PhD Academy

News from the PhD Academy

With a PhD on migration, what sets my expertise apart?
22 March 2024

The IMISCOE PhD Academy is dedicated to empowering PhD students in the dynamic realm of migration studies, catering to their specific needs in publishing, career development, grant applications, post-Ph.D. considerations, and networking. Aligned with our objective and recognizing the invaluable skills cultivated through PhD training, we are acutely aware of the rising demand for proficient experts in the migration field. This demand encompasses diverse roles such as researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and more. This recognition is crucial to share with our members, especially considering the precarity in academia and the limited availability of positions. In line with these considerations, we curated an enlightening session on December 12, 2023, exploring diverse post-PhD career opportunities. This session provided insights and guidance to the IMISCOE PhD Academy members, offering a comprehensive understanding of career paths and expectations in various geographical contexts and across social backgrounds.

The session seamlessly aligned with the IMISCOE PhD Academy's commitment to adopt a decolonial approach in its operations, aspiring to mirror the inherent diversity of our esteemed PhD cohort. To achieve this, we meticulously invited guest speakers from diverse geographies, aiming to represent the richness within our academic community. This deliberate selection not only offered varied insights into how knowledge gained during a PhD journey proves valuable across different global contexts, but also presented diverse perspectives on the unfolding dynamics of migration in various settings and its implications.

Our session featured guest speakers Michael Collyer, Professor at Sussex University, UK; Barbara Borrego from the International Organization for Migration, Portugal; Linda Oucho from the African Migration and Development Policy Centre, Kenya; and Fiona Seiger, who initiated the IMISCOE Podcast and currently works for the European Commission. Our audience comprised 30 members of the IMISCOE PhD Academy, eagerly seeking insights about possible opportunities post-PhD.

By inviting speakers from diverse professional backgrounds, we aimed to provide participants with insights into the various opportunities, expectations, requisite skills and challenges prevalent for different career paths. Our guest speakers, delving into the nuances of their geographical contexts and social backgrounds (including gender, race, and countries of origin), shared reflections on their distinctive career trajectories. They provided valuable insights into their perspectives on a range of career opportunities, expectations, necessary skills, and challenges within their respective fields for PhD holders today.

Following the participatory approach and peer-learning ethos of the IMISCOE PhD Academy, members had the opportunity to actively engage with the speakers, sharing their perspectives, posing questions, and providing comments in the discussion.

What we gleaned from the session underscores our vital responsibility to articulate the value of a PhD on migration-related topics for shaping professional post-PhD careers today. While a robust theoretical background is crucial for an academic career, the training one receives during the PhD journey has potential far beyond the academic realm, imparting critical competencies essential for a discerning and impactful role in policy making, public and civil society practice, media, and more. A comprehensive PhD training can contribute to a nuanced understanding of the complexity of migration dynamics, knowledge and perspectives that are much-needed across sectors.

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