SOAS awarded £1.25m to boost impact of migration and marginalisation research

SOAS University of London has secured a share of a £40 million investment to increase the societal and economic benefits of social science research. 

The award will be used to mobilise SOAS research on the precursors and effects of migration and displacement, minorities and marginalisation. 

A flexible funding model will allow SOAS researchers to respond quickly to address urgent UK, European and global challenges, and harness the power of coalitions with business, the public sector, and other stakeholders to improve policy and practice. 

Roundtable discussions with public and private sector leaders will consider the ways SOAS research can be utilised for greatest impact. Other plans include exchange fellowships with policy, NGO and private sector organisations, and grants to SOAS researchers and partners around the world.  

The project will build on the research leadership provided by the Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies, the London International Development Centre-Migration Leadership Team and others working on themes related to migration, displacement, minorities and marginalisation. 

The School’s work to decolonise approaches to research and knowledge exchange, and the creation of more equitable ways of working with others to deliver change, will also be strengthened by the project. 

SOAS will receive £1.25 million over five years starting in April 2023, and is one of 32 research organisations across the UK that will benefit from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) support. The successful application was led by the University’s research impact taskforce, Professor Alison Scott-Baumann, Dr Mukta Das and Katie O’Reilly-Boyles. 

Professor Laura Hammond, Pro-Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange, said: “This new investment will help us build on our extensive research, as well as the wide collaborative research and knowledge exchange networks that we have developed. We have a real opportunity to create new and innovative ways of generating evidence-based impact. 

“SOAS is delighted to be working with the International Organisation for Migration, the Joint Internal Displaced Persons Profiling Service, and others in this venture.” 

Professor Hammond is the Principal Investigator of the ‘Impact Acceleration Account’ that will govern the research and access to grants, and Dr Charlotte Sanders of the Anthropology Department and Director of the Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies, will be the Co-Investigator. 

Professor Alison Park, ESRC Interim Executive Chair, said: “The social, behavioural and economic research we fund helps us understand how we live and how society functions, throwing new light on how best to tackle our most pressing challenges. This investment creates a network of research organisations with dedicated funding to support and accelerate the impact of this research.”