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Palacký University (UP) is the third largest university in Czechia. The eight faculties of UP currently offer BA and MA study programmes and more than 200 PhD programmes (51 in English). The university also provides exchange programmes and lifelong learning programmes. UP infrastructure includes more than 10 Centers of Excellence, libraries with strong support of Open Access policies and modernized training facilities. In 2021, UP obtained the HR Excellence in Research Award. As a research-oriented university, UP has developed a strong international profile. A total of 30 projects were funded within Horizon 2020 at UP and so far, UP obtained the second highest amount of funding from Horizon Europe in Czechia. UP excellent research teams are involved also in projects funded by ESIF Operational programmes, the Czech Science Foundation and other national and

international funding schemes.


Alfred Gerstl

Principal Investigator

Alfred Gerstl is head of EUVIP and Associate Professor at the Department of Asian Studies at Palacky University in Olomouc (Czech Republic). Furthermore, he is president of the Central European Institute of Asian Studies (CEIAS), a transnational think tank. Alfred taught at various universities in Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany and Russia. He is an International Relations specialist with a focus on the Indo-Pacific, notably Southeast Asia including ASEAN, and especially interested in security cooperation (AUKUS, Quad), hedging strategies, the EU’s role in the region and China’s Belt and Road Initiative.


Kristina Kironska

Key Researcher

Kristina Kironska is a socially engaged interdisciplinary academic, with experience in election observation, research, advocacy, and activism. She serves as Assistant Professor at the Palacky University Olomouc (Co-Coordinator of EUVIP) and also as Co-Director of the think tank Central European Institute of Asian Studies (CEIAS), a dissemination partner of EUVIP. She specializes in international relations and human rights in Southeast and East Asia (with a special focus on Myanmar and Taiwan). She is the author of several books and articles on these topics (for a detailed list see:, and Deputy Editor of the International Journal of China Studies (IJCS). She is fluent and articulate in eight languages


Renata Westlake


Renata Westlake is a graduate of Chinese philology at the Department of Asian Studies at Palacky University. She is currently enrolled at the doctorate program where she focus on political discourse, media and soft power. She takes interest in China’s image abroad and discourse of political figures on various issues related to China.


David Broul


David Broul is a third-year PhD student in International Relations and European Studies at Palacký University Olomouc. Within the EUVIP project, he specializes in the foreign relations between the European Union and Indo-Pacific states. His research focuses on exploring conflict resolution and prevention, as well as development of diplomatic relations at various levels. He is particularly intrigued by transnational initiatives, including ASEAN and AUKUS.

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Federica Cidale


Federica Cidale is a first-year PhD student in International relations and Asian studies at Palacký University Olomouc in the Czech Republic. Her work in the EUVIP project is focused on Myanmar, its society and its politics, with a particular emphasis on the most recent coup. Her research delves into the growing influence of cyber technology on international politics. Her main interests are Japan and its domestic politics, East Asian security, and ASEAN.

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Tereza Motalová

Data Manager

Tereza Motalová works as a research data methodologist at the Research Support and Policy Office and as a research data manager within Horizon Europe projects at Palacky University Olomouc. Tereza is responsible for good and effective practice in research data management throughout the whole research life cycle. In addition, she also manages open access publishing strategy and other open science practices.


Zuzana Ludrovská

Project Manager

Zuzana Ludrovská is a member of the Grant Office at UP. She has experience with both national and international funding schemes. In EUVIP, she is reponsible for project administration, financial management and organization of training activities.


Martina Miechová

Communication Manager

Martina Miechová works as a project manager at the Grant Office at UP. Her main area of interest is Science Communication. In EUVIP, she is responsible for communication, dissemination and exploitation strategies and activities.


The University of Helsinki is Finland’s largest and oldest academic institution and the only university in Finland to consistently     rank in the top 100 of the world’s approximately 18,000 universities. The academic community comprises around 40 000 people scattered into 11 faculties on four campuses. There are currently 97 study programmes offered to BA and MA students                and 33 PhD programmes. The strategic plan of the university currently emphasizes four research themes: wellbeing for humans and our environment, a humane and fair world, a sustainable future for our planet, and the possibilities that limitless curiosity opens up – a universe of ideas and opportunities. The University of Helsinki is the only Finnish university in the League of  European Research Universities LERU, an association of leading European universities promoting the conditions and    opportunities for basic research in Europe.

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Julie Yu-Wen Chen


Julie Yu-Wen Chen is Professor of Chinese Studies at the Department of Cultures at the University of Helsinki. Julie serves as one of the editors of the Journal of Chinese Political Science (Springer, SSCI). She is currently representing Finland in COST ACTION: China in Europe Research Network (European Cooperation in Science & Technology funded by EU Horizon 2020). Formerly, she was chair of the Nordic Association of China Studies (NACS) and editor-in-chief of Asian Ethnicity (Taylor & Francis).

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Monique Taylor


Monique Taylor works as Senior Researcher for EUVIP based at Department of Cultures, University of Helsinki. Previously, she was senior lecturer in world politics in the Faculty of Social Sciences in the same university. She is also a research affiliate at the Lau China Institute, King’s College London.

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Bart Gaens


Bart Gaens works as Leading Research Fellow in Finnish Institute of International Affairs’ (FIIA) Global Security Research Programme, and holds the title of Docent at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki. At FIIA he currently leads a project on connectivity in the Indo-Pacific. In the past he has worked as Professor of Japanese Studies at UH and as Specially-Appointed Associate Professor at Osaka University.

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Tuija Korhonen 

Information Specialist

Tuija Korhonen works as an Information Specialist at the Helsinki University Library in the Research Services. She is member of a team which is responsible of design and implementation of research data management services provided to researchers and the rest of the university community. Services include teaching research data management and open science, helping researchers with their data management plans and answering data related questions.

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Eeva Henriksson 

Information Specialist

Eeva Henriksson works as an Information Specialist at the Helsinki University Library Research Services. She is member of Open Access -team, which is responsible for design and implementation of Open Access -services provided to researchers and the rest of the university community. One of the most important services is support for self-archiving (Green Open Access). As liaison librarian she has long experience and grassroot level understanding of open science challenges of the researchers in Humanities and Social sciences, including Southeast Asian, Chinese and Development Studies.

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Pauli Assinen 

Development Manager

Pauli Assinen is working as Head of Development at Helsinki University Library. He has worked in open science projects and participated in and has served as chairman of open science working groups in national level open science initiatives (since 2016). He has extensive experience in international projects, including the EOSC Nordic -project. He has been national open access desk (NOAD) in H2020-funded OpenAIRE projects (OpenAIRE+, OpenAIRE2020, OpenAIRE Advance, 2015-2020). OpenAIRE NOAD work continues as University of Helsinki is member of OpenAIRE AMKE organisation in which Pauli is a member of Executive Board in role of Treasurer. He was in expert role in collaborative project in Eritrea (Digital Library & Library Automation Services, Eritrea specific HEI ICI-project funded by Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, 2015-2018).


Katja Ritari

Grant Coach

Katja Ritari works as a Grant Coach at the Research Funding Services of University of Helsinki. Her duties include supporting the researchers of Faculties of Arts and Theology in applying Horizon Europe funding. She has extensive experience in supporting ERC applicants by commenting on the proposals and training applicants in grant writing and she has supported several successful ERC applicants. She has a PhD in Celtic Studies from University College Cork (2004) and is a Docent (associate professor) of Study of Religions at University of Helsinki (2011).


Lund University has been ranked 85th in the world in the QS World University ranking, making it the top-ranked comprehensive university in Sweden. It has 9 faculties plus several interdisciplinary research institutes and centres. The university offers 266 study programmes with over 45,000 students. International students (28%) come from over 130 different countries. International staff make up more than half of the total 5,170 researchers. The research at Lund University focuses on four main research excellence areas: better health, future technology, open societies and sustainable planet. Lund University also develops collaborations in Asia through Global Dynamic Engagement (GDE): an innovative approach to enhance its international impact in research, education, and innovation with core values of democracy, human rights, and academic freedom. LU is a member of the Nordic Centre India (NCI), Nordic Centre Fudan (China), MIRAI 2.0 Japan, and more. 


Marina Svensson


Marina Svensson is director of the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, where she serves as a Professor of Modern China. She is also director of the Centre’s PhD programme and the Swedish Graduate School in Asian Studies. Marina has secured grants from several Swedish funding agencies, and has experience in leading interdisciplinary research projects. Her research focuses on human rights, digital developments, media, civil society and youth in China, in addition to issues dealing with academic freedom and higher education and its global implications for knowledge production. In EUVIP, she leads and facilitates training activities for junior scholars as well as provides specialized knowledge on China.


Paul O’Shea


Paul O’Shea is a senior lecturer at the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies. His research focus is on society and politics in Japan and international relations in East Asia. In EUVIP, he is responsible for mentoring PhD students in the field of international relations.


Elizabeth Rhoads


Elizabeth Rhoads is currently a visiting lecturer and researcher at the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies . She got her PhD in Law from King’s College London in 2019. Her research focuses on human rights, citizenship and land issues in Myanmar, but she also has extensive knowledge of developments in Indonesia. In EUVIP, she mainly concentrates on societal and political developments in Myanmar.


Karin Zackari


Karin Zackari is a senior lecturer in Human Rights Studies. She got her PhD in Human Rights at Lund University in 2020. She is currently affiliated researcher at the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies. Her research focuses on historical, political and human rights developments in Thailand. In EUVIP, she focuses on exchange students from Myanmar at Chiang Mai University from an academic freedom perspective and in the wider context of Thai politics.


Tabita Rosendahl Ebbesen


Tabita Rosendahl Ebbesen is currently a PhD candidate at the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies. She works on China’s BRI project and is expected to graduate in 2025. In EUVIP, she provides support in event management as well as continues her work on the BRI in the region.


Ann-Marie Kellner

Financial Manager

Ann-Marie Kellner is financial manager at the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies. She is responsible for general financial and administrative tasks and reporting.

UCLouvain is Belgium’s leading French-speaking university. UCL is made up of 14 faculties and its research teams are organised into 21 institutes: nine in the Human Sciences Sector. The University offers more than 200 study programmes, 50% of the doctoral students are international. 52 researchers in total were awarded the European Research Council Grant (ERC) and in 2022, the university implemented 369 projects funded by the European frameworks programmes.

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Tanguy de Wilde d'Estmael


Tanguy de Wilde d'Estmael is Professor of Geopolitics and International Relations at the UCLouvain (Belgium- Institut de sciences politiques Louvain-Europe) and Visiting Professor at the College of Europe (Bruges - European Union International Relations and Diplomacy Studies Department). He has published on the EU's external relations, specially concerning the relations with Russia and China.

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Flore Naslin


Flore Naslin is a Ph.D. student in International Relations, supervised by Prof. Tanguy Struye at UCLouvain. Her research focuses on the conceptions of World Order held by China, the United States, and Russia. Her approach aims to grasp their respective underlying worldviews shaping their models of governance and driving the dynamics of their relationships.

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Tanguy Struye de Swielande


Tanguy Struye de Swielande is a professor of international relations at UCLouvain and a research associate at the Egmont Institute, the Quebec Council for Geopolitical Studies, and the Institute for International and Strategic Relations - Indo-Pacific Observatory (IRIS). He directs the collection Scène internationale at the Presses universitaires de Louvain ( He specializes in geopolitics, geoeconomics and the foreign and defense policy of the great powers (United States, Russia and China), the Indo-Pacific region, the analysis of decision-making, foresight and the impact of new technologies on the world order.


Fanny Hockers


Fanny Hockers is a first-year PhD student and teaching assistant in International Relations at UCLouvain. Her current research focuses on the foresight processes in the Indopacific region. She examines futures of this versatile region in the strategic decision-making process of Taiwan and Singapore through cultural and historical influence, imagination and collective intelligence.


Clara Laduron


Clara Laduron is a PhD student and a research assistant in International Relations at the ISPOLE Institute at UCLouvain. She manages administrative and research tasks within the EUVIP project such as the organization of workshops or research days, and the writing of articles.


Brantly Womack

Brantly Womack is the Miller Center’s C. K. Yen Chair and Professor Emeritus of Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia. He also holds honorary professorships at Jilin University (Changchun, China), East China Normal University (Shanghai, China), and Sun Yat-Sen University (Guangzhou, China). Prof. Womack has been the recipient of numerous prestigious fellowships, including the Fulbright Scholarship, Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, and Mellon Fellowship. His current research interests encompass China’s relations with Southeast Asia, the relationship between public authority and popular power in China, as well as the domestic politics and foreign policy of Vietnam.


Friedrich Edelmayer

Friedrich Edelmayer is a Professor at the Department of History at the University of Vienna. His research focuses on Global History and Insular Studies. Additionally, he is a member of the consortium of the Erasmus Mundus program: Global Studies (EMGS, funded by the European Union). His research interests include the impacts of the globalization process on the society and environment, the relations between the Philippines and the Americas in the era of Spanish Colonialism, and Taiwan’s indigenous population. In the Indo-Pacific region, he is interested in the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking societies as well as in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Australia.


Catherine Renshaw

Catherine Renshaw is a Professor in the School of Law at the Western Sydney University and a former Visiting Scholar at the Regulatory Institutions Network, Centre for International Governance and Justice, Australian National University. She is a holder of several professional memberships, including a membership in the Asian Society of International Law (2008 - 2016). Professor Renshaw's research primarily centers on human rights and democracy in Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on Myanmar. Additionally, she collaborates with human rights NGOs in the Asia Pacific region in her capacity as a legal advisor.

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Sabe Amthor Soe

Sabe Amthor Soe is a Director of Burma Center Prague, a non-governmental and non-profit organization founded in 2006 to support the democratization of Burma and to advocate for respecting human rights in the region.


Chih-Jou Jay Chen

Chih-Jou Jay Chen is the Director of the Institute of Sociology at the Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan. He is also a jointly appointed Associate Professor at National Tsing-Hua University and an adjunct Associate Professor at National Taiwan University. Dr. Chen is an expert in state-society relations in contemporary China, including local institutions, social capital, social stratification, Cross-Strait relations and popular protests in China.

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Lukas Mandl

Lukas Mandl is a Member of the European Parliament, a member of the national board of the Austrian Workers’ Association (ÖAAB) and a Vice-President of the Assembly of European Regions (AER). Within the European Parliament, he is Vice-President of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence, member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, and a substitute member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs. He was also a member of the special committee on foreign interference, which terminated in 2023. Mandl's expertise in international relations with particular focus on EU-Korea relationships has been enhanced by his involvement as the Chair of the Delegation for relations with the Korean Peninsula and the Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly. He graduated in Communication sciences from the University of Vienna.

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