Forced Migration and Refugee Studies
Networking and Knowledge Transfer


Implementing Institutions: Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies (BICC), Centre for Human Rights Erlangen-Nürnberg (CHREN, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg), German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS) and Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies (IMIS, Universität Osnabrück)

Sponsorship: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)

Project Management Agency: DLR - Project Management Agency

Timeframe: Januar 2020 until Dezember 2024

Project Management: Prof. Dr. Andreas Pott (IMIS), Apl. Prof. Dr. Jochen Oltmer (IMIS), Prof. Dr. Ulrike Krause (IMIS), Prof. Dr. Conrad Schetter (BICC), Prof. Dr. Petra Bendel (CHREN), Dr. Rose Jaji (IDOS)

Project Coordination: Maarit Thiem (BICC) and Dr. Franck Düvell (IMIS)

Project Team Members: Rolf Alberth (BICC), Dr. Benjamin Etzold (BICC), Ann-Christin Komes (BICC), Lars Wirkus (BICC), Johanna C. Günther (CHREN), Merlin Flaig (IDOS), Carolin Becher (IDOS), Dr. Marcel Berlinghoff (IMIS), Lillian Emeljanenko (IMIS), Arjeta Gringmuth (IMIS)

Student Assistants: Julia Reichert (BICC), Madita Vennemann (BICC), Melina Müller (CHREN), John Spasiano (CHREN), Antonia Horlacher (IMIS))

About the project: Forced Migration and Refugee Studies: Networking and Knowledge Transfer (FFVT)

Forced migration and refugee studies deal with the background, conditions, forms, infrastructures and consequences as well as the legal dimensions, protection regimes, gaps in protection and political control options of spatial movements induced by violence, conflicts, social conditions and environmental disasters.

While forced migration studies have been pursued internationally since the 1980s at the very latest, academia in Germany only began to focus more on global contexts of forced migration as a consequence of the significant increase in the number of refugees in 2014/15.

Increasingly, already established fields of research in Germany (such as migration studies, peace and conflict research) developed approaches to a new line of studies on refugees and forced migration that resulted in remarkable findings within just a few years.

However, this field of research is characterised by little exchange and a largely missing institutional foundation (institute, professorships, degree programmes, etc.). This is why refugee and forced migration studies in Germany have not yet been able to fully develop their potential as a field of research.

The overall aim of the cooperation project is to link the academic activities in this research field and thus to establish excellent interdisciplinary research on refugees and forced migration with international appeal in Germany.

The four institutes that work together in this FFVT-project aim to interlink more closely existing research activities in Germany by cooperating with other German research facilities.

The objectives of these networking activities are to

  1. initiate new collaborative research,

  2. establish attractive courses of study,

  3. achieve international visibility and

  4. promote the dialogue between academia, practitioners, the media and politics.

Project modules

The cooperation project is based on five, closely linked, modules:

Module 1 – Networking within the research fields

To establish an interdisciplinary network of refugee and forced migration research in Germany, taking into account all relevant research fields and actors as well as the promotion of excellent research and innovative reflective thinking is the main task.

Module 2 – Teaching and promotion of young researchers

Since refugee and forced migration studies can not yet be taken on as a field of study at German universities, it is necessary to develop the foundations for (translocal) Master’s programmes in refugee and forced migration studies. Furthermore, it is planned to enhance cooperation between different graduate programmes and to establish a research training group. The aim is to create structures that facilitate the education of students and doctoral candidates in coordinated programmes at different locations and that foster the international exchange among junior academics.

Module 3 – Internationalisation

Research conducted in Germany is not adequately linked to international refugee and forced migration studies. The project FFVT will facilitate sustainable networking and increase the visibility of German research in the international academic landscape. To this end, it will initiate cooperation with international researchers, thus establishing sustainable partnerships with strategically relevant institutions in the medium term.

Module 4 – Information infrastructure

An integral element of networking is the establishment of an online portal through which information on researchers, research projects and research outcomes, on transfer activities as well as on methodological and theoretical perspectives can be shared. A database that collects information on projects and researchers also offers the opportunity to analyse specific developments in the research field.

Module 5 – Knowledge transfer and dialogue

Research in refugee and forced migration studies is concerned with matters of outstanding foreign-, domestic and social-political relevance. This is why the dialogue with and the knowledge transfer into politics, practice and the public are of pivotal importance. The project will, among other things, identify the need for dialogue and transfer as well as prepare research findings for policymakers, experts, the media and the public and pass them on to the respective target group.

Information about the previous project

Please also visit the pages of the forerunner project "Flucht: Forschung und Transfer". In addition to a review of the current state of forced migration refugee and refugee studies in Germany, you will find further interesting State-of-Research Papers (SoR) and Policy Briefs (PB) on specific sub-themes of refugee and forced migration research. (Website and publications in German only).

Project coordination


Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies

Pfarrer-Byns-Straße 1
53121 Bonn
Tel. +49 228 911 96 0


Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies — Universität Osnabrück

Neuer Graben 19/21, Gebäude 03
49074 Osnabrück
Tel. +49 541 969 4384
Fax +49 541 969 4380



Advisory board

  • Dr. Steffen Angenendt

  • Dr. Roland Bank

  • Dr. Thomas Held

  • Dr. Christiane Fröhlich

  • Andrea Kothen

  • Dr. Katerina Kratzmann

  • Dr. Axel Kreienbrink

  • Prof. Dr. Ludger Pries

  • Prof. Sieglinde Rosenberger

  • Stefanie Scharf

  • Prof. Dr. Louis Henri Seukwa

  • Prof. Dr. Dagmar Soennecken

  • Prof. Dr. Annette Treibel