Merve Erdilmen is PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She is a research assistant for Durable Solutions Cluster at Local Engagement Refugee Research Network (LERRN). Her research focuses on the localization of humanitarian assistance, gender mainstreaming, and refugee-led organizations in Turkey.
Q1. Who are you?
I am Merve, PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. I am a research assistant for Durable Solutions Cluster at Local Engagement Refugee Research Network (LERRN). I also worked as a research associate at GLOBALCIT at the European University Institute on an international project on statelessness and birthright citizenship and a consultant for International Organization for Migration (IOM). My research focuses on the localization of humanitarian assistance, gender mainstreaming, and refugee-led organizations in Turkey.
Q2. What was your motivation to apply for the FFVT fellowship? Why Germany?
To build new collaborations, exchange ideas on our common research interests, learn from the diverse expertise as well as Turkey-focused interests of FFVT colleagues at IMIS, and conduct some in person interviews with key stakeholders in transnational refugee-led networks in Germany were my main motivations to apply for the FFVT fellowship. Moreover, I wanted to be in close conversation with colleagues who are from different disciplines and benefit from interdisciplinary conversations on the nexus of forced migration and gender.
Q3. What do you expect from the fellowship?
I hope to be able to start building academic collaborations and opportunities to brainstorm together with colleagues at IMIS and other FFVT member institutions. Disseminating our research with the greater public and refugee communities in Germany, Turkey, and Canada is another important expectation for me.
Q4. What is the focus of your work, and what is innovative about it? / What are your planned outcomes and activities for the fellowship period? And how do they relate to your FFVT hosting institution/ the FFVT cooperation project?
My research focuses on refugee-led organizations’ role in providing and advocating for gender-sensitive protection services and in localizing the refugee response in Turkey. I aim to deepen our understanding of refugee agency and develop postcolonial approach to localization discussions in humanitarian assistance. For this end, I have started to conduct interviews with relevant actors in Germany and discussed my research with colleagues at IMIS who also work on gender, forced migration, and localization.