Research Projects

Evi-Med – Constructing an evidence base of contemporary Mediterranean migrations
Middlesex University has been given a research grant by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Department for International Development to examine the ongoing migrant crisis in the Mediterranean. The project “EVI-MED – Constructing an evidence base of contemporary Mediterranean migrations” will be led by Prof. Brad Blitz, and  includes Prof. Eleonore Kofman, Dr. Alessio D’Angelo, Dr. Nicola Montagna and Martin Baldwin-Edwards. The project is undertaken in partnership with the Greek Council for Refugees (Greece), Borderline Sicily (Italy) and People for Change Foundation (Malta). It also benefits from close collaboration with a number of well-established specialist organisations, including the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), Migrant Report, the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat (RMMS). EVI-MED academic partners include the University of Palermo and the University of Thessaloniki.


DIVERCITY Preventing and combating homo- and transphobia in small and medium cities across Europe, DG Justice Rights, Equality and Citizenship

Gay, lesbian and trans* life style has been linked to the big city.  However,  less attention has been given to  LGBT experiences in small and medium cities which is the theme of a new European project: DIVERCITY: Preventing and combating homo- and transphobia in small and medium cities across Europe project involving five European countries (Belgium, Greece, Poland, Spain, UK) and six cities (Charleroi, Girona, Nottingham, Thessaloniki, Wroclaw).

The project seeks to combine research and action and is based on: (i) an analysis of discourses, representations and practices linked to homo- and transphobia, including hate crimes and speech in diverse spaces and institutions in small and medium cities (ii) mapping the best practices and local policies to  identify successful initiatives and existing gaps, (iii) exchanging of information about experiences and needs  with the purpose of implementing best practices in other cities and finding  solutions to shared needs, (iv) training law enforcement authorities, prosecutors and lawyers in defending victims of homo- and transphobia and (v)  raising awareness about the social risks of homo- and transphobia. Finally, the fieldwork mixes qualitative, and quantitative research from a participatory approach by all target groups involved in the project.

The UK team is Professor Eleonore Kofman, Dr Elena Vacchelli, Dr Erica Howard and Dr Simon Harding.


Oral History research project on homelessness charitable organisation Emmaus UK

Professor Louise Ryan and Dora Papadopoulou are working on an Oral History project for the 25-year history of Emmaus in the UK. This research is embedded in a wider project led by Tom McGorrian and Paul Kerr in the Media Department, School of Media and Performing Arts. The oral history interviews with people involved in the early days of the Emmaus movement in the UK were carried out by the Social Policy Research Centre. The study will also produce an internal report for Emmaus UK federation members, looking in more detail at the evolution and growth of Emmaus in the UK and the challenges that have been faced. Emmaus will disseminate high-quality written and audio-visual materials that provide a focus point for the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Emmaus in the UK.

Analysis of RTÉ Longwave Radio in Britain

Research Team:  Louise Ryan (Project Leader), Lisa Clarke (Lead Researcher), Alessio D’Angelo and Neil Kaye

This research project carried out by the Social Policy Research Centre in partnership with the organisation Irish in Britain, investigated Irish radio listenership among the Irish community in Britain. Focusing on listeners in Britain who tune to RTÉ Radio 1 via Longwave 252kHz radio, the current study aimed to gain insight into: the frequency of listening to the service, attitudes to the service and its content, and potential digital platforms for listening to the service.

This study is the first of its kind and the findings from the research are intended to inform a decision on the future of the RTÉ Longwave service.


The new Italian migration in the UK

Changing patterns, perceptions and processes of settlement

This research project undertaken by Middlesex University aims to explore the changing trends of Italian migration to the UK. In particular, we are asking Italian migrants to share information about their personal and professional experiences, their reasons to migrate, their short and long term plans.

By clicking on the link below you will be redirected to an online questionnaire, which should take about 10 minutes to complete. By completing the questionnaire you are agreeing to take part in our study. The questionnaire is completely anonymous and the information you enter will be handled in an entirely confidential way. Individual records will be accessed only by members of the research team and the survey results will be disseminated only at aggregated statistical level.


The findings of this research will be presented in a number of dissemination events and are intended to lead to further research and other initiatives on intra-European migration.

Should you wish to have any further information on the project, please click here.


New and Emerging Communities in Hounslow – Mapping and Needs Assessment

Research Team:  Alessio D’Angelo (Project Coordinator), Preeti Kathrecha (Lead researcher) and Lisa Clarke

The Social Policy Research Centre at Middlesex University worked with Hounslow Borough Council to map the characteristics, needs and current use of services of 6 communities identified by the council as ‘newest and emerging’. These included: Afghan, Burmese, Sri-Lankan, Algerian, Bulgarian and Romanian.

As part of the research, the SPRC also produced a directory of relevant voluntary and community organisations working with the six groups, identifying examples of best practice, both in Hounslow and across London.

The project adopted a community engagement approach and was undertaken in partnership with the West London BMER Network and Acton Community Forum.


Controlling marriage migration in Europe and US: A comparative approach

Principle Investigator: Dr Helena Wray

This project, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, compares the regulation of spousal migration in European states and in the US. Marriage migration is controversial in many states. To live in one’s own home with one’s spouse is arguably central to national membership but marriage migration undermines state capacity to control long-term immigration, permitting the entry of migrants who would not otherwise qualify on the basis of their skills and education. Controversy has been particularly marked in some European states and has been associated with the reaction against multiculturalism and the marriage practices of minorities of non-European origin which strengthen transnational ties and perpetuate immigration. There has been much commentary on growing restrictiveness in Europe, in the form of integration measures, both before and after entry, more onerous financial conditions, age restrictions and other criteria.


EREC Capacity Building Project 

Research Team:  Elena Vacchelli, Alessio D’Angelo, Sara Calvo and Preeti Kathrecha

The project aims at developing EREC’s organizational capacity and providing advice and support in order to build up a long term strategy which would enable the organization to become economically self-sufficient by 2016.  We will involve a range of academic and non-academic expertise through different steps over 2 months to achieve the its aims.


Between Opportunities and Challenges: Women’s Community and Voluntary Organisations in London
Research Team:  Elena Vacchelli and Preeti Kathrecha 

Women are underrepresented in areas of civic and political life, despite policy such as the Gender Equality Duty (2007) and more recently the Equality Act (2010). Although women organizations are specialist in their own areas and are often successful in establishing solid links with local communities, their ability to influence decision making is limited. Recent studies highlight barriers women organizations face as they try to achieve effective social change (WRC 2010). At the same time governance measures, such as the localism agenda, underpin the current Government’s plans to devolve greater power to local communities and there is a growing concern that decentralisation will have a negative impact on gender equality (NCIA 2011; WRC 2012).  Whilst localism as a concept seeks to empower local communities, without a focus on equality it may perpetuate female disadvantage. This project aims at assessing how recent governance measures have impacted women’s organizations in London and will gather information on what specific needs women organizations have in order to ensure that they are represented within local authorities and they are able to cope with a reduced amount of financial resources. Moreover, the project aims at ensuring that women’s organizations are aware of the policy changes occurred after the Equality Act (2010) and know what they can expect from public bodies.  To this aim the project will seek to identify areas in which women organizations need gender training and will commit to provide such training when further funding is available.


Accessing Healthcare: Inequalities and Discrimination in Enfield 

Research Team:  Elena Vacchelli, Alessio D’Angelo, Preeti Kathrecha

The project aims at assessing levels of health inequalities and discrimination in accessing healthcare in the London Borough of Enfield. In particular, it will investigate the extent to which local providers of healthcare and health advice are able to cater for minority and vulnerable groups and the extent to which new bodies and structures implemented as part of the NHS reform are engaging with equality legislation and are able to offer mechanisms to implement it.


Evaluation and impact of the BAN partnership

Research Team:  Alessio D’Angelo, Preeti Kathrecha

The SPRC is currently working with Advice UK to explore how effective the Black and Minority Ethnic Advice Network (BAN) has been for participating organisations.

The BAN partnership is a network of member organisations made up of single ethnicity groups, gender based groups, BME groups, migrant and refugee community organisations, and specialist advice centres. Members currently deliver advice services to London’s BMER communities who otherwise would not be able to overcome various barriers that prevent them from accessing mainstream advice services.

This research will explore the impact of the BAN partnership on BMER communities in London. It aims to provide recommendations on how a future service would be best placed to operate, in particular how sustainability, efficiency and best value could be improved. The findings will help to improve activities and adapt the BAN partnership delivery model such that it is best placed to continue to deliver advice services to BMER communities in London.


A study of recently arrived Irish teachers in Britain

Research Team: Prof Louise Ryan, Edina Kurdi

This work has been funded through the Third Sector Research Centre. The research will be carried by the Social Policy Research Centre, at Middlesex University, in partnership with the Federation of the Irish Societies.

In an attempt to gain a deeper insight into the experiences of migrants who have arrived since the economic downturn” we are carrying out a study of teachers. Irish teachers in Britain are an under-researched group but there is some anecdotal evidence that their numbers are increasing (Irish Post newspaper, 26.02.13).


Reducing Early School Leaving in the EU

UK Research Team: Prof Louise Ryan, Alessio D’Angelo, Neil Kaye, Magdolna Lőrinc

A team including Professor Louise Ryan and Alessio D’Angelo of the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) has been awarded a research grant of more than €6.4 million. The European consortium, lead by Antwerp University, will investigate the impact of early school leaving for a five year research project under the EU Framework 7 programme.

Early school leaving has been identified by the European Commission as a particular challenge facing many EU member states. It is associated with high youth unemployment, a lack of employment related skills and a wide array of other social problems.

Professor Ryan, Co-Director of the SPRC, said: “This is an important achievement for the Social Policy Research Centre and demonstrates its growing reputation as a site of research excellence. This research grant follows on from several other successes in recent years including ESRC grants, a prestigious KTP grant and other FP7 awards. It is the largest grant we have had to date, and marks an exciting start to our new location within the School of Law”.

Read more about the research project here.


French Capital: A Study of French Highly-skilled Migrants in London’s Financial and Business Sectors

Research Team: Jon Mulholland and Louise Ryan

This project is funded by the ESRC. The French have become an important part of the migrant population in the UK, and in particular, London. Whilst this population is made up of many different groups, the French presence in London is marked by its substantial proportion of highly-skilled workers, concentrated in the city’s business and financial sectors. This 18-month project aims to establish a fuller understanding of the economic, social and cultural role of this section of the French population in London. The study will use both interviews (30) and focus groups (3) to gather the required information.  This study will contribute to a better understanding of the experiences, motivations and career trajectories of highly skilled migrants in the UK, who remain under-researched in migration studies. As part of this project, a two-day international conference was organised in May 2012.

For more information, visit the French Capital website at


Inequalities and multiple discrimination in access to and quality of healthcare

Coordinated by  Professor Eleonore Kofman
UK Research Team: Alessio D’Angelo, Dr. Erica Howard, Dr. Mary Tilki,  Dr. Elena Vacchelli (Middlesex    University), Dr.    Margaret Greenfields (Buckinghamshire New University) and Professor Mark Johnson (De Montfort University, Leicester)

This project was commissioned by the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency in order to gain a better understanding of the particular vulnerabilities of persons at the intersection of ethnic origin, age and gender in access to health care.

Read more about the research project here. To download the research report, click here.


Knowledge Transfer Partnership Project – Middlesex University & Social Firms UK

Research Team led by Alessio D’Angelo

This project links the expertise within the Social Policy Research Centre at Middlesex University with Social Firms UK, the umbrella organisation representing, supporting and developing the social firms sector in the UK. It aims to investigate the UK Social Firm sector in order to equip Social Firms UK (SFUK) with the information and tools to better understand, support, strengthen and grow the sector. It will produce a comprehensive assessment framework to enable reliable mapping of the social firm sector, market testing toolkit for start up social firms and business development toolkit to help grow social firms.

Local Authorities and their involvement in Social and Community Enterprise

Research Team: Mel Evans, Alessio D’Angelo, Malcolm Read and Magdolna Lőrinc

This project investigates local authorities in England and Wales and their level of support for social and community enterprise. The findings of the research will enhance knowledge of local authority policies and initiatives on social and community enterprise and assist future strategy and policy making.
A similar study was conducted by us in 1992 and 2002 so the findings of this present survey will provide a unique insight into trends in social and community enterprise activity over the past 20 years.

Welfare needs of Turkish and Kurdish Communities

Research Team led by Alessio D’Angelo

This community-based research project explores the welfare and advice needs of Turkish and Kurdish communities in London – with a particular focus on the North London area. The project is a partnership between Middlesex University and Day-Mer Turkish and Kurdish Community Centre (in Hackney, London). For further information download the project leaflet.

The Impacts, Challenges and Sustainability Issues of Supplementary Education in London. An evaluation of Paiwand education services

Research Team: Prof Louise Ryan, Alessio D’Angelo, Magdolna Lőrinc

The research project aims to evaluate and compare the effectiveness of the education services offered by Afghan Association Paiwand: supplementary classes for Afghan children, on one hand; and weekend school for children referred by their mainstream schools – who are not necessarily Afghan – on the other. In addition, sustainability issues and funding potentials will be assessed too.

In order to achieve this, we will conduct a series of interviews and focus groups, as well as an analysis and mapping of demographic data.  The research findings will contribute to a better understanding of the key challenges and opportunities facing supplementary education.

This work has been funded through the Third Sector Research Centre.

To download the project report, click here.


Welfare Needs of Afghan Communities in Harrow

Research Team: Elena Vacchelli and Neil Kaye

Middlesex University and Paiwand, ARDO and Afghan Association London are working together on a community-based research project on the welfare and advice needs of Afghan communities in the London Borough of Harrow.

The project aims at investigating the impact of the current economic crisis and welfare restructuring on Afghan communities in the London borough of Harrow in order to identify advice and welfare needs and gaps in service provision. The need assessment  of the Afghan community in Harrow will inform local policy makers, service providers and the community sector on priorities and development needs.


Barnet Early Intervention and Prevention – Evaluation framework

Research Team: Prof Louise Ryan, Alessio D’Angelo and Neil Kaye

This project aims to develop an evaluation framework for the initiatives funded and delivered by the Early Intervention and Prevention team at Barnet Children’s Service. The framework will help Barnet to better measure outcomes against objectives – both in terms of delivery and impact – using a range of qualitative and quantitative methods.


BASIS Organisational Development Project – Evaluation

Research Team:  Alessio D’Angelo and Neil Kaye

Middlesex University’s SPRC is working with CommUNITY Barnet to carry out an external evaluation of their BASIS Organisational Development Project.  The aim is to explore the views of local community organisations on the quality and usefulness of the advice and support services provided by CommUNITY Barnet since 2009. The results will inform CommUNITY Barnet’s work over the next two years.


Mapping of needs and social action activities in the Diocese of Westminster

Research Team: Prof Louise Ryan, Alessio D’Angelo, Neil Kaye and Edina Kurdi