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The Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement aims to establish a University-wide interdisciplinary network of cutting-edge scholarly work and enhance the reputation of Cambridge for innovative methodological work on these topics, especially within social sciences and humanities.

Much of the Centre's focus in our first year of activity has been to establish interdisciplinary research clusters, each of which is listed below.

There is also a link to some of the many migration related research projects that can be found across the University. Please do let us know if you have a research project that you would like us to link to by emailing us at


Movement and Waiting

Convenor: William O’Reilly (Faculty of History)

Barriers, fences and borders in Europe force many prospective migrants to lead lives in suspension, a state of waiting, not knowing when the moment of departure will be, if it will ever arrive. Waiting determines the everyday lives of many refugees and migrants, awaiting permissions, authorizations in an effort to move from one place to another, but also enclosure from a repetitive present to the future. Movement may be the more well known face of migration, but waiting and immobility have shaped as intensely experiences of passage, in the past as well as in the present. This project inquires into waiting in its conceptual, empirical, affectional and emotional components. More...

Cambridge Emergency and Displacement Group

Convenor: Madeleine Arnot (Education)

This interdisciplinary group addresses brings together existing research groups, projects and individuals working on displacement, emergency relief, on refugee camps and holding centres globally, particularly but not only in the Global South.  It aims to draw upon extensive research experience of academics and graduates working with displaced, migrant and refugee communities and individuals and with international humanitarian organisations, public and private sector aid givers and national and local government agencies so as to address the pressing challenges associated with global human movement.


Global Mobility Economy

Convenor: Susan L. Robertson (Education) and Eva Hartmann (Education)

This programme of research explores the structural, ideational, social and geo-political dynamics and mechanisms shaping the diverse projects and movements that constitute the global mobility economy.


Language, Heritage, Migration

Convenor: Yongcan Liu (Education)

This programme seeks to establish a new field of interdisciplinary scholarship which brings together three university initiatives focusing on language sciences, heritage research and migration research.


Hospitality, Storytelling and Integration in a Mobile World

Convenor: Jenny Mander (Modern and Medieval Languages)

This project aims to reflect broadly on questions of social isolation and cultural exchange through the theoretical, philosophical and historical lens of hospitality. 


Integration, Communities and Criminal Networks

Convenors: Paolo Campana (Criminology), Paolo Campana (Criminology), Paolo Campana (Criminology), Alice Hutchings (Computer Lab)

This programme of research explores the structure and mechanisms underpinning migration flows – both regular and irregular – and the integration of migrants into hosting communities. This programme will look at multiple aspects associated with the movement of migrants, including the governance of spaces (e.g. ethnic enclaves, refugee camps, local communities), the role of social capital and spatial aspects in fostering – or hindering -- integration, as well as the structure and activities of criminal networks underpinning human trafficking, people smuggling and modern slavery.


Other Migration-Related Research from Cambridge University