Invitation to Workshop: “Challenges in commissioned migration research”

The IMISCOE Standing Committee ‘Research-policy dialogues on migration and integration’ invites to a workshop on “Challenges in commissioned migration research” that is to take place during the IMISCOE 12th Annual Conference in Geneva (26 and 27 June 2015) at the University of Geneva (Rooms M1140 and M2160). 

Consider this: Your institution has been commissioned to implement a research project on a particular subject in the area of migration. At the kick-off meeting project partners, advisory board members and representatives of the organisation commissioning the project gather to discuss the framework of implementation. The topic is highly relevant for the institutions contracting the research; it will become a top-listed item on their political agenda next year. Your project will benefit their need for evidence-based knowledge to inform future policies. Your institution reacted to the call, for the topic is also relevant to the research community. You are therefore eager to produce meaningful outputs for policy and research. You sense the political sensitivity of the project and would like to have a say in the debate. During the project implementation you are asked to send the commissioning organisation the research tools for validation and drafts you produced are being checked, sometimes outside of the plan initially agreed on. During a mid-term meeting you are asked to reformulate a part of your conclusions. Towards the end of the project your team delivers the outcomes as agreed and the organisation funding the research prepares a comparative report based on the information you provided. The comparative is published and widely disseminated, your organisation is not mentioned among the authors, and you, as a researcher, are not allowed to use the primary data gathered during the project for other research purposes. You realise the comparative compiled is miles away from your own research and policy conclusions.

Needless to say, we hope you have not encountered any of this. But if you can relate to at least one of the episodes described above, you shall not miss this workshop and join our discussion on challenges in commissioned research!

New challenges are emerging in the field of migration research in the wake of economisation of research, the increasing pressure to quickly produce policy-relevant knowledge, the changing relationship of commissioned and basic research, ongoing transformations with regard to governance-science nexuses and so forth. The first workshop session (#45) aims to discuss these structural constraints and link them up with actual consequences for ethics, epistemological foundations and practices of commissioned research in migration studies. The second workshop session (#62) is dedicated to the development of follow-up activities, both in terms of research and future cooperation. Please find the detailed program enclosed to this invitation.

Join us on Friday, 26 June 2015 at 16:30 in Room 1140 and on Saturday, 27 June 2015 at 11:00 in Room 2160.

IMISCOE 12th Annual Conference

“Challenges in commissioned migration research”

26 and 27 June 2015

University of Geneva

Rooms M1140 and M2160



26 June 2015 – Room M1140, Session #45:

Challenges in commissioned migration research

16:30 – 16:40

Introduction to the Panel Discussion

Alexandra König & Mădălina Rogoz (ICMPD, organisers)

Peter Scholten (Erasmus University Rotterdam, chair)

16:40 – 17:15

Introductory statements

Peter Scholten (Erasmus University Rotterdam):

“Transformation of science-policy nexus: The example of integration”

Norbert Cyrus (University of Bremen):

“Venues of Expertise. Migration Studies between Academic Freedom and Political Nudging”

Han Entzinger (Erasmus University Rotterdam):

“Mapping the role of commissioned migration research in changing donor landscapes”

Andreas Pott (IMIS):

“Spaces for critical epistemologies in scientific knowledge production on migration”


17:15 – 18:00

Moderated floor discussion

Moderation: Peter Scholten (Erasmus University Rotterdam, chair)

27 June 2015 – Room M2160, Session #62:

Future initiatives: Addressing challenges in commissioned migration research

11:00 – 11:15

Introduction: Burning issues in commissioned migration research

Alexandra König (ICMPD, chair)

11:15 – 11:35

Tour de table: Development of sustainable activities

Moderation : Alexandra König (ICMPD, chair)

11:35 – 11:45

Funding options for collaborative work

Mădălina Rogoz (ICMPD, organiser)

11:45 – 12:30

Open floor: Discussion and concluding remarks

Moderation: Alexandra König (ICMPD, chair)

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