MRG Workshops

Migration Research at the University of Sheffield is co-funding three workshops across the Faculty of Social Sciences during the academic year of 2016/17. This section features the topics, speakers and registration details to each event.

BSA-MRG Conference for Early Career Researchers ‘Belonging in a post-Brexit-vote Britain: researching race, ethnicity and migration in a changing landscape’


Discussion during panel 3 about integration and belonging in the context of Brexit.

On May 9 2017, the Department of Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield successfully hosted a conference for early career researchers on belonging in Britain after the Brexit vote (funded by the Migration Research at Sheffield Group and the British Sociological Association).

The six thematic panels addressed key issues in the multi-faceted nature of the post-Brexit-vote era. There were 15 presentations that discussed the issues of integration and belonging of EU migrants in the UK; the implications of Brexit for the UK citizens who planned to retired in the EU; a mixture of various emotions and attitudes related to the imminent changes in laws and policies; children and the youth in the context of Brexit; possible changes in organ and tissues donation in result of Brexit; after-death body disposal for migrants in the post-Brexit UK; and the issues beyond the popular ‘EU vs non-EU rhetoric’ such as the implications of Brexit on the belongingness of non-EU citizens in the UK.

The conference was well-attended by delegates from around the UK. Conference delegates also benefitted from two very interesting plenary sessions led by the following keynote speakers: Professor Louise Ryan, Dr Jon Fox, Professor Sarah Neale, Dr Hannah Lewis and Mr Jeremy Abrahams. The keynote speakers shared their excellent expertise in racism and xenophobia pre-and post-Brexit, the challenges for Sociology that Brexit brought about and resulting Sociological research agendas. All the delegates also enjoyed the presentation of the impact of Brexit depicted in a series of couple portraits prepared by Mr Jeremy Abrahams who is a theatre and portrait photographer.

JeremyConference organisers received very positive feedback from the delegates. The conference created a one-day hub of valuable expertise for those interested in belonging in post-Brexit-vote Britain. Everyone enjoyed the thought-provoking discussions. In addition, a Mentoring Café was run during the conference in which Professor Louise Ryan provided support for three early career researchers in terms of their further maturing as academics and building their research profile. This conference was a platform for sharing the knowledge and research agendas, and networking for collaborations in further development of this novel area of Sociology – belonging in the post-Brexit-vote Britain.

This conference was possible thanks for the generous financial support of the British Sociological Association and the Sheffield Migration Research Network, as well as the support and contribution of the University of Sheffield’s Department of Sociological Studies.

The event was organised by Professor Louise Ryan, Dr William Mason, Dr Julie Walsh, Dr Iryna Kushnir from the Department of Sociological Studies and Dr Marcia Vera-Espinoza from the Department of Politics.

Download the programme here and the conference abstracts here.

More information here.


Early-Career Workshop: Environmental Displacement in 2017 – Current Protection Challenges

On 16 June, the University of Sheffield School of Law successfully hosted a workshop for early-career researchers working on migration, and more specifically on migration in the context of environmental factors. We strived for the workshop to be as inclusive and multi-disciplinary as possible. The event composed of six early-career researchers focusing on two questions: how to conceptualise the issue of human mobility in the context of environmental factors across disciplines, and how to approach the issue of human mobility in policy and legal responses. All six papers were submitted in advance.


The workshop comprised of three thematic panels that addressed cutting-edge approaches to human mobility in the context of environmental factors. These included understanding human mobilities beyond established categories used in policy documents that are fixated on the degree of compulsion involved in a particular mobility; the interpretation and implementation of existing adaptation obligation of states; the European Union Temporary Protection Directive and the Kampala Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced People in Africa as means to protect displaced population; conceptualising migration as adaptation using the principle of human dignity as established in international law; and the influence of the Guidelines on the Protection on Internal Displacement.

Panels included one discussant, who having read the papers in advance, provided some starting points for discussion. Participants received feedback from other participants and more established scholars including Professor Walter Kälin (University of Bern), Dr David James Cantor (Refugee Law Initiative, University of London), and Dr Ilan Kelman (University College of London). Each of the three scholars gave some closing remarks. The intimate nature of the workshop provided an opportunity for individuals to debate new ideas openly, develop networks, and identify opportunities for future collaboration. The programme of the workshop is available here.

This workshop was sponsored by the Sheffield Migration Research Network, following a successful application funding application by Dr Bríd Ní Ghráinne and Thekli Anastasiou, and the Sheffield Centre for International and European Law. The School of Law contributed the venue.

All participants will have the chance to submit their papers as part of the Refugee Law Initiative’s Working Papers Series and will be available on the RLI’s website here:

You can check the discussions we had that day by following us on twitter @SheffieldMRG and checking our hashtag #ShefEDworkshop.

*Special thanks to Sarah Beedham and Emily Jow for her help to run the workshop. Credit for the photographs taken during the event go to Sarah Beedham and Ilan Kelman.

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Academic mobility and migration in the Brexit era

Dates: 20 and 21 June 2017, University of Sheffield

The Centre for the Study of Higher Education in the School of Education is pleased to announce that it is hosting an interdisciplinary workshop on the theme of Academic Mobility and Migration in the Brexit Era, in collaboration with Migration Research at the University of Sheffield (MR@S).

The two-day workshop to be held on the 20th and 21st of June 2017 in Sheffield will provide a valuable opportunity for higher education and migration researchers to initiate a much-needed dialogue by critically examining the complex challenges to academic mobility and migration posed by Brexit. Brain circulation is a key part of higher education’s relationship with contemporary networked knowledge societies. Following the Brexit vote, however, UK HEIs face a set of unprecedented circumstances. The outcome of the referendum introduces a new and uncertain situation for intra-EU academic mobility and global academic migration. Achieving greater insight into these challenges will be of value to the development of national policy on high-skilled migration, research funding, higher education and university governance. Conceptually, the workshop aims to open up new, fruitful perspectives on research into global academic careers by examining contemporary and historical aspects of knowledge circulation in higher education, viewed as part of a global science and innovation system.

For additional information please email Dr Vassiliki Papatsiba ( and Dr Heather Ellis (


Previous workshops

MRG Workshops 2015/2016
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