Postgraduate Workshop



“Reframing the Migration Debate”

University of Sheffield – 11th June 2015

Around 50 postgraduate students and early career researchers attended the 1st Postgraduate Workshop on Migration organised by the White Rose Migration Research Postgraduate Network, in collaboration with The University of Sheffield Migration Research Group.

The event took place at the University of Sheffield and gathered a multidisciplinary group of PhD researchers from more than 20 universities, who shared research covering a wide range of topics including migrants constructions of belonging, integration, migrant experiences in the UK, governance, forced migration and the experiences of highly skilled migrants (full programme available here).

Untitled2During the workshop, a vibrant community of postgraduate and early career researchers explored and debated diverse issues related to the migration experience, contributing to critically engage with this year’s overarching theme: “Reframing the migration debate”. The discussions emerged from 25 presentations distributed in eight parallel panel sessions. The panels were chaired by academics from Sheffield and Leeds.

Untitled3We were delighted to host Professor Andrew Geddes (Politics, University of Sheffield) as the event’s keynote speaker. Professor Geddes triggered the debate with his presentation entitled: “The Drivers of Migration and the Drivers of Migration Governance: Challenges for the EU”. The closing remarks were provided by Dr Majella Kilkey (Sociology, University of Sheffield).

The workshop showcased a dynamic community of young researchers critically and insightfully engaged with the migration arena. The event created a supportive environment to discuss research findings and foster collaboration for future events. The presentations and discussions expanded the understanding of the experiences of migrants beyond the boundaries of the UK and Europe, exploring the lived-experience of migrants in other regions and continents. The participants also reflected on the multi-dimensions and various scales of migration including research that explored the international, regional, local and individual level.

Untitled4Twenty-one delegates evaluated the event, all of whom stated they would definitely like to attend future events hosted by the network: “Yes, as it’s guaranteed to be a well organised, informative and comprehensive event”. Thirteen out of 21 delegates that evaluated the event found the diversity of topics and inter disciplinary nature of the event to be the most enjoyable aspect: “As a historian it’s great to connect with current research on migration. Much of it was relevant to migration 100 years ago”.

Untitled5The opportunity to not only present but for senior academics to be present and participate in the panel was also of significant importance. Every participant reported that the day had influenced their academic work and practice ranging from the developing and refining presentation skills to informing their epistemological and methodological approach to their own research. Overall . . . “It is a useful network to find colleagues working on similar issues” and “An excellent and friendly atmosphere for the exchange of ideas”.

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


The organising team: Michaela Bruckmayer (Politics), Rebecca Murray (Geography), Francesca Di Renzo (Journalism), Johanna Schenner (Politics) and Marcia Vera Espinoza (Geography), all from the University of Sheffield.

This post has also been published on the Geography Department website and on the site of The White Rose Social Science Doctoral Training Centre.