Home News Portuguese researcher receives 1.5 million euros to lead “fake news” study group

Portuguese researcher receives 1.5 million euros to lead “fake news” study group

Published on 03/09/2019

Joana Gonçalves de Sá, professor and coordinator of a research group on “Data Science and Policy”, will receive 1.5 million euros from a EU fund to study the phenomenon of fake news and misinformation.

The grant was awarded by the European Research Council (ERC) through a start-up grant. Joana Gonçalves de Sá is a professor at the Nova School of Business & Economics in Lisbon, and with this grant she will be able to continue the project “Fake News and Real People – Using Big Data to Understand Human Behaviour”.

Through a statement, it is indicated that this project intends to use experimental and computational techniques to study the phenomenon of misinformation and to understand which factors justify the decision process in sharing false content.

The European funding is valid for the next five years, allowing the research team to use techniques from various fields of study, such as big data, computer systems and behavioural psychology to create models on the subject.

The Nova SBE professor hopes that eventually this research will shed new light on the area of ??misinformation and understand which factors come into play and lead someone to share content that promotes misinformation.

Miguel Ferreira, Chairman of the Nova SBE Scientific Council, points out that “the awarding of the prestigious European research grant to Joana Gonçalves de Sá is a recognition of the excellent work she and her team have done in recent years and the innovative nature of the studies they have done, and will continue to develop in the coming years. This fellowship is also unique given the multidisciplinary nature of the research carried out in this project that crosses data science, economics, behaviour and public health. ” He also points out that it is the recognition of the prowess of a Portuguese university in the area of ??big data and artificial intelligence in “solving the current challenges that are faced by companies and society in general”.

Elvira Fortunato, vice-dean for research at Universidade Nova de Lisboa, prefers to highlight the position of the higher education institution in the area of ??research. “Today we have 20 of the 104 ERC scholarships awarded to Portugal since the beginning of the program, which represents about 19% nationwide. On the other hand, since the promotion and attraction of scientific talent is one of the strategic areas of Universidade Nova, this scholarship clearly shows that our work is valued.”