Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Education University of Groningen Summer Schools

Migration, Integration, and Social Networks


The nexus between international migration and social networks is crucial in understanding different phases of migration experience. It is well-established that personal links to previous migrants increase the propensity for others to migrate, whereas networks in the settlement phase have a variety of roles going beyond a mere information transmission. Social networks surrounding migrants and their significant others have important roles, for example, in supporting each other during finding accommodation, employment, and education places. Local and transnational networks also play a major role in migrants’ well-being through providing emotional support and an environment for belonging. Nonetheless, because every inclusion in one network entails an exclusion from another, they can be divisive and result in segregation in schools and neighbourhoods which poses a great risk for societies to be cohesive and sustainable. While the network approach in migration studies has always been on the agenda, application of network analysis in different phases to different ends has only recently been on the rise.

In this ‘Migration, Integration, and Social Networks’ Summer School we aim to bring together scholars and excellent Master and PhD students who work on similar topics from different theoretical perspectives and methodologies (qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods) in order to learn from each other and foster discussion about how to study network effects on international migration, migrants, and their local and transnational networks. These aims will be realized through lectures on cutting-edge research on migration and networks and discussion of on-going work by the students.

Accepted students will receive feedback on their work from key scholars in the field. Selected papers will be published in an edited volume such as a  journal special issue. Student papers/dissertation chapters are expected to be about, but not limited to the following topics:

  • What are the roles of social networks in different phases of international migration?
  • How do migrants organize social support within and across borders?
  • How do negative ties affect migrants’ integration?
  • How do social networks change over time and what are the main implications of such changes?        
  • How can we study tie formation and tie dissolution across borders?
  • What are the main contributions of using social network analytical tools in studying  migrant integration and transnationalism?
  • What are the fieldwork challenges in using social network analytical tools?
Practical information

Dates & location 20-24 June 2022, Groningen, the Netherlands
Level PhD students and advanced Master students


€ 500 (early birds, applications before 11 March)
€ 525 (applications after 11 March)

We offer three scholarships covering the summer school fee of € 500.
The scholarship will be given based on students' motivation letter, Curriculum Vitae/Résumé, and research idea.
Preference will be given to students from non-EU countries.
Academic coordinators

Dr. Basak Bilecen, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, University of Groningen
Dr. Verena Seibel, Assistant Professor, European Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic Relations (ERCOMER), Utrecht University




The summer school is targeted at PhD students and advanced master students with a profound academic interest in the thematic and methodological combination of integration research and social network research .

It is expected that the participants have a sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English.

Learning outcomes

Preparation (including writing the paper): 80 hours
Lectures: 10 hours
Discussion session, including presentation: 20 hours

Participants who attend all sessions and who present a research proposal or paper on Friday will receive a certificate of participation signed by the coordinators of the summer school. Upon request the certificate can mention the workload of 110 hours. Students can apply for recognition of these credits to the relevant authorities in their home institutions, therefore the final decision on awarding credits is at the discretion of their home institutions. We will be happy to provide any necessary information that might be requested in addition to the certificate of attendance.

miranda lubbers
Prof. Dr. Miranda Lubbers

Miranda Lubbers is Associate Professor at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), Spain, and the director of the Research Group of Fundamentally Oriented Anthropology (GRAFO, ), a consolidated group recognized by the Catalan Government (2017-SGR-1325). Her research addresses two main areas: migration and transnationalism, and poverty and livelihood strategies. In both areas, she analyzes the role that formal and informal social relationships and settings have in the production, mitigation or exacerbation of exclusion. For this aim, she applies personal network analysis that allows her to obtain a detailed, micro-level understanding of processes of integration, cohesion and exclusion. Her research has been published in indexed journals such as International Migration Review, Social Networks, Human Nature, the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, the Journal of Research on Adolescence, the Journal of School Psychology, and the European Journal of Social Psychology. She serves on the editorial board of Social Networks and Social Inclusion.

louise ryan
Prof. Dr. Louise Ryan

Louise Ryan is Professor of Sociology at the London Metropolitan University and co-director of the Migration Research Group. She researches migration through a qualitative lens including longitudinal methods and is a pioneer in the use of qualitative social network analysis. She has published extensively, over 20 years, on intra-EU mobility, gender, religion, ethnicity as well as social capital. She is currently researching ageing and migration. Her most recent publications include:

Raffaele Vacca
Dr. Raffaele Vacca

Raffaele Vacca is Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Department of Social and Political Sciences and in the BEHAVE research center at the University of Milan, Italy. Until recently he was Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Florida (UF) in the USA, where he also held affiliate appointments in the One Health Center, the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and the Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR). He is an affiliate scientist with UF BEBR and its Network Science Lab, which he co-directed before moving to Milan. Most of his work is concerned with social networks, migration, and health in Europe and the USA. He is also interested in the study of collaboration, communities and inequalities in science.

Tobias Stark
Dr. Tobias Stark

Tobias Stark is Associate Professor at the Department of Interdisciplinary Social Science at Utrecht University and a researcher at the European Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic Relations (ERCOMER). His research focuses on the intersection of racial/ethnic prejudice and intergroup relations in social networks. He studies how prejudices develop within social networks, how prejudices spread through existing social networks, and how prejudices might affect changes in the structure of social networks. Dr. Stark is involved in the development of intervention programs that use insights from his research to reduce prejudice and improve intergroup outcomes. He also developed new methods to collect social network data. Dr. Stark’s work has appeared in indexed journals such as Sociological Methods & Research, Social Networks, Social Psychology Quarterly, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and Sociology of Education.

Application procedure

To apply, kindly fill out the online application form. Please include the following documents with your application:

  • CV (max 2 pages)
  • Letter of motivation, explaining what you hope to learn during the summer school and why this will be important for your academic ambitions (max 1 page)
  • Abstract (max. 300 words)

The early bird deadline is 11 March 2022, the final deadline is 6 May 2022. Applicants will be notified of their selection shortly after the deadlines. NB limited spots available.

Last modified:19 April 2022 12.27 p.m.