Trinity College Dublin

Skip to main content.

Top Level TCD Links


The Trinity Migration and Employment Research Centre (TMERC) is a group of researchers at Trinity College Dublin with research interests in migration and employment policies, trends, experiences and outcomes in Ireland and Europe. Formerly known as Employment Research Centre (ERC), we have a long history of nationally and European funded research on employment in Ireland and beyond. More recently, our increased focus on mobility and migration has led to the renaming of the centre to recognise the importance of these issues in our research and Irish society more generally.

Within Trinity College, we are located within the School of Social Sciences and Philosophy and associated with the Department of Sociology. The TMERC carries out funded research projects and actively promotes discussion between Irish and international academics, policy makers and other relevant social actors via our newsletters and project reports

On this site you will find information on members of this research group, current and past projects and publications, and upcoming events. If you are interested in collaborating with us or would like to be added to our mailing list to receive updates on our work please contact the current TMERC director Dr Camilla Devitt.

'HEALTHDOX: The paradox about health care futures' (2015-2016)

HEALTHDOX aims to explore future trajectories of European health politics and policies through an investigation of the impact of recent health reforms on health inequalities, health expenditures, and public attitudes towards both the health system and the welfare state. At its broadest level, the project poses the question of whether there is a paradox of health state futures. Europeanization and globalization processes may be putting National Health Service types of health systems under increasing pres-sure to converge to the Continental health insurance model. But, paradoxically, National Health Services may be the type of health system best suited both to cope with the rising health costs associated with population aging, and to regenerate public support for the welfare state amongst increasingly diverse populations.

This project will investigate health policy developments from 1990 to the present in Estonia, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden. The impact of these policy changes will be analysed using quantitative data found in both national and international sources. Our team is comprised of qualitative and quantitative researchers from the fields of Political Science and Sociology, whose combined expertise in-cludes health politics, health policy, demography, migration, compara-tive and European politics, and the politics and sociology of the welfare state. The comparative and transnational design of the project will allow us to provide insights into health inequalities, the meaning of the welfare state for individuals, and the future politics of the welfare state, as well as to provide health policy-makers with important feedback on their policies.


  • Camilla Devitt (Principle Investigator)
  • Simone Schneider

‘Assessing and Enhancing Integration in Workplaces (WORK-INT)’ (2014-2015)

A European Commission DG Home Affairs funded research project, which analyses and assesses the workplace integration of non-European citizens in the health sector in a selection of European cities, including Dublin. The WORK>INT project aims to contribute to the development of a shared, proactive, growth- and integration-oriented culture of diversity management in some of the most migrant-intensive European cities. The TCD team is led by Dr. Camilla Devitt. The coordinator is FIERI, Turin and other partners are COMPAS Oxford University, Universitat Complutense de Madrid, and the HWWI, Hamburg.


  • Camilla Devitt (Principal Investigator)
  • Alicja Bobek

‘New Irish Families: Investigating the development of immigrant parents and their children in Ireland’ (2013-2015)

This project, funded by the Irish Research Council, will describe and analyse the diverse profile of 'new Irish families', with particular focus on the Irish-born children of non-Irish or mixed parents. It analyses data from the Growing Up in Ireland childhood cohort study as well as collecting qualitative data from interviews with migrant families. It seeks to explore the challenges faced by these families, and contribute to more effective policy making for an emerging and growing second generation in Ireland, focusing on social integration, childcare arrangements and return to work, as well as poverty and social welfare usage.


  • Antje Roeder (Principal Investigator)
  • Carmen-Adriana Frese
  • Mark Ward

Migrants' Social Capital and Integration: The role of institutions and boundaries (2014-2015)

The project, funded by the Arts and Social Benefaction Fund, will analyse the role of social networks in the economic and social integration of immigrants in European countries and how this is shaped by social institutions and boundaries between mainstream societies and immigrant communities, using data from the ‘Early socio-cultural integration processes of recent immigrants in Europe (SCIP)’-project and the ‘Polonia in Ireland’-project. The project involves collaboration with partners at the University of Konstanz and the University of Bamberg.


  • Peter Mühlau

‘Labour Migration Governance (LAB-MIG-GOV)’ (2011-2014)

LAB-MIG-GOV is a three year project coordinated by FIERI, Turin, which aims to produce a detailed analysis of the structure and functioning of European governance in the field of labour migration and to suggest strategies and solutions that the different actors involved could enact in order to strengthen the effectiveness of migration policies with respect to goals of economic dynamism and social cohesion. Camilla Devitt is responsible for the UK and French case studies. It is implemented with the support of the “Europe and Global Challenges” Programme promoted by Compagnia di San Paolo, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and VolkswagenStiftung.



  • Camilla Devitt

Integrating New Immigrants in Europe (INI-EU) (2014)

The project, funded by the Irish Research Council, aims to analyse processes of socio-cultural integration and its interplay with economic integration of recent immigrants in several European countries. The project will be mainly exploit data from the ‘Early socio-cultural integration processes of recent immigrants in Europe (SCIP)’-project. The project involves collaboration with partners at the University of Konstanz and the University of Bamberg.


  • Peter Mühlau

Urban Mobility in the Crisis

After their house, for most people their largest investment is their car.  And cars, like houses, are usually bought on credit.   In a suburbanised city like Dublin which has very weak public transport, for many people cars are a necessity – car-dependency is built into the city. As finance for private transport becomes more difficult and even weak public transport is cut back, our current research project explores the impact of the crisis on people’s mobility.  Central to the project is a comparative study of two suburban areas: one relatively long established with high levels of social exclusion, the other a new suburban area with property largely purchased on mortgages during the last years of the boom.   In the latter area, is the financial crisis also a crisis of mobility? This project received seed funding from Arts Humanities & Social Sciences Benefaction Fund.


  • James Wickham (Principal Investigator)
  • Siobhan Fitzgerald

New Forms of Mobility and the Portability of Social Protections in Europe (2014-2015)

The aim of this project is to examine the portability of welfare benefits by European nationals from one EU country to another.  Supported by seed-funding of €3,000 from the TCD Arts and Benefactions Fund, this research entails a European wide analysis of the regulations governing the portability of social protections (unemployment, illness, carers, child benefit). In particular, it examines the tensions between EU directives guaranteeing equal protections between member state nationals and national welfare implementation systems which have engaged in selective ‘restriction’ policies in response to EU accessions during the 2000s. 


  • Elaine Moriarty

Irreconcilable values? Cultural integration of immigrants in four Western European Countries (2012-2014)

During the last decade, the focus of public discourse in Europe has shifted from concerns about the successful economic integration of immigrants to the perceived lack of social and cultural integration of some migrant groups. The failure of multiculturalism has been proclaimed by leading public figures, and in several European countries right wing parties promote the idea that there are irreconcileable cultural differences between the citizens of Western democracies and immigrants. Previous studies show that it is particularly around the role of women and sexuality where ‘ways of life collide’ (Sniderman and Hagendoorn 2007). This raises important questions about the attitudes migrants hold, whether this changes with longer residence, and what factors can explain any change or lack thereof. Using data from a recent longitudinal survey of new migrants from several European and non-European countries to the Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland and the UK (SCIP), this projects – funded by the Arts and Social Science Benefaction Fund - aims to address these questions.


  • Antje Roeder

Curriculum Alignment between IB and National Systems (CAP), 2012-2014

This project analyses the extent to which the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB DP) school curriculum aligns with national standards in Germany and Switzerland in regard to content, cognitive demand, and philosophical underpinnings. It also explores the ways in which the intended non‐scholastic attributes of international mindedness, civic‐mindedness, citizenship, engagement, and motivation compare among IB DP, German and Swiss curriculum documents. The study compares and contrasts mathematics, a modern foreign language (Spanish), geography, history as well as biology in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Berlin (Germany) as well as Zurich and Geneva (Switzerland). It focuses on curricula in the 16 to 19 age range which are important for transition into university. The analysis considers regional and national political contexts, different socio-ethnic compositions of IB and mainstream schools in the two countries and likely impacts on curriculum design and development. It looks at expectations of student thinking including categories such as problem-solving and memorizing formula in mathematics or synthesising and understanding topics in social science subjects. It examines cultural, linguistic and religious heritage, interaction and student involvement, the impact on student and learner identities.


  • Daniel Faas (Principal Investigator)
  • Irene Friesenhahn (Global Young Academy)

Religion and Education in Multicultural Ireland (REMI), 2014-2015

Growing secularisation of the population and the arrival of new culturally and religiously diverse migrants are posing new challenges to Irish schools, particularly in the primary sector that has remained largely denominational. Over the last decades other school types have started to emerge as a response to parental demand. Despite these trends, little is known about the growing religious diversity in Ireland and how schools are prepared to cater for growing diversity among the student body. REMI addresses this research gap. It is an exploratory study that draws on interviews with principals, teachers, parents and pupils across different types of primary schools: Catholic, Educate Together, Church of Ireland, Community National, Muslim and Jewish school to investigate how the provision of religious education differs by school type. It is the first study that includes the new Community National and a Jewish school. Highlighting the voices of children as an information source separate from and in addition to other stakeholders is particularly important for the study. The REMI project builds on insights from an ESRI study on Religious Education in Multicultural Countries (REMC). The project will make a significant contribution to current policy debates in Ireland, particularly in relation to debates surrounding the patronage of schools in the primary school sector.


  • Daniel Faas

Managing Migration at Local level (MAMILO), 2014

This pilot study, funded by Enterprise Ireland, informs an ERC Consolidator Grant bid. The pilot focuses on the Irish case to negotiate access to companies with a lower-skilled workforce and secondary schools in the same working-class neighbourhood as the companies. The larger study, MAMILO, will investigate how the concept of locality impacts on the ethos, practices and outcomes of diversity management in schools and companies. The project examines the links between multicultural and monocultural policies and diversity management practices in two old (London, Berlin) and two new (Dublin, Athens) migration destinations; and it explores the links between ethnicity and social status of migrant groups. As such, the project will capture the concept of locality as it is shaped by institutional, geographical and cultural factors, and compares, for the first time, education and workplace contexts to explore the extent to which ‘locality’ matters in these two strongly resonant social contexts. MAMILO combines a comparative case-study approach with a longitudinal component involving semi-structured interviews with top-level managers, middle management, migrant employees and students, policy document analysis, and non-participant observations. By focusing on institutional contexts, this project will advance the understanding of human interaction at a local level, making a major contribution to understanding how institutions manage diversity.


  • Daniel Faas (Principal Investigator)
  • Kasia Wodniak

Last updated 4 December 2015