Our Fellows

Interviews with our Fellows:

Abdirahman Ahmed

Abdirahman Ahmed

Q1. Who are you?

My name is Abdirahman Ahmed. I have a post-graduate degree in Social Structure and Social Change from Istanbul University, Turkey. Currently, I am an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute of Migration Studies at Jigjiga University, Ethiopia. My research interest is on the durable solutions for forcibly displaced (refugees and IDPs) and diaspora engagement in Ethiopia. 

Q2. What was your motivation for applying for the FFVT fellowship? Why Germany?

Ethiopia hosts the third-largest number of refugees in Africa, with a long history of hosting refugees. The country is also one of the top countries that host the largest numbers of IDPs globally. Having worked with academic, humanitarian, and development organisations in Ethiopia, my research interests focussed more on durable solutions for forcibly displaced people in Ethiopia with the aim to contribute to the national efforts to find lasting solutions for the forcibly displaced through research and policy recommendations. In this capacity, I had the opportunity to partner with the German Development Institute (GDI/DIE) and co-authored a discussion paper on the local integration of refugees in Ethiopia. As one of its main objectives, the FFVT fellowship offers the opportunity to strengthen networking opportunities with institutions working on forced migration-related issues. I was motivated by the possibility to link up with these institutions and establish networking for future collaborations on the topic. FFVT also offers the opportunity to advance my career and capacity to conduct research on forced migration and durable solutions with renowned experts and institutions in the field. I was motivated by all the possibilities and potentials that the fellowship offers. 

Q3. What do you expect from the fellowship? 

I look forward to building my research expertise, sharing my knowledge and connecting experts in forced migration studies for future research collaborations. With these networks and potential collaborations, I expect to link the research institutions working on migration research in my country with those in Germany for better global south–global north migration research partnerships.  

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? 

During my stay, I plan to produce two scientific works on the local integration of refugees and on global south–global north research partnerships with other colleagues. Moreover, I am also working (with other FFVT colleagues) on a virtual discussion on the situation of forced migration and durable solutions in Ethiopia to shed light on the current status of forced displacements and durable solutions and suggest policy recommendations on the situation.  

These activities are related to the overall objectives of FFVT, including, but not limited to, strengthening networking on forced migration research by linking migration research institutions in the global south and global north. 

Shaddin Almasri

Shaddin Almasri

Q1. Who are you?

My name is Shaddin Almasri and I am a PhD student in Migration studies based in Austria now. My background is on refugee and labour migration in Jordan and more recently expanded to the Levant, the Gulf states and East Africa. My background is a mix of research and policy work, activism and advocacy with a particular interest in the in- and exclusion of refugee and migrant groups, whether that be in accessing certain social groups, social protection structures or the countries that migrants are trying to get to in the first place. My PhD research is specifically on nationality-based differentiation in refugee aid and protection policy, focusing on Jordan, Turkey and Ethiopia.

Q2. What was your motivation for applying for the FFVT fellowship? Why Germany?

I really like the structure of the programme, and I also wanted to experience work in a different field or research area. For me as a PhD candidate, it is very special to be able to turn my attention to a new project and passion area. Besides, it was very useful for me to apply to this programme to have a change of scenery and to get involved in new networks of interaction that could benefit my research but also give me new spaces where I have the chance to share the knowledge that I have gathered.

Q3. What do you expect from the fellowship?

I am hoping for a refresh in energy. The PhD process is very long and cumulative, and the fellowship is giving me the opportunity to start fresh with a new, small project and gather new motivation.
I am only here for a short time, so I am also hoping to produce one written product while I am in the FFVT fellowship with a focus on the Job Compacts in Ethiopia and Jordan. With this fellowship, I want to take myself out of my personal comfort zone. My background is in policy and political economy, and this fellowship is taking me more into comparative politics and governance, so I am looking forward to this challenge and to learning from the expertise around 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?

I am excited to be looking more closely at the Job Compacts in Jordan and Ethiopia, which, like other aid and development deals, shape policies that quietly dictate how much of the refugee experience works out in major host countries.

What is innovative about this approach is that the scientific and policy discussions of the Job Compacts tend to focus on where the Compacts fail, while I would rather like to know what would make a government responsive to them. In general, and beyond the scope of this specific product, I want to contribute my personal perspective that was strongly coined in Jordan on where people experience exclusion. This is something I try to keep in mind during my work and was the source of my interest in the Compacts in the first place: I am asking myself, how did the Compacts impact people that were not included in its architecture in the first place? I am always trying to make sure that I am assessing what is often overlooked.

Dr Seth Christopher Yaw Appiah

Dr Seth Christopher Yaw Appiah

Q1. Who are you?

My name is Dr Seth Christopher Yaw Appiah from Kumasi, Ghana. I am currently a Lecturer at the Department of Sociology and Social Work at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana and a visiting lecturer at PAULESI-University of Ibadan Nigeria (PAULESI). I had training for my PhD in Medical Research International Health from the Ludwig-Maximilian Universität München (LMU) and Reproductive Health Sciences from the PAULESI, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. My research expertise comprises medical sociology-HIV and infectious diseases, gender, migration health, human rights and social protection and adolescent sexual reproductive health.

Q2. What was your motivation for applying for the FFVT fellowship? Why Germany?

I have been motivated to apply to the FFVT when I considered the particular focus on the human rights dimension to refugee and forced migration studies at the CHREN. I was further motivated by the observation that the objectives of the FFVT align with my career ambition of enhancing my research collaboration, internationalisation and facilitating trans-disciplinary and cross-cultural knowledge co-creation, acquisition and sharing. Germany remains my number one country of international travel partly because I pursued my training for my PhD here, Germany has diverse academic domains, specific experts. I also believe that all my host professors have been—and continue to be—exceptional, including the current host Professor Dr Petra Bendel, who has made me miss home to a lesser degree.

Q3. What do you expect from the fellowship?

In this fellowship, I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge with other members of the team coming from an interdisciplinary background of sociology, public/international health, infectious diseases, migrant and refugee health, gender and human rights. I look forward to learning so much in a field I am relatively new to—the study of camps and refugees—and to building long-lasting research collaborations, partnerships with prospects for joint grant applications, and potentially the co-supervision of doctoral students on thematic issues of refugees, migrants, gender, health and human rights in the near future.

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 current proposed study seeks to examine access to vaccines among one refugee camp in Ghana—the Krisan refugee community—and the levels of vaccine hesitancy, myths and associated intention to accept. Within the fellowship period, I am designing the study tools, networking to engage potential researchers and scientists with similar interests to collaborate on this proposed study.

Dr Ayar Ata

Dr Ayar Ata

Q1. Who are you?

My name is Ayar Ata, and I am a freelance postdoctoral researcher and linguist. I am an active member of the Sustainability Research Group at London South Bank, a member of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM) and served as ExCom member 2018-2020. Now, I am serving as an IASFM-Working Group member in the United Kingdom and a member of the editorial board of the Displaced Voices Journal. My book entitled I am Kurdish Londoner will be published by Palgrave hopefully soon. This book is based on my Ph.D. thesis which also includes a section on reflexivity and about my own first-hand refugee experience. I have used autoethnography to be an active voice in my research, and my contribution to the field of forced migration also includes the preparation and translation of " Your Rights in Research" for all forced migrants which is now available in different languages on IASFM’s website.

Q2. What was your motivation for applying for the FFVT fellowship? Why Germany?

My motivations for working with FFVT are twofold: First, I would like to contribute from my wide-ranging academic study and work experience with migrant and refugee groups in London. Second, I wanted to come out of London to evaluate my own London-centric view on integration and multiculturalism; and I see Germany, especially since 2015, as a major and respectful new centre for refugee reception and integration in Europe. Therefore, conducting a comparative study between London and some German cities would be beneficial for me as a researcher, for London and my host institution. I am very grateful for the warm welcome and professional support given to me by the fantastic FFVT-FAU/CHREN team.

Q3. What do you expect from the fellowship?

I believe in creating opportunities for the best results at the end of my fellowship. I want to listen more, challenge my assumptions, learn new ways of doing research within a complex and multifaceted project, and I need new contacts from FAU students. I am very excited

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?

I would like my work to continue in three different stages: 1. Information gathering, networking, reading policy papers and key literature on refugee integration in Germany. 2. Commuting between Erlangen and Nuremberg in November / mid-December and doing five to eight deep interviews with members of refugee/migrant communities, host communities, municipality officers, NGOs, activists, and continue writing my observation notes. In January 2022, I am planning to go to two other cities, including Berlin, for two / three weeks, adding five to eight more interviews to my conversation list. In February, I plan to consolidate and write my first draft report/working paper for the FFVT team, my target date being 15 February 2022. As a result of successful networking within the CHREN-FFVT team, I will also be working and supporting Pro Asyl in documenting the most recent harsh treatment of asylum seekers at the Belarus and Polish borders.

Prof Dr Saniye Dedeoglu

Prof Dr Saniye Dedeoglu

Q1. Who are you?

I am a professor of social policy in the Department of Labour Economics and Industrial Relations at the University of Mugla, Turkey. I hold a PhD in Development Studies from SOAS, University of London and worked as a Marie Curie Fellow at the Center for Research in Ethnic Relations at Warwick University, UK.  My research interest centres around the issues gender, work and migration in contemporary Turkey. My writing on women’s economic activities and migration experience have appeared in scholarly books, edited books and journals. I am the author of Syrian Refugees and Agriculture in Turkey (IB Tauris, 2022),  Migrants, Work and Social Integration (Palgrave 2014) and Women Workers in Turkey: Global Industrial Production in Istanbul (IB Trauris 2007).       

Q2. What was your motivation for applying for the FFVT fellowship? Why Germany?

I would like to develop a research project comparatively explores the resettlement experiences of refugees in Germany and Turkey and how their experience in different contexts affect the ways in which gendered practices change in similar communities. The FFVT fellowship and IMIS at Osnabrück University offer a great opportunity to further develop my future research project, explore the German migration context more, and connect with scholars of forced migration and refugee studies for future collaborations.

Q3. What do you expect from the fellowship?

I believe that migration is a global social and economic issue and local solutions remain short to provide durable solutions to the problems and social change associated with it. Therefore, international cooperation and collaborations are vital in understanding different dynamics surrounding it. I expect to exchange ideas and research experiences, as well as share knowledge with experts in forced migration and refugee studies engaged in the FFVT network. Thus, I aim to contribute to the FFVT’s project objectives of expanding academic collaborations, promoting transnational networking as well as supporting mutual evidence-based research in Germany and Turkey.              

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?

During the FFVT fellowship, I would like to develop a cross-national comparative research project that investigate the role of gender in refugee women’s social and economic participation following their migration. For the fellowship period, I aim to develop my project further and visit refugee community organisations to collect information on women’s experience in Germany. Additionally, I would like develop my networks further to present my current research finding to the international academic audience and policy makers as widely as possible.

Evan Easton-Calabria

Evan Easton-Calabria

Q1. Who are you?

My name is Evan Easton-Calabria and I am a Senior Researcher at the Feinstein International Center, Tufts University, in Boston, USA, and a Research Associate at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford.

Q2. What was your motivation for applying for the FFVT fellowship? Why Germany?

I had the chance to interview an IDOS researcher back in 2019 for a project on digital refugee livelihoods and took part in several online IDOS panels focusing on forced migration. I really enjoyed these collaborations and was excited to work more closely with the Contested Mobilities team. I also used to live in Germany and wanted to spend time here again.

Q3. What do you expect from the fellowship?

I hope I’ll be able to do some co-writing and brainstorming and learning from and with colleagues, and hopefully find a way for longer-term collaboration.      

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 has focused on refugees and forced displacement for over a decade, including self-reliance and digital technologies; I’m now working more directly on humanitarian action in advance of climate disasters. Overall I hope to use my time to build more concrete intellectual and practical bridges across these fields and learn from IDOS colleagues who are working in these areas, as well.

Merve Erdilmen

Merve Erdilmen

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.

Asresahegn Birhanu Gelaw

Asresahegn Birhanu Gelaw

Q1. Who are you?

My name is Asresahegn Birhanu Gelaw. I am a PhD candidate at Addis Ababa University and Lecturer at Debre Markos University.

Q2. What was your motivation for applying for the FFVT fellowship? Why Germany?

I was highly motivated to apply for the FFVT fellowship with BICC, as the Centre’s work on refugees and migration is closely linked to my studies in Ethiopia on the integration of refugees. FFVT will allow me to expand my network in forced migration studies with its affiliated organisations not only in Germany, a country that has hosted millions of refugees and migrants, but all over the world.

Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to write journal articles and policy papers and participate in events organised by BICC.

Q3: What do you expect from the fellowship?

I expect my fellowship at BICC will provide me with the opportunity to expand my knowledge, skill and experiences in research. BICC’s resources such as its library are helpful to complete my studies on refugees and migration in Ethiopia. I am looking forward to participating in seminars and academic and policy-related discussions among researchers in the FFVT project, policymakers and other stakeholders to advance my insights and my research. In discussions and seminars, I will be happy to share my experiences related to refugees and migration particularly in Ethiopia and South Sudan.

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?

During my stay at BICC, I will focus on writing on the integration of refugees and conflicting relation with the host community in Ethiopia with the goal to publish this in international journals. In addition, I will write a policy paper on the national Comprehensive Refugee Response Strategy in Ethiopia. If time allows, I will participate in organising an event focusing on the current situation in Ethiopia. All activities are directly related to the FFVT project and BICC as they focus on disseminating knowledge and creating opportunities for research networking related to refugees and migration.

Dr Palash Kamruzzaman

Dr Palash Kamruzzaman

Q1. Who are you?

I am a Senior Lecturer in social policy at the University of South Wales (USW), UK. I come from a multidisciplinary academic background combining degrees in sociology and social policy (PhD), and anthropology (MSS and BSS (Hon.)). I have taught international development, politics, sociology and anthropology at several UK universities such as University of Bath, University of Leicester, University of Nottingham, University of Liverpool and Independent University (Bangladesh). I have conducted research in Bangladesh, Ghana, Nigeria, Jordan and Afghanistan and published in the areas of refugees and displacement, expertise in international development, politics of development, aid ethnographies, participation in policymaking, global development goals (eg SDGs, MDGs), civil society and extreme poverty. I am the author of Poverty Reduction Strategy in Bangladesh – Rethinking Participation in Policy Making (2014) and Dollarisation of Poverty – Rethinking Poverty beyond 2015 (2015), and the editor of Civil Society in the Global South (2019).

Q2. What was your motivation for applying for the FFVT fellowship? Why Germany?

I was motivated by the diverse research interests and expertise of FFVT colleagues. It seems to me that I can learn from their experience and expertise while at the same time, I also felt that sharing my research experience might open up opportunities for research collaboration with substantial impact. In tandem with this, Germany has a rich heritage of hosting refugees, and this (opportunity of learning from this experience) played an important role for me when I applied for an FFVT scholarship.

Q3. What do you expect from the fellowship?

As I said above, of course this fellowship will be a great opportunity to share my experience and learn from a group of colleagues who also have great knowledge about refugees, displacement and peace. Moreover, I expect this will generate some exciting and innovative ideas for future research that will have a substantial impact on the lives of Rohingya refugees initially and perhaps will also have a positive impact on other refugees across the world. Along the way, I would be most delighted if we could produce something (e.g. research outputs, policy briefs, podcasts or academic outputs etc.) that could add to the existing scholarship.         

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 current focus is on understanding refugee crises through a holistic lens (more like exploring the humanitarian–developmental nexus of refugee crises). To elaborate, my recent study looked at the experience of violence and loss of dignity among two of the most vulnerable groups, namely the forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar who now live in Bangladesh and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Afghanistan. I realise that it is extremely important that we (academics, practitioners, policymakers and the political leaders) hear the voice of these groups. However, the refugees are just one element (perhaps the most important one) of a complex jigsaw puzzle. Currently, we know very little about other stakeholders who also play (or could play) important roles in hosting refugees as well as for sustained yet dignified solutions. Bearing this in mind, I am currently involved in two pilot studies in Jordan and Bangladesh that look into the perceptions of the local communities that are hosting refugees. I take this fellowship as an opportunity that will hopefully result in some collaboration that would have a positive impact on the lives of refugees and offer some evidence base for policymakers, practitioners and academics.

Dr Gülay Kilicaslan

Dr Gülay Kilicaslan

Q1. Who are you?

I am a political sociologist holding a PhD from the Department of Sociology at York University, Canada. My dissertation examines the impacts of forced displacement on the dynamics of political mobilisation in the context of Kurdish contentious politics. My writings on Kurdish forced migrants, Kurdish political movements, migrant agency, decolonial feminisms, gender-based online violence and digital feminist activism have appeared in scholarly edited books and journals.

Q2. What was your motivation for applying for the FFVT fellowship? Why Germany?

My future research project comparatively explores the resettlement experiences of Yezidi genocide survivors and their community mobilisation strategies in Germany and Canada. The FFVT fellowship and BICC offer a great opportunity to further develop my future research project, explore the German migration context more, and connect with scholars of forced migration and refugee studies for future collaborations.

Q3. What do you expect from the fellowship?

I expect to exchange ideas and research experiences, as well as share knowledge with experts in forced migration and refugee studies engaged in the FFVT network. Thus, I will contribute to the FFVT’s project objectives of expanding academic collaborations, promoting transnational networking as well as supporting an evidence-based research approach to the forced migration ecosystem in Germany.

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?

In my research, I focus on the interplay between forced displacement and the dynamics of political mobilisation in colonial contexts. I am currently developing a cross-national comparative project that investigates the resettlement processes of Yazidi newcomer communities who are genocide survivors in Canada and Germany. For the fellowship period, I aim to develop my project further and conduct preliminary fieldwork about the resettlement system in Germany and connect with the Yezidi migrant community of Germany.

Dr Margaret Monyani

Dr Margaret Monyani

Q1. Who are you?

I am a Global Excellence Stature Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Johannesburg, South Africa. I am also a Sessional Lecturer in the Department of International Relations at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, where I attained a Doctorate in International Relations in 2021. My doctoral research focused on the global dynamics associated with refugee governance from an African standpoint by focusing on the ethnographic experiences of Somali refugee women in Nairobi, Kenya. It examined the critical links between Kenya’s securitisation regime, the resultant vulnerabilities it produces, and Somali refugee women’s everyday resistance to state surveillance and discrimination. Before that, I completed a Master’s in International Relations from Moi University, Kenya, where I left with a distinction. I consider myself a versatile, early career researcher and author with skills in executing academic and policy research projects, and I have leadership experience in civil society to academic spheres. I am also a research affiliate with the Refugee Law Initiative (RLI), University of London, where I am a reviewer of the RLI Working Paper Series.  

Q2. What was your motivation for applying for the FFVT fellowship? Why Germany?

My particular interest in the FFVT fellowship was motivated by its thematic focus, which resonates well with my research interests. My research interests are migration governance, gender, and international security in the Afrocentric context. Likewise, FFVT offers an excellent platform to guide and nurture upcoming scholars, and this would undoubtedly be invaluable to my current research and future academic scholarship as well as research productivity. Besides, for an early career researcher like me, FFVT not only provides a conducive environment and resources for research but also access to seasoned experts in the field of international migration, governance and security, particularly in the Afrocentric context. The FFVT project possesses brilliant fellows, researchers, and academics, who engage in migration governance and security research. I expect that being an FFVT fellow will enhance knowledge productivity and idea exchange and create intellectual intercourse that would shape international migration and security discourse globally. Germany remains the best choice for my research stay because it is one of the world’s leading countries in research and development. This is evidenced by its unwavering commitment to providing resources and mentorship opportunities to upcoming scholars and researchers.  

Q3. What do you expect from the fellowship?

Being an FFVT fellow will offer me a platform to connect with research mentors, seasoned disciplinary experts and colleagues who are working not only on gender, security, and migration but also those who are from other disciplines. Significantly, my time at CHREN will be maximised in developing viable research collaboration and a scholarly network that would consequently lead to my advancement of research on migration and security, and other areas such as global peace, humanitarianism, and governance. My time at CHREN will also be used to contribute ideas and learn from colleagues via seminars, workshops and conference participation.

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 proposed study to be undertaken at CHREN  focuses on the humanised accounts of refugee women in securitisation contexts. As an academic, I seek to unpack how international security and global politics are shaped and lived by non-state actors. While exploring the experiences of refugee women, my research sheds light on the experiences of refugee women, whose voices are little heard, and shows how contemporary national and international migration policies impact their security. This prioritisation of increasing invisibility in relations of dominance, and of studying the experiences of these refugee women is fundamental to the study of the insecurities of migration and how international politics of migration may create insecurity for migrants.  

Dr Jorge Morales Cardiel

Dr Jorge Morales Cardiel

Q1. Who are you?

I´m from the working class of Guadalajara, Mexico. Since the primary education to my PhD, I have attended public schools and universities. It was thanks to my studies that I was able to get out of the increasingly violence settled in the streets of my neighbourhood. Another option would have been to migrate to the United States like several members of my family, something that in the end I did but thanks to the support received from different universities in Mexico, Spain, United States and Germany. Therefore, I continue to be a kind a wanderer who studies migration intrinsically from within.

Q2. What was your motivation for applying for the FFVT fellowship? Why Germany?

The main motivation for apply for the FFVT, is because since the last workshop “Comparative Forced Migration and Refugee Studies – reflexive, postcolonial, international” I admired IMIS institution for their work, dedication and effort to comprehension towards the main issues to forced migrations and comparative studies of these communities of migrants. In addition, because Germany is one of the most respectful countries for the human’s rights of migrants. Something widely recognized in the first decades of this century with the arrival of forced migrants due to different armed conflicts in the peripheries of Europe, received with different degrees of protection corresponding to them.

Q3. What do you expect from the fellowship?

I expect have a valuable exchange of the situation of the migrants around the world,  especially in the transit countries, go deeper into the political and economic changes, which are reflecting in the restrictive border controls of developing centres and in the growing network of human trafficking in these countries. In addition, to being able to share the experience gained in the empirical field, with my fieldwork done in migrant shelters in Mexico and in the last years, since the pandemic start, on the US-Mexican border. Without ruling out doing fieldwork in the new internal European transit countries.

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 current FFVT project is focus in the differential experiences of forced displacement between two ethnic groups; garífuna and mestizo from Honduras. I think is innovate it because seeks to compare the differential migration strategies of two populations ethnically distinct but displaced from the same country. For it, I´ll identify forms of discrimination that put populations such as the Garifuna like a disadvantage or an advantage, compared to their mestizo fellow citizens. Highlighting the sociocultural resources that can benefit this Afro-American migrant population. In terms of reaching and assimilate faster their final destination United States, what I call "racial of bridges" or “ethnic bridges”.

Dr Khangelani Moyo

Dr Khangelani Moyo

Q1. Who are you?

I am an independent researcher and a research fellow at the University of the Free State, Qwaqwa campus in South Africa. I have a background in Migration Studies, Urban Studies, Sociology, and Social Anthropology. My research interests include migration management, refugee governance, migrant transnationalism, spatial identity in the city and social vulnerabilities in the urban peripheries. I am currently an FFVT fellow at the Centre for Human Rights Erlangen Nürnberg (CHREN). As part of his fellowship at CHREN, I focus on refugee integration in Germany.        

Q2. What was your motivation for applying for the FFVT fellowship? Why Germany?

I applied for the fellowship off the back of my research visit to Freiburg in 2021, where I was hosted by the Africa Centre for Transregional Research (ACT). Taking up the FFVT fellowship in Erlangen was about extending the work that I had started in Freiburg, focusing on refugee integration in Germany. The idea of doing field research in Germany extends the exchange possibilities between scholars from and based in the global South and those in the global North.

Q3. What do you expect from the fellowship?

The fellowship provides an opportunity to extend my work on refugee integration in Germany and have mutually beneficial conversations with colleagues in Erlangen who engage in related research. This will help grow my networks in Germany and may result in future collaborative work.            

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 work focuses on refugee integration in Germany, particularly the conditions of asylum and the systems in place to support successful refugee integration in the cities of Freiburg and Erlangen. The research is exploratory and guided by the idea of reciprocal research, which subverts the common practice where researchers from the global North do research in the global South. Instead, it is underpinned by the need to create more avenues for researchers from the global South to conceive and do research in the global North contexts. In this regard, reciprocal research forms an emergent frontier in the global debate on the decolonisation and decentring of knowledge production, both geographically and intellectually.

I intend to use my time in Germany to draft a working paper from my research in Freiburg and also do some fieldwork in Erlangen. I will engage in theoretical discussions and enriching conversations and also present some of my work in a seminar to expand the scope of intellectual exchanges.

The exchanges with colleagues and networking are part of the core mandate of the FFVT, and CHREN has a vibrant scholarly presence within the field of forced migration studies.

Anila Noor

Anila Noor

Q1. Who are you?

My name is Anila Noor, and I am a refugee-activist and researcher. As an advisor, policy influencer for inclusion, diversity and social justice, ecosystem builder, I recently became a member of the European Commission Expert Group. My interest lies in deploying research, advocacy and policy debate towards analysing and streamlining complex social processes that can provide concrete solutions towards achieving social justice. I’m currently leading the discussion about Receiving Refugees in Urban Settings: Narratives and meaningful participation.

Q2. What was your motivation for applying for the FFVT fellowship? Why Germany?

When I saw the advertisement for this FFVT fellowship, the words “Networking and Knowledge Transfer” fascinated me the most as I was keen learn more about the following questions: “Whose knowledge is counted, valued and whose voices are heard? How can we track the barriers remaining in today’s forced migration policy debate and advocate for change? How to address significant power imbalances in representation in policy, practice and academia?” I want to contribute to a process of creating new, academic knowledge from a refugee’s perspective as it will bring much needed insights into academia. The intellectual environment and stimulating critical debates found at BICC will allow me to process my experiences and grow intellectually.

Germany has higher standards for its education system and greater focus on development, research, and innovation. I applied at BICC as I knew that BICC has many refugee-related projects, and its team members hold an understanding of social justice and working on empirical studies. I like it that BICC’s academic, practice-oriented programmes put an emphasis on participatory methods.

Q3. What do you expect from the fellowship?

I want to advance my experience, as FFVT aims “to focus and connect scientific debates” and sets changing accent topics in the course of the project. I want to learn how to design and analysis “whose power and whose voice count, marginalisation and exclusion. And how to construct these questions? And which theories, methods, approaches can help me to do such analysis?

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?

As a human rights advocate and someone who has always aspired to be an academic, I have always wanted to raise awareness of the often-overlooked voices of women refugees and, more generally, migrant communities. The divining force to apply to FFVT has its origins in my personal experiences as a refugee at the AZC (Dutch reception camp for refugees). FFVT project is a nexus of my commitment to bridging academia, activism and policy. My prior involvement with several NGOs engaged in education and empowerment for and with refugees, many of which directly address problems refugee women face, adds to my motivation to become a researcher in Forced Migration Studies. I am taking this as an opportunity to question blind spots—to use a magnifying glass on sources to clearly see (often hidden) inequalities and imbalances. Lastly, I have long hoped to do a PhD, and this project would enable me to take the first steps in fulfilling my intellectual dream.

Find more about Anila on Youtube.