New Migration Leadership Team will help academics speak to a broader community about migration

Date: 08/01/2018

The complex topic of migration could be better understood if several academic disciplines worked together to explain it, according to the leader of a new research team jointly funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Laura Hammond
Laura Hammond

Dr Laura Hammond, Reader in Development Studies at SOAS University of London and Principal Investigator of the recently formed Migration Leadership Team, will seek to improve collaboration on migration studies between the social sciences, the arts and humanities.

“There’s a lot we can do through this kind of arrangement that we can’t do alone,” says Dr Hammond. “There are aspects of migrants' lives that the social sciences has explored over many years; such as the underlying assumptions about why migration happens and the effectiveness of the response from the United Nations to the role of civil society, and the reception and integration of migrants. The social sciences gives us the trends and the wider processes.

“Meanwhile the experiences of migrants have been captured through the arts and humanities - in literature, art and film; conveying migrants’ experiences in unique and moving ways. Put them together and you have something that will really speak to a broader community; academics and even those who wouldn't normally read academic studies.”

The Migration Leadership Team will review existing research on migration, highlight best practice and identify opportunities and priorities for new research. The team will pinpoint areas of research to prioritise, determine how to make an impact, and identify ways to communicate and collaborate that are likely to help bridge research, policy and public engagement.

Dr Hammond also believes that this collaborative approach will help spot where research will have the most impact, by establishing links between research and practice.

“Rather than devise a strategy and then present it to migration policymakers and practitioners as an already-formed proposal, we are speaking with researchers around the world to find out what they would like to gain from this kind of project.”

The Migration Leadership Team will engage in a series of ‘Global Migration Conversations’, workshops, one-to-one interviews, and panel discussions with researchers, policy-makers, practitioners, migrants associations and arts organisations.

As well as SOAS, the project will draw upon the expertise of academics from: Queen Mary University London’s Centre for the Study of Migration; University College London’s Institute of Education; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; and City, University of London.

The team, which is funded for 24 months, began work on 1 November 2017.

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors

The Arts and Humanities Research Council funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: history, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, languages, design, heritage, area studies, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98 million to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits and contributes to the economic success of the UK but also to the culture and welfare of societies around the globe. Follow us on Twitter at @ahrcpress, on Facebook at Arts and Humanities Research Council, or Instagram at @ahrcpress.

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest funder of research on the social and economic questions facing us today. It supports the development and training of the UK's future social scientists and also funds major studies that provide the infrastructure for research. ESRC-funded research informs policymakers and practitioners and helps make businesses, voluntary bodies and other organisations more effective. The ESRC also works collaboratively with six other UK research councils and Innovate UK to fund cross-disciplinary research and innovation addressing major societal challenges. The ESRC is an independent organisation, established by Royal Charter in 1965, and funded mainly by the Government. For more information visit: www.esrc.ac.uk.

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