Research Projects and Impact

The deadline for applying to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) passed at the end of June 2021. The closure of the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) poses new challenges for migrant Roma in the UK and could further increase existing inequalities, create barriers to work for Roma, and contribute to ongoing marginalisation.This research and policy document by Dr Markéta Doležalová (CERS, University of Leeds), Dr Roxana Barbulescu (CERS, University of Leeds), Dr Noreen Mirza (University of Manchester), Mr Nicu Ion (Councillor in Elswick, Newcastle) examines the the likely future challenges for migrant Roma in the UK in relation to the scheme. Overview: (1) EU Settlement Scheme requires EU citizens to prove they have settled or pre-settled status to continue to work and access services in the UK; (2) Interviews with 15 local and national organisations that support Roma identified that Roma faced particular challenges with applying due to language barriers, digital access and COVID-19 restrictions; (3) Roma will face similar challenges with proving their status, transitioning to settled status or making a late application and would benefit from ongoing frontline support; (4) Difficulties with obtaining and proving their status could create significant barriers to work. Support measures would improve access to work and accommodation, and reduce inequalities. For the full Policy Briefing, please see the link:
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Full title of project: RETORNO: Interventions on Social Determinants of Health – A comparative study of returned migrants from the UK and Spain post-Brexit referendum. Funder: European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 894303. RETORNO study will develop an evidence-based, context-sensitive theory of how intra-EU returned migrants’ health could be improved using the case study of return migration between the UK and Spain post-Brexit referendum. EU return migration health data is an excellent example of complexity: it is scarce and inevitably heterogeneous, and varies by country, population and setting. The success of interventions on social determinants of health for returned migrants is highly context-dependent, not only in individual countries, but also on the comparison of primary versus secondary care and for people with acute or severe conditions, long-term, compared to healthy migrants. Primary investigator: Dr Pilar Serrano-Gallardo; Co-investigators: Dr Ana Manzano, Prof. Adrian Favell, Dr Roxana Barbulescu.
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"Feeding the Nation: seasonal migrant workers and food security during the COVID-19 pandemic" is a research project examining the recruitment and experiences of seasonal agricultural migrant workers throughout UK during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research team will work with the charity New Europeans to develop information and guidance materials for seasonal migrants, and with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to ensure that the project informs policymaking. The project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of the UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to COVID-19. The project is led by CERS member Dr. Roxana Barbulescu (PI) and Dr. Carlos Vargas-Silva of the Centre on Migration Policy and Society at the University of Oxford (Co-I).
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"Northern Exposure: Race, Nation and Disaffection in 'Ordinary' Towns and Cities after Brexit", is a major social science project which will examine the implications of Brexit on race relations, new migrations and Northerners’ sense of place and belonging. The Northern Exposure project is part of ESRC’s ‘Governance after Brexit’ programme, which is working closely with the UK in a Changing Europe initiative to maximise the wider impact of long term research on Brexit.
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"Roma in Northern England: Creating interventions towards a better quality of life" is a 12 month project which builds on previous ethnographic research among Czech and Slovak Roma in Leeds. Roma across Europe have historically experienced economic and political marginalisation. This project seeks to make better use of research to enable service providers and local authorities to introduce more meaningful policy interventions to make a difference in the everyday lives of Roma residents of northern towns. The project is based at the School of Sociology and Social Policy and is led by Dr Marketa Dolezalova, with the participation of Dr Roxana Barbulescu.
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Faith and Secularism in a Close Encounter
"Faith and Secularism in a Close Encounter: The Contextualisation of Divine Healing by Pentecostal Africans in Germany" is a new research project led by Dr Abel Ugba. The research is funded by the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies at the University of Bayreuth in Germany. The steady increase in the number of African immigrants in Germany since the 1980s has translated into more African Pentecostals in the country. Taking divine healing as a key component of the religiously-constituted moral and sociocultural universe of Germany’s African Pentecostals, this project aims to critically analyse the complexities and challenges of adopting and adapting this practice in the secular and regulated environment in Germany. The project will focus on two African-led churches in Nuremberg and data will be gathered through semi-structured interviews with church members, ethnographic observation of worship sessions, analysis of printed church documents and digital ethnography of the websites and social media of the churches. The research findings will illuminate the processes and nature of the transformation of African-led Pentecostalism as its adherents reflexively and innovatively modify praxis to conform to the norms of a different sociocultural and political environment. They will also provide insight into the challenges and complexities of translating and transmitting African values and moralities in a globalised world.
This two year project was funded by the European Commission – Directorate of Justice, and brought together experts from across Europe. A Counter-Islamophobia Toolkit, authored by CERS members Prof. Ian Law, Dr Amina Easat-Daas and Prof. S. Sayyid, was published in September 2018 and is available to read on the website (link below).
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The Commission on Diversity in the North is a newly founded working group whose mission is to facilitate dialogue and knowledge transfers between academia, local government and civil society in the North of England. The Commission examines the challenges that the Brexit vote and the ongoing negotiations on leaving the European Union bring to diverse communities in the North of England.
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This toolkit has been constructed as part of a HEFCE funded Innovations project looking at the question of Institutional Racism in Higher Education, using the University of Leeds as its case study, and comes in the wake of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry (1999) and the subsequent passing of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000.
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In November 2020, papers from current Postgraduate Researchers in our centre are being added to the Student Publications page, on themes including: Brexit, Islamophobia, diaspora & migration, anti-racism & decoloniality, and riots. You can also find here student papers on racism and racialisation in different contexts around the world, now archived in Mapping Global Racisms.
Student Publications