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Social Innovation, Employment and Migrants/Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Project Description


Forced migration has become a highly contested debate and area of controversial policy activity in Europe and beyond. Polarized discourses and disparate policy proposals have surged since the mid-2010s, when the number of people fleeing their countries significantly increased due to the war in Syria and protracted political, social and economic instability in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. While mainstream media and political entrepreneurs have tended to focus on the potential security issues raised by increased numbers of refugees and migrants, civil society activists and local authorities (and in some cases private organisations) have been at the forefront of the provision of humanitarian help and the promotion of integration programs.

Acting sometimes in a policy vacuum - or even in defiance of national authorities - such civil society organisations and sub-national authorities have shown a creative spirit of innovation, allowing people fleeing from war, persecution and poverty to find a place of protection and begin a new life through education, training, socialising, but also through employment. In fact, employment is the most effective way to integrate migrants, refugees and asylum seekers (MRAs) into host countries, and enable them to contribute to the economic and social development of these societies.

This PhD aims to shed light on some of the innovative forms of support and integration of MRAs into employment in the UK. It will analyse how social innovations designed to support labour market participation operate, and examine what effect they have on lives of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

A more detailed proposal will be developed as part of the application process.

Supervisor Research Profiles

Director of Studies: Prof. Stephen Sinclair
GCU Research Online URL:

2nd Supervisor: Prof. Simone Baglioni
GCU Research Online URL:

3rd Supervisor: Dr Francesca /Caló
GCU Research Online URL:

How to apply

The project is available as a 3 years full-time PhD study programme with expected start date of 1 October 2019.

To apply for this project, use the following link to access the online application for, as well as further information on how to apply:

Applicants shortlisted for the PhD project will be contacted for an interview within four weeks from the closing date.

Please send any other enquiries regarding your application to:

Funding Notes

Exceptional candidates will be put forward for the scholarship competition. The Scholarship packages available include fully funded studentships and fees only scholarships. The fully funded studentships are worth £19,300 per year for 3 years, subject to satisfactory progress. They cover payment of tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £14,800.

For further details on funding see View Website

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