial animation, verbal interaction etc. We will also look at the issue of creating 3D models of built environments.
Some example project on which the successful candidate might work (a) Animation synthesis using Neural Networks, (b) A Framework for Training and Testing of Deep Learning Based Autonomous Cars in Virtual Environment, (c) Procedural generation of buildings.
For inquiries please contact MRG leader: Dr. Yiorgos Chrysanthou,, +357 2289 2719

5. Smart Networked Systems MRG

Research focus on Computer Networks, Protocols for IoT and Multimedia Communications, 5G Technologies, Security, Edge/Fog and Mobile Cloud Computing, and Smart City Applications
Recent technological advances have enabled a constant proliferation of novel immersive and interactive services that pose ever-increasing demands to our networked ecosystem.  These advances are made possible by both the underlying communication technologies (5G and IoT) and the user-facing technologies offering immersive environments (Augmented/Virtual Reality platforms, Mobile/Online Gaming, Ultra High Definition 4K/8K).
These services and applications are typically managed through a set of Quality of Service parameters (e.g. packet loss, delay, jitter). However, an Internet of intelligence requires new architectures and services that could interconnect people, objects and nature in more efficient and dynamic and meaningful ways than the current Internet. It is widely agreed that the management of these services and applications should also be centered on their quality, as this is perceived by the end user: the Quality of Experience (QoE).
This MRG will promote the development of new algorithms, techniques, protocols, models, and tools for managing both the networks and the applications in order to offer the best Quality of Service and User Experience. Work will be performed in two major areas: IoT / 5G Networks and support of QoS and QoE in interactive and immersive multimedia applications.
In IoT the MRG will seek to design and implement network protocols that manage the connection of everything to Internet: buildings, cities, parks, factories and forests, creating an infrastructure for a smart world. Emphasis will be given to Security, Fault Tolerance and Dependability, Data Management, Sensing Modalities, Data Analytics, Human Factors,  Intelligent multi-objective dynamic optimization.
In QoS / QoE the MRG will address issues of QoE-centric management by performing research that includes (but is not limited) to the following: Network architectures and protocols supporting QoE, QoE-based network and service management, QoE-aware network and application management, QoE data analytics, Application of QoE management to different business sectors and use cases.
For inquiries please contact MRG leaders: Dr. Vasos Vassiliou ( and Dr. Andreas Pitsillides (   

6. Smart Human-centred Technologies MRG

Research activities in the Smart Human-centred Technologies (BIO-SCENT) MRG will focus on developing novel and applied techniques driven by the need to improve the quality of life of humans.
Within this scope research in this group will focus on developing techniques that aim to:
  • Protect humans by offering novel ways to create safe environments both in physical and cyber spaces.
  • Allow humans to adapt in a better way to their environment by safeguarding their physical and mental safety, improving their productivity and enhancing their overall experience.
The aforementioned topics will be addressed through research and development in the areas of Biometrics, Computer Vision, Machine Learning and their combination with emerging technologies such as mobile computing, ubiquitous computing, virtual and mixed reality.
The successful candidates are expected to have previous experience in projects related to one or more of the areas quoted above along with strong computer programming skills.

For inquiries please contact MRG leader: Professor Andreas Lanitis,, +357 25002569

7. Smart, Ubiquitous, and Participatory Technologies for Healthcare Innovation MRG

Research focus on Smart, Ubiquitous, and Participatory Technologies for Healthcare Innovation
MRG will focus on smart, citizen-centred eHealth and mHealth interventions, leveraging mixed reality technologies, edge computing diagnostics, and big healthcare data analytics, underpinning P4 medicine (predictive, preventive, personalised and participatory). Basic and applied research efforts will be directed towards:
  • Empowering patients to become co-managers of their own health facilitating smart home interventions including mHealth and gaming applications for rehabilitation, chronic disease management, and healthy ageing, building on augmented and mixed reality personalised applications, capitalizing near real-time cloud-based EHR data, and encompassing gamification strategies, unobtrusive edge diagnostics using miniaturized system-on-chip IoT biosensors, and social robotics interactions.
  • Point-of-care diagnostics bringing specialized care to remote populations, emergency and disaster incidents, leveraging portable image and video acquisition and processing devices, along with physiological parameters sensors, equipped with advanced analytical capabilities, relying on big and deep learning technologies including machine and statistical learning and inference, computer vision, etc.
  • Smart, context-aware (big) healthcare data visualization strategies for different healthcare stakeholders in medical research, education, and care provision, as well as surgical activity and object detection for minimally invasive surgery and robotic-assisted guided interventions, medical training using interactive processes and evidence-based rendered intelligence, and smart 3D visualizations for informed diagnosis, treatment planning, and in-silico modelling.
The successful candidates are expected to have previous experience in projects related to one or more of the afore-described areas. Strong computer programming skills is a prerequisite.
For inquiries please contact MRG leader: Professor Constantinos S. Pattichis,, +357 22892697

8. Socially-Competent Agent Technologies MRG

Research focus on machine learning, computational learning theory, natural language processing and generation, story comprehension, symbolic knowledge representation, commonsense reasoning, formal argumentation, cognitive computing, explainable AI.
Machine Learning is huge right now, especially in relation to the processing of visual and textual inputs. A recently emerging area within Machine Learning is Explainable AI, which seeks to build machines that can explain their decisions to ordinary humans. Universities, businesses, and governmental bodies across the world are working towards this direction.
This MRG seeks to complement these efforts in Explainable AI through the development of socially-competent agents that naturally interact and explain themselves to their human collaborators. The MRG focuses on the design and implementation of protocols that support:
  • A machine’s ability to acquire knowledge about social interactions and norms, through the observation of, and interaction with, humans in social contexts.
  • The machine-aided completion by humans of everyday tasks, and the machine-aided formation of competent and effective human teams for specified goals and tasks.
  • A machine’s ability to engage in a dialectical interaction with other machines or humans, and explain its reasoning behind a certain inference or action, while also being able to improve by accepting feedback from humans on the quality of its chosen decisions.
The MRG will undertake research at the cutting edge of modern AI research and innovation, combining machine learning, reasoning and argumentation frameworks, multi-agent models, and human-machine interaction. The recent proliferation of the use of such AI techniques across areas and domains ensures that the MRG will be uniquely positioned to have applications in a wide range of fields of human activity that would stand to benefit from the use of physical, virtual, or software assistants. The MRG will interact with other groups within RISE with expertise in: human-centered design, so that appropriate human factors are taken into account in the development of the protocols; the undertaking of experimental work with human participants, and especially on how to establish the cognitive-compatibility of the developed protocols with humans in the context of mixed machine-human teams; the processing of visual sensory inputs, and the rendering of virtual worlds, through which machines will be able to interact with humans without requiring physical proximity; the communication with other physical machines or smart devices, which will allow a machine to enhance its awareness of, and accessibility to, the environment that it populates and within which team members reside.
Profile of successful candidates: Excellent programming skills in standard development languages, past experience in the use of state-of-the-art machine learning tools, familiarity with symbolic representation and reasoning techniques and models (e.g., grounding of symbols on visual or textual inputs), knowledge in the area of natural language processing and / or image analysis, mathematical and algorithmic maturity, knowledge of English, good interpersonal skills, highly motivated, preferably work experience in other (related) research projects / appointments.
For inquiries please contact MRG leader: Dr. Loizos Michael,, +357 22411963,

9. Transparency in Algorithms MRG

Research focus on algorithmic accountability and transparency, human biases in algorithms, user-algorithm feedback loops
Algorithms and analytics play a key role in the development of interactive media and smart technologies, which are in turn, impacting all sectors of society, from transportation to education to healthcare. Algorithms allow the exploitation of rich and varied data sources; however, there are increasing concerns surrounding their transparency and accountability (e.g.,  ACM’s Statement on Algorithmic Transparency and Accountability). Even when their designers have the best intentions, algorithmic processes can inadvertently result in consequences in the social world, such as biases in their outputs that can result in discrimination against individuals and/or groups of people.
Transparency in Algorithms MRG (TAG-MRG) focuses on understanding the nature and impact of human biases in interactive media and smart systems, and develops tools and techniques to promote algorithmic transparency. TAG researchers use data science and/or social science approaches to examine the impact of human biases as well as to evaluate possible interventions, as depicted in the Figure below.

Potential technologies / applications addressed by TAG-MRG research:
  • Natural language technologies (e.g., machine translation, speech recognition)
  • Search engines (e.g., photo and video retrieval)
  • Crowdsourcing / citizen science platforms in generating training data
  • Robotics
Profile of successful candidates:
Research carried out in TAG-MRG will be team-based and socio-technical in nature. Therefore, candidates will need to demonstrate aptitude and experience in either:
  • Data science -  specifically, programming for statistics and data analysis using Python and/or R, and working with APIs
  • Social science approaches to multimedia – e.g., conducting lab experiments, designing and executing content analyses of media artefacts / digital traces, conducting interviews with system end-users.
For inquiries please contact MRG leader: Dr. Jahna Otterbacher,, +357 22411903.

10. Virtual Reality for Well-being MRG

Research focus on Virtual Reality for well-being/ rehabilitation by exploring the fields of brain plasticity, social neuroscience and social psychology.
Virtual Reality; Well-being; Experimental research; Social psychology; Social neuroscience; Bio signals measurements; Brain plasticity; Physical change;
Virtual Reality for Well-being MRG (VR WELL-BEING MRG) will target research on Virtual Reality  for well-being, broadly construed. ‘Well-being’ refers to the general social, economic, psychological, spiritual, or medical positive condition of an individual or a group. VR WELL-BEING MRG will be able to contribute in these aspects, either directly by having participants experience simulated conditions within virtual environments, or indirectly by exploiting the technological outputs of related VR projects. The first focus of VR WELL-BEING MRG will aim humans’ medical positive condition. More specifically the MRG  will address physical health (rehabilitation) or/and mental health. VR WELL-BEING MRG aims to push the capabilities of VR beyond the limits of the current state-of-the-art, by exploiting VR to effectively change the real physical capabilities of the participants, and allow for the novel exploration of how virtual worlds can impact physical reality. This will be done by exploiting brain plasticity and concepts from social neuroscience and social psychology.
Experimental method will drive the research within WELL-BEING MRG, with other research methods used as needed. For data collection, we will be using, among others biosignal measurements.
Profile of successful candidates:
Strong computer programming skills or/and excellent knowledge of a game engine (e.g. Unity), familiarization/knowledge of 3D modelling, experience in experimental research (related to VR)/statistical analysis, previous experience with biosignals acquisitions is an advantage, high impact research publications on relevant topics (needed for PhD holders/considered as an advantage for non-PhD holders), experience in research project proposals writing will be considered as an advantage.
For inquiries please contact MRG leader: Dr. Despina Michael-Grigoriou,, +357 25002226

Call: H2020-WIDESPREAD-01-2016-2017 (Teaming Phase 2)
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 739578

This project has received funding from the Government of the Republic of Cyprus through the Directorate General for the European Programmes, Coordination and Development.