Role in the project: Leader of Participatory Approaches and Policy Development activity (WP4), Leader of Pilot 3 Mining treasures of Central Slovakia

Matej Bel University (UMB) is a public university, championing high-quality education and research across a range of disciplines, including the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences. The universities mission is firmly rooted in fostering democratic and humanistic values and addressing the complex social challenges of the 21st century. Standing as a frontrunner among Slovak institutions, UMB was the first to receive the “HR Excellence in Research” award from the European Commission in 2018.

The commitment of UMB to education, research, and service to society is evidenced through its efforts to drive positive change at local, regional, national, and international levels. Essential to the university’s mission is its focus on partnerships and collaborations. It is a member of numerous international university networks, including the European University Association, and has signed contracts and agreements with over a hundred institutions worldwide. Its dynamic research community benefits from a multidisciplinary approach and a history of active participation in several national and international projects. The university has a strong record in European research funding such as the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), Horizon 2020, and Horizon Europe, particularly excelling in the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH). It maintains strong relationships with various Slovak ministries, regional governments, cities, municipalities, SMEs, and institutions, and has an extensive network of collaborators worldwide. This vibrant and cooperative professional environment provides incoming academics with a unique opportunity to make significant contributions to their respective fields and to the broader societal impact of research.

Key person(s)

Prof. Ph Dr. Alexandra Bitusikova, PhD – She is Head of University Centre for International Projects and full professor in social anthropology at Faculty of Arts, Department of Social Studies and Ethnology. She was Vice-Rector for Research in 2014-2019. She was a visiting scholar at Cambridge University, UK; University College London, UK; and Boston University, U.S. (Fulbright) and worked for eight years in the European Commission and in the European University Association. Her research interests include urban and regional change and sustainability, gender and science, social movements, cultural tourism and identity. She has published more than a hundred scientific papers, book chapters and monographs in Slovakia and abroad. She has participated successfully in 17 international projects including 7 FP and H2020 projects. She has extensive experience in qualitative research in marginalised areas of Slovakia, mainly focusing on traditional culture and its potential in regional development. Contact:

Ing. Kamila Borseková, PhD – She is Head of the Research and Innovation Centre at the Faculty of Economics with a profound interest in regional and urban topics. Her main scientific research is in the field of smart and creative cities, resilience, and sustainable urban and regional development. Currently, she is the principal investigator and coordinator of various national and international projects as well as team member in several domestic and foreign projects related to smart and creative cities, urban and regional development and policy. She is a member of the Regional Science Academy (TRSA), the university representative in the UNESCO Slovak Committee MOST, and a member of the International Association on Public and Nonprofit Marketing (IAPNM) and the Slovak Section of the Regional Science Association International (RSAI). She has authored and co-authored more than 90 scientific publications, including scientific articles, chapters, studies and books. Contact: