In 2020, the Ukrainian Catholic University started a competition of research grants, The University’s Scholarly Assignments, with the university’s research fund. The mission of The University’s Scholarly Assignments is to implement UCU’s strategic tasks and achieve quality scholarly results. After the second competition, 16 projects received grant support.

The UCU Learned Council on 30 June approved the proposals of the scholarly committee, and their implementation will officially begin on 1 September 2021.

The following projects received grants:

«Collective Monograph ‘Integral Human Development: Mapping for Ukraine,’” project leader – Orysya Bila.

Orysia Bila, director of the Department of Philosophy at UCU. Photo: The Ukrainians

In the last 150 years, humanity has made a real civilisational revolution: the scientific and technological progress not only resulted in increasing production and consequent economic growth, but also extended average life expectancy and increased the planet population almost five times. Yet, it has become evident that the economic growth does not directly correlate with the life quality and the sense of happiness. The gap between rich and poor, between “us” and “them” has become a real stigma of the XXI century. In 1967, Pope Paul VI in his Encyclical “Populorum Progressio” introduced the concept of integral human development that emphasises importance of an integral approach to the human needs and states that “development cannot be limited to mere economic growth. In order to be authentic, it must be complete: integral, that is, it has to promote the good of every person and of the whole person” (PP, 14). Even after fifty years these words have not lost their significance, especially for the contemporary Ukrainians that continue to seek reliable grounds for building a better society. Analysing the rich tradition of social teaching of the Catholic Church and based on our professional expertise, our team of scholars from the Ukrainian Catholic University proposes to prepare the collective monograph entitled “Integral Human Development: Mapping for Ukraine ”. We believe that it is high time to popularise the concept of integral human development in Ukraine and our proposal is to “translate” the philosophical and theological heritage of the papal encyclicals, letters and other documents of the CC into a language of those in whose hands the future of the Ukrainian policies, institutions and practices is.


“The Unchanged Ethos of a Changed Life: Interdisciplinary Round Tables in Bioethics,” project leader – Fr. Ihor Boyko.

Fr. Ihor Boyko, Rector of the Lviv Theological Seminary of the Holy Spirit

The research project aims to realize one of the essential components of the formation of UCU’s ethos as an open academic community in the service of the Church and Ukrainian civil society. The project provides for high-quality research on bioethical issues, based on their compliance with international and national standards. Among the priorities of UCU’s policy in the scientific sphere, an important one is the process of forming scientific schools around the institute of research professor and supporting those researches that unite in the scientific search a scientist, graduate student and student in the common service of truth about man, world and God. The next important goal is the creation of professional, scientific teams and dialogue platforms for the representativeness of the university in society through active interdisciplinary cooperation. The main idea of ​​the project is to create a professional interdisciplinary platform at UCU where theologians, philosophers, psychologists, sociologists, physicians and lawyers raise and discuss the most pressing issues of bioethics and moral theology which are composing a modern challenge to the Church and society. The project aims to bring Christian values ​​in the field of biomedicine and human sexuality to the Ukrainian academic and non-academic society. Discussion among theologians, physicians, psychologists and other experts on topical issues related to the surrogacy, death and support of the dying, as well as gender ideology and its imposition in education and upbringing, is designed to find authentic answers, which would be based on authentic values. An interdisciplinary approach to these issues will avoid the apparent conflict between faith and science, ethics and progress. The key stages of the project are holding a series of round tables on significant bioethical topics by conducting an open discussion and publishing their results in peer review journals that have indexation in scientometric databases.


“Collective Monograph ‘Theological Anthropology: History and Prospects’ under the scholarly editing of His Beatitude Patriarch Sviatoslav,” project leader – Sr. Ihnatia Havrylyk.

Sr. Ihnatia Gavrilyk, OSBM, lecturer at the Department of Theology at UCU.

The idea of the project belongs to the Father and Head of our Church, His Beatitude Patriarch Sviatoslav. Whilst still the vice-rector of the L’viv Holy Spirit Seminary and associate professor of theology at Ukrainian Catholic University, he taught a course on theological anthropology and wrote a textbook, which is still being used by theological programs here in L’viv and in other Greek Catholic seminaries. His Beatitude Sviatoslav reached out to the professors of the theology department of UCU and asked to expand existing chapters of the textbook, supplement it with new the current anthropological topics that were not covered previously, and to publish it in a form of a collective monograph, which will be useful to students, teachers and scholars of theological programs of the UGCC and in a wider academic community interested in the problems of biblical, patristic, and contemporary Christian anthropology. The publication will be based on the historical and theological approach proposed by His Beatitude Sviatoslav, and on the thematic discussion of contemporary trends in Christian anthropological thought, which seek answers to new challenges of nowadays. These two dimensions forms the structure of the publication, which will consist of the following clusters: foundations of the biblical anthropology (select anthropological topics of the Old and New Testaments), patristic sources of anthropology (anthropological ideas of authors of various Christian traditions of the first millennium), responses to anthropological questions in the second millennium (medieval approaches, Byzantine anthropology of the fourteenth century, specific features of the anthropology of the Kyiv theological tradition), the main theological trends in the study of human nature in contemporary Western and Eastern Christian traditions, theological personalism of the twentieth century, and anthropology of pope John Paul II. This project will have an international dimension, since its participants and partners are the scholars from UCU and UGCC, as well as professors from other European universities.


“Family Pastoral Care in the Context of an Adequate Anthropology,” project leader – Fr. Volodymyr Hryb.

Fr. Volodymyr Hryb, Project and Program Manager, UCU Institute of Family and Marital Life

This study is the final part of a PhD thesis on “For Adequate Family Pastoral Care: The Anthropological Foundations of Family Pastoral Care in John Paul II. The Relationship between Theology of the Body and the Apostolic Teaching of the Familiaris Consortio” at the Pontifical Theological Institute of John Paul II for the sciences of marriage and family (Pontificio Istituto Teologico Giovanni Paolo II per le scienze del matrimonio e della famiglia). This part is the quintessence of the previously made analysis of the topic, in which due to the scientific works of Karol Wojtyla (“Love and Responsibility” (1960), “Person and Act” (1969), “Sources of Renewal. Studies on Realizing Vatican II” (1972)) and the first encyclical Pope John Paul II Redemptor hominis and the series of catechisms “Human Love in the Divine Plan” (so-called theology of the body) we see that integrated anthropology is the basis of pastoral care of families. Research Hypothesis: The anthropology of John Paul II is so rich and authentic that it underlies adequate family pastoral care. Novelty: this study will show that in the context of adequate anthropology it is important and necessary to talk about the adequate pastoral care of families, which includes an integral truth about human life and vocation.


«A Sheptytsky Reader: Publication of a One-Volume Collection of the Most Important Works of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky,” project leader – Prof. Yaroslav Hrytsak.

Yaroslav Hrytsak, historian, lecturer at UCU

In the recent years, there have been published several books on Metropolitan Archbishop Andrei Sheptytsky that are to popularize his legacy – there is, however, no popular collection of his works. It means that he remains largely unread. In the final result , it has an impact on his presence in national memory – especially in the times when Ukrainian nation needs his thought for its intellectual and spiritual maturity. The suggested project aims to fill this gap – and in the future, as soon as it will be completed, the Sheptytsky reader may be translated in other languages, in the first turn, in English language.


“Social Work Practicum: Models, Instruments, Cases,” project leader Svitlana Kohut.

Svitlana Kohut, a lecturer at the Faculty of Health Sciences at UCU

The project aims at developing and publishing a collective manual. The broad goal of the project is to provide the educational and methodical support for professional training of social workers in the universities of Ukraine by means of a modern textbook with a practice-oriented content. The narrow goal is to bring the content of professional training of future social workers in classes to future professional conditions by means of a modern manual. Project objectives: 1. identification of current external challenges faced social work as a profession in time of the reform of decentralization and transformation of social policy of Ukraine. Within this task we will point out the external challenges faced the main areas of professional social work (promoting social and economic equality; upholding human dignity and values; promoting environmental sustainability; recognizing the importance of human relations, including in the workplace) and ways how to respond them on national level; 2. identification and analysis of internal challenges faced social work, particularly those that social workers meet in social work practice (poverty, social exclusion, the spread of deviations, socially dangerous diseases); 3. breaking the received information down into smaller chapters and topics; 4. writing a good text of the manuscript though the description of each topic paying attention to the following structural components: a mini-presentation of the theoretical basis of the topic, a description of the technique which correspond to the theory, completing with the case from the social work practice and tasks to it; 5. preparing and submitting the manuscript for publication.


“A Value-based Approach to Forming Public Policy (according to the Results of Research of the Policies of Occupied Territories of Ukraine),” project leader – Oksana Kulakovska.

Oksana Kulakovska, director of the UCU Analytical Center

The project is a continuation of the topic, which is one of the key for the UCU Analytical Center and the UCU Kyiv Center, and provides for the development of a value-based approach to public policy-making (on the example of policy research on the occupied territories of Ukraine). As the database of Ukrainian legislation on the occupied territories has already been collected and processed, as well as expert discussions have shown that the legislator is guided by the reaction to the current problem, quantitative budget indicators and law-making standards. At the same time, the qualitative dimension of decisions, which cannot be measured either in terms of budget or regulation, remains outside the scope of a “pragmatic” responsive discussion. This leads to the fact that the basic constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens are violated either because of the norms or because of their absence. The process of improving the legislation is constant, so the value analysis will be relevant as a permanent tool for policy making in the occupied territories in the future. The practical dimension is to develop and verify the methodology of value analysis and on the basis of its proposal a package of recommendations for the implementation of a value-based approach to the formation of policies for the occupied territories. This will make it possible to check the compliance / inconsistency of existing laws and draft laws and in the future to be guided by this value approach in proposing legislative initiatives and making management decisions.


“The Church in Service of the Development of the Safety of Children,” project leader – Fr. Mykhailo Lesiv.

Fr. Mykhailo Lesiv, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs of the Lviv Theological Seminary of the Holy Spirit

The Department of Pastoral Theology and the Child Dignity Center plan to study the state of awareness of clergy and laity of The Metropolis of L’viv of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church on the issue of protection of minors. Painful global experience of sexual violence against minors creates a need for an action to prevent such cases in Ukraine. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to create a safety culture. In this reason the Department of Pastoral Theology and the Child Dignity Center plan to develop and conduct appropriate surveys. The Department of Pastoral Theology and the Child Dignity Center also plan to hold educational roundtables with the clergy of the dioceses in order to: bring the latest information on the topic of child protection; explore the real pastoral experience in this area, compare the understanding of a safety culture in the clergy and laity. In addition, round tables will help to form a motivated group of priests (about 30 people) for in-depth study of the topic of child protection on the basis of special developed educational material. So these active and competent priests will be able to conduct an educational activity in their dioceses.


“Vistula-1947: Reflection,” project leader – Vitaliy Lyaska.

Vitaliy Lyaska, director of the UCU Ukrainian-Polish-Slovak Border Research Center

“Vistula-1947: Reflection” is a collective project of the Center of the Ukrainian-Polish-Slovak Border, the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Philosophy and Theology and the research project “Local History”. The project is designed to collect, analyze and promote existing research, memories and visual materials about the action “Vistula”. The project provides for: 1. Organization of the International Conference “Vistula-1947: Reflection” April 28, 2022 – on the Day of Remembrance of the action “Vistula” 2. Creation of a street exhibition “Vistula-1947: Reflections”, which will be exhibited on the territory of the UCU campus (April 28 – May 15) and on Rynok Square (May 15 – 30). The exhibition will feature old photos of forcibly deported Ukrainians, excerpts from memoirs, comments by experts. Involvement in volunteer work as mediators UCU students. 3. Printing information booklets about the events of April-July 1947, their distribution among UCU students and graduate students, Lviv residents and guests of the city who will be interested in the street exhibition. 4. Organization of 5 online lectures on the topic of the action “Vistula” in order to promote this topic, disseminate information among teachers, graduate students, UCU students.


“Integrated Student Development: The Main Challenges of Education Today in Forming a New Generation,” project leader – Sophia Opatska.

Sofia Opatska, Vice-Rector for Research and Teaching at UCU, Dean and Founder of the Lviv Business School

In the modern world of work, people don’t have job security and lifetime employment anymore. To be successful in their career individuals should be mobile and self-directed. This new reality creates a necessity to continuously appraise the situation in the labour market and be aware of personal strengths and weaknesses. On the other hand, young people are growing in a new context – constant digitalization, often smaller social relationships. Their preferences, perceptions of life, and values are changing. How exactly? – we do not know enough. Shaping flexible career decisions early in the life course is the most important skill for emerging adults during the transition from school to work. Educational institutions may be particularly important in developing competencies and psychological strategies to become resilient and to build a flexible career approach in the life course. Also, extremely important is the integral development of a young person in the educational process not only for a career but for life. The main task of higher education is to teach students to cope with both negative and positive challenges of life. Now there is a need to be flexible, to adapt. And this is one of the greatest challenges of our time – to change education by leaving good traditions and starting new ones. Therefore, an important task of our project is to analyze the challenges facing education in Ukraine, particularly the educational needs of modern students, a set of competencies, relevant learning methods and mechanisms, and to predict student success in future careers.


“Andrey Sheptytsky: Ministry and Today’s World,” project leader – Mykhailo Perun.

Mykhailo Perun, Associate Professor of the Department of Theology at UCU, Head of the Andrei Foundation, Researcher of the Figure of Metropolitan Andrei

The project is dedicated to both research and popularisation of Andrei Sheptytsky and his heritage. Four events (each composed of a seminar and a book presentation; offline, with web broadcast) will happen in four different cities in Ukraine. The project contains three components: 1. Academic seminar and discussion; 2. Presentation of, and discussion on, the book by O. Gayova and M. Perun “On the Rock of Faith: Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky” (by M. Perun). The events will be moving through four cities, with the possibility to be followed online by the participants from the other cities. 3. Writing and publication of an article in the Naukovi zapysky UCU: “Andrei Sheptytsky: His service and the contemporary world” (P. Smytsnyuk / M. Perun)


“Ukrainian-language Publication of the Book ‘Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky and the Nazi Regime (1941-1944). Between Christian Ideals and Political Realities,’” project leader – Roman Skakun.

Roman Skakun, Deputy Director of the UCU Institute of Church History

The World War II was the most dramatic period in the life and work of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky (1865-1944), who headed the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in 1900-1944. During this period, he was forced to engage in uneasy relations with Stalin’s and Hitler’s totalitarian regimes and to respond to a number of pressing moral, social and political issues. After the war, the evaluation of Sheptytsky’s actions and his attitude towards the Nazi regime became the object of heated and ideologically loaded debates, especially in the Soviet, Polish, and Ukrainian emigree historiography. The atmosphere of these debates prevented an unbiased assessment of the complex political circumstances of the wartime period, the historical and religious context of Sheptytsky’s actions, and the mechanisms of decision making by the Greek Catholic leadership. The most recent publications on the subject, which appeared since the democratic transition began in the Central Eastern Europe and Ukraine emerged as an independent state, were characterized by selective and “one-sided approach to sources and lacked the necessary academic objectivity and depth. The book by Andriy Mykhaleiko, defended as his habilitation thesis in Germany and published by Brill, is the first attempt at a comprehensive study of the subject. It offers an objective and critical picture of Sheptytsky’s activities in 1941-1944 that considers both the metropolitan’s posture vis-à-vis the Nazi regime and the contemporary political, social, and religious context, including the forms and methods of Soviet and Nazi repressive anti-Church policies. The study, which employs modern historical, theological, and biographical methodology, is based on a wide variety of sources that include documents from the Central Historical Archive and the Regional Public Archive in Lviv, the Archive of the Security Service of Ukraine, German, Italian, French, and American archives, and private collections; many of the sources have been previously unknown to the academic community.


“Preparation of a Collective Monograph, a Collection of Articles ‘Promoting the Common Good: Towards the Sustainable Development of Society,’” project leader – Pavlo Smytsnyuk.

Pavlo Smitsniuk, Director of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies and Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Philosophy and Theology of UCU

The annual Ecumenical Social Week (ESW) is an international interdisciplinary forum that brings together the resources of academics, civil society, government, media, social organizations, Churches, educators and NGOs to face the pressing social challenges on the base of universal human values and the social teachings of the Churches. ESW 2021 is dedicated to the topic of sustainable development (the forum received a grant from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation). Several forum panels will be organized together with the University of Louvain. As the results of these panels, we are planning to publish the Collective Monograph – a collection of articles “Promoting Common Good: Towards Sustainable Development of Society.” The monograph will include articles of the leading scholars from the University of Louvain and the Ukrainian Catholic University. Common work will allow to present the ecumenical, international context of the Churches’ social teaching and the vision of the integral human development in the global world. The publication will also help UCU scholars to join the global academic debate on an important issue, as well as deepen our partnership with one of the Europe’s leading research-oriented universities.


A Risky Chance: The Fall of the USSR in the Perception of the West, Ukraine, and Russia, 30 Years Later, project leader – Iryna Starovoit.

Iryna Starovoit, a lecturer at the Department of Cultural Studies at the Humanities Faculty of UCU. Photo: The Ukrainians

In this research project, we want to rethink the critical moment of the collapse of empire and further dynamics of its (semi) disintegration and life after death, engaging students with the study and interpretation of the two valuable oral archives, one of which is a collection of VIP interviews with politicians and diplomats held on UCU servers since 1996: These rich textual and contextual data highly deserve putting in a research effort. Another one is a collection of interviews with Soviet political prisoners and repressed people recorded over the past 3 years by the Territory of Terror Museum team. These data also need to be thickly described, understood and analyzed afresh. On the top of that, we aspire to generate and analyze the third collection – an oral history of the collapse of the Soviet Union in the life experience and outlook of ordinary Ukrainians from different regions across the country: the elder interviewees who were in their 20s or 40s in 1991 will get a chance to share their story, to be heard and understood by those younger relatives who are now in their 20s.


“Faith and Freedom: The Role of Religion in the Processes of Transformation from Totalitarianism to Democracy, Establishing Civil Society, and Building Social Trust in Ukraine,” – project leader – Oleh Turiy.

Oleg Turiy, historian, vice-rector for scientific development of UCU

The project, which combines the methods of theology, critical history, demography, sociology, and political science, and forms part of a wider program of cooperation with North American and Central-Eastern European Catholic universities, aims to study the role of the believers and religious communities, especially the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, in attaining and supporting economic, political, and religious freedoms during the tumultuous period when the Soviet Union collapsed and independent Ukraine emerged. In particular, it will focus on the analysis of archive sources, press and literature, and the collection of witness accounts about the transition from Communism to the free market and the development of basic civil society structures, which include also believers and religious communities. One of the important purposes of this interdisciplinary study will be to reexamine the traumas of the totalitarian past with a view of healing them, to explore social expectations regarding the present place and role of Church in society, and to consider the factors and risks behind the high levels of trust that the society has towards the Church. This will help develop an adequate and proactive program of actions for Ukrainian religious communities in the current circumstances.


“School of Law Journalism,” project leader – Fr. Andriy Shestak

Fr. Andriy Shestak, Director of the UCU School of Journalism and Communications

The School of Law Journalism is an educational project of the UCU School of Journalism and Communications in partnership with the UCU Law School to raise student’s and journalist’s awareness of the law and acquire relevant competencies for quality law journalism. The project envisages theoretical and practical stages. The theoretical stage includes modular training with the involvement of external specialists in law and teachers of the UCU Law School. The second one is an experimental stage during which students in groups under the guidance of mentors will work on law cases at Ukrainian and international levels. The project will result in 12 textual journalistic materials on law topics based on the proposed legal cases.