PhD Network Structure

The IMISCOE PhD Network aims to strengthen research and network opportunities for doctoral researchers in the field of migration (and herewith related topics). The PhD Network is organised upon the Network Board, the Blog Group, and the broader PhD Network community, which consists of the PhD Representative(s) of the standing committees (SCs) and the PhD Academy, each with their active members who plan and carry out activities relevant for PhD migration scholars. The PhD Network is represented by the PhD Representative and the Vice-Representative and steered by the PhD Network Board.

PhD Network Board:

Billie Martiniello
PhD Representative

PhD researcher in sociology affiliated with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Belgium. Since January 2022, her PhD research has been funded by FWO (Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek). Her work focuses on understanding and tackling discrimination in the (rental) housing market, focusing on a local-level approach.

Mateusz M. Krawczyk
PhD Vice-Representative

PhD candidate in political science and freelance journalist, former managing editor of the Polish monthly "Wszystko Co Najważniejsze". Graduate with a master's degree in political science and economy and several courses related to political science, social anthropology, and journalism. He specialises in refugee and forced migration studies and the agency of vulnerable groups. His current research is focused on the hybrid identity of refugees at the Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Uganda.

Agnese Pacciardi

PhD Vice-Representative

PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of Lund, Sweden. Her current project looks at European border externalisation in Africa with the aim of producing a better understanding of how these policies are negotiated, adapted or resisted by migrants and local and diaspora communities.

Elina Jonitz

PhD candidate at Erasmus University Rotterdam. In her research, she examines the multi-level politics and governance of post-2014 migrant integration in small and medium-sized towns and rural areas in the Netherlands.

Adriana Calvo

Spanish journalist doing her doctoral thesis at the University of Deusto. She researches how undocumented migrant women develop digital communication strategies once settled in destination countries and specialises in political communication.

Diletta Marcucci

PhD candidate at Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) in Barcelona and GRITIM-UPF coordinator: “Interdisciplinary Research Group on Immigration”. She is also a doctoral researcher in the research project BROAD-ER: “Bridging the Migration and Urban Studies Nexus” (HORIZON-WIDERA-2021). Her research within Urban Intercultural Governance focuses on the connection between intercultural participation and segregation.

Alice Fill

PhD Candidate in International Relations and International Law at the École Normale Supérieure (Chair in Geopolitics of Risk), in Paris, and at the University of Roma Tre (Law School). She is a Fellow at the Institut Convergences Migrations (CNRS). Her research project investigates digitalisation and datafication processes in West Africa that specifically target people on the move, amid border controls and humanitarian assistance. Moving from an interdisciplinary perspective that articulates Critical Security Studies and Science and Technology Studies in dialogue with International Human Rights Law, the project explores the multi-layered implications of these trends in key areas of migration governance.

Lucy Potter

PhD candidate in Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield. Her research project examines asylum determination processes in the UK of claims on the grounds of non-religious persecution. 

Gunika Rishi

Gunika Rishi is a Doctoral researcher (2023-26) at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, NTNU, Norway. Her work explores the experiences of Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URMs) during family reunification using ethnographic approaches and a social anthropological lens. She has a background in Architecture (2010-2015) and Urban planning (2018-2020). Her research interests include housing rights, migration, gender studies, race and visual ethnography.

Silvia Talavera Lodos

Silvia is a PhD Candidate at the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa (Italy). Graduated in Law, she holds a Master's degree in Human Rights. Her research focuses on the impact of decentralisation on the protection of the social rights of migrants in an irregular administrative situation

Tulika Bourai

Tulika Bourai is a PhD candidate in Development Studies at BITS Pilani, Rajasthan, India. Her study is based in the mountainous regions of the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand. Her research looks at the current climate crisis in the Himalayas and people's mobility and immobility choices under a resource-constrained scenario.


Blog Group

The IMISCOE PhD blog forms a platform to share PhD relevant insights from the field of migration research. It is wholly run and written by PhD students from the Network. The content varies from interviews with scholars, reports on the latest conferences and meetings and theoretical contributions from our members. If you’re up for an exciting read, you can check out some of the blog posts at

Irene Gutiérrez Torres

Blog Group Coordinator

Award-winning documentary filmmaker and a PhD fellow at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and University Carlos III of Madrid (UC3M). She is part of the REEL BORDERS ERC Starting Grant project, focusing on participatory filmmaking in migration and border studies. Her films and research address themes of im/mobility, migration, everyday bordering, and self-representation. As a filmmaker, she has directed "Border Diaries" (2013), "Hotel Nueva Isla" (2014), "Connected Walls" (2015), "Exile Diaries" (2019) and "Between Dog and Wolf" (2020). Her films have been screened in film festivals and art venues such as the Berlinale, Rotterdam IFFR, MoMA Documentary Fortnight and the Lincoln Center.

Aneesha Jonny

Aneesha Johny is pursuing PhD in law at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. Her thesis focuses on the comparative regional analysis of the responses of South Asian and European countries towards Rohingya and Syrian refugees in the context of the principle of non-refoulement. Her key research interests include comparative law, child rights, refugee law and judicial process.

Rohini Mitra


Doctoral student at the Centre for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn. Her research is focused on forced migration governance, networks, and refugee transnationalism in and beyond South Asia. Her doctoral research examines these themes in the context of the Rohingya refugees in India. Her larger research interests include migrant (and refugee) transnationalism, migration governance regimes, diaspora politics, and the lived experiences of migration. She has completed a Master's in Development Studies from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and worked in India's migration policy and research space.

Nacera Haouchine

Full-time PhD student in International Relations at Keele University, UK. She is based in the School of Social, Political and Global Studies (SPGS). Her research focuses on migration and security studies. She delivered several seminars on Securing Global Order and is lecturing on Human Rights and Global Politics. Nacera is a former editor of Under Construction @ Keele Journal (@UCKeele), and she is currently an editorial assistant for IDEA Journal (@journal_idea) and a blog editor for IMISCOE PhD Blog (@IMISCOE_PhD).

Berfin Nur Osso

Doctoral candidate at the University of Helsinki, the Faculty of Law. Her doctoral research project “Access to Right to Have Rights”: Managing Migration at the EU’s External Borders investigates the interplay between the externalization of migration management and the political agency of refugees. This socio-legal project merges theoretical and empirical analyses in the Greek-Turkish context by focusing on the intersections of international refugee law, human rights, border studies, EU asylum law and policy, and legal and political theory. She is also enthusiastic as a political cartoonist about reflecting on the contemporary phenomena within the realm of law and society in her editorial cartoons.

Jami Abramson

PhD candidate in Human Geography at Swansea University. Her research entitled “Sensing Wales: conflicting identities and belonging for ethnic minority young people in Wales” aims to explore ethnic minority young people’s experiences with places, particularly concerning their idea of identity and sense of self. Informed by participant-led methodologies, Jami is using visual methods such as photography and collaging in go-along interviews with young women in Swansea.

Connie Hodgkinson Lahiff

PhD candidate in Law at the University of East Anglia and her socio-legal research focuses on the administration of asylum applications. In her research, she holds a critical gaze on the entanglement of public and private interests involved in asylum decision-making and uses qualitative research methods and Freedom of Information Requests to understand the asylum bureaucracy in the UK. Outside of her PhD, Connie has spent many years volunteering as an immigration casework assistant at a local law centre and is currently training to be an OISC-regulated immigration adviser in the UK.

Gianna Eckert

Gianna Eckert is a PhD student at the University of Bristol Law School. Her research focuses on suspended removal cases and their human rights implications for ‘unreturnable‘ migrants in Germany and the UK. She is a Research Affiliate at the Refugee Law Initiative with interests across asylum and refugee law, deportation and citizenship studies, comparative migration law and regularisation practices.

Mimi Ocadiz Arriaga

Multidisciplinary researcher and creative writer focused on migration and mobility from an (African) decolonial perspective. She holds a Research Master in African Studies (cum laude) dedicated to the Cuban medical cooperation in Mozambique and the contemporary embodiment of solidarity and currently works at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam within the Refugee Academy project Engaged Scholarship Narratives of Change. As a PhD candidate, Mimi has theorised and put into practice manifestations of care that enable epistemic justice, which in turn support the decolonisation of academia.

If you’re interested in contributing to the blog, get in touch here.

Advisory Board

The PhD Network’s Advisory Board comprises previous PhD Representatives and members of the Soundboard in the preceding year.

Sebastian Carlotti

PhD at the University of Pisa and the University of Amsterdam, where he researches selection procedures and visa policies between Europe and West Africa.

Mariia Shaidrova

Maria Shaidrova is a PhD researcher (NWO-funded Research Talent Grant) based at the University of Tilburg, The Netherlands. She holds MSc in Sociology of Migration and Ethnic Studies from the University of Amsterdam (Cum Laude). Maria is focusing her research on understanding the life of the Nigerian community both in Benin City and Palermo.

Sandra N. Morgenstern

Postdoctoral researcher at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES) and as the chair of Migration and Integration at the University of Mannheim.

Carolin Müller

Cultural studies researcher using methods of cultural anthropology. Her research explores amateur music ensembles in activist spaces and discourses on belonging, integration, and citizenship.

Samuel D. Schmid

Postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the Department of Political Science at the University of Lucerne, Switzerland.

Olav Nygård

Lecturer in Ethnic and Migration Studies with a background in Sociology. His research interests cover ethnic and class inequalities in educational opportunity and outcomes, effects of school leaving and segregation, social capital, and extra-curricular activities.

Social Media

The PhD Network has an active Twitter account. We welcome all interested PhDs to join the Facebook group and follow us on Twitter. We post news relevant to IMISCOE, migration research and PhD life in general.



PhD News & Blog