The Centre of Migration Research (CMR) is an interdisciplinary inter-faculty research unit of the University of Warsaw, specialising in studies on migration processes in Poland and in Europe.
60 researchers are currently affiliated with the CMR; among them 10 Professors, 32 researchers holding a PhD degree and 18 persons with a MA degree. Within the group, researchers with sociological and economic backgrounds predominate but such fields as demography, political science, administrative law, social anthropology and cross-cultural psychology are also represented.
Activities of CMR
The CMR is active on several different levels.
Academic and research activities
Academic and research activities were the main goal of the CMR since the origins. The Centre has been involved in a number of migration projects (varying in scale), funded by national and international sources. To date, the largest and most significant scientifically projects conducted by the CMR include: IDEA – Mediterranean and Eastern European Countries as new immigration destinations in the European Union (consortium of eleven institutions from nine countries, co-funded by 6 Framework Program), Mobility and Migrations at the Time of Transformation – Methodological Challenges (MWM, co-funded by EEA Financial Mechanism), Migration Policy and Labour Market Change (MPLM Project, co-funded by the European Social Fund). Throughout the years, around 50 research projects have been finalised, of a total budget of approximately 1.25 million euro (excluding individual and advisor grants).
The CMR has regularly organized national and international seminars and conferences on migration issues concerning Central and Eastern Europe, promoting project results and integrating the community of migration researchers.
Various international collaborative initiatives remain and important part of CMR activity. Since 1991, the CMR has participated in the SOPEMI Project, monitoring the migration trends in Poland and other countries of OECD. As of 2007, the CMR is a member of IMISCOE Research Network (till 2009 known as IMISCOE Network of Excellence), which associates some 39 leading European institutions in migration research.
The CMR also aims at supporting various public institutions. On the request of the Polish Government, during the years 1994-1997 the CMR pursued the task of devising a system of immigration statistics that would reflect the new migratory trends in Poland. Since that time, the Centre has maintained several migration-related data bases, which are regularly extended and updated. CMR has also systematically rendered expertise concerning migration policy, migration effects of the EU enlargement and other migration-related issues.
Academic and research activities of the CMR are conducted within three research units:
Socio-Economic Research Unit,
Socio-Cultural Research Unit,
Migration Policies Research Unit.
The major research fields covered by CMR studies include:
- Theories and methods in migration studies,
- Determinants of migration decisions on different analytical levels,
- Causes and consequences of emigration from Poland,
- Inflow and operation of foreigners on the Polish labour market,
- Formation, development and integration of immigrant groups in Poland,
- Migration policy in Poland and the UE,
- Borders and irregular migration,
- Social mobility of migrants.
The research program implemented by the CMR assumes a multi-method and multidisciplinary approach. Since the very beginning of the functioning of the CMR , the overriding principles are an interdisciplinary approach and high quality of the research process. One of the major aims of the CMR is participation in long-term projects which base on various promising and sophisticated methodologies. One of the research methods which have been used in the CMR and substantially developed is the ethnosurvey (and its variants). The medium-term research goal of the Centre is a complex analysis of migration trends after the 2004 enlargement of the European Union.
Since 2003, the CMR has regularly offered a postgraduate programme in ‘International Migrations’ at the University of Warsaw. Untill now, there were four editions of these Postgraduate Studies, and nearly a hundred persons participated. Postgraduate Studies are addressed to persons representing public administration, public services (the Border Guard, Customs Service, Police), regional and local administration, labour market institutions and NGOs.
The research results of the CMR team are published regularly (in Polish and English) in the CMR Working Papers series. This collection of more than a hundred volumes has already become a popular source of information about migration trends in Central and Eastern Europe for students, researchers and policy makers in Poland and all over the world. In June 2005 the CMR began publishing its bimonthly Migration Bulletin (Biuletyn Migracyjny). In 2007 a book series Migration Studies (Studia Migracyjne) published by University of Warsaw Press was initiated. In 2018, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Center’s founding, a new CMR Spotlight series of publications was launched.
The CMR was established in 1993 as an interdisciplinary research team whose objective was to undertake in-depth, wide-scale and comprehensive studies on migration in present-day Poland. Initially, CMR formed part of the inter-faculty Institute for Social Studies of University of Warsaw. In 2005 it was incorporated into the Faculty of Economic Sciences. Since 2008 it has a status of an inter-faculty unit, co-operating strictly with the Faculty of Journalism and Political Sciences and the Faculty of Economic Sciences. It evolved into a major migration research unit in Poland, the only one specialising exclusively in this field. In 2013 the CMR celebrated the 20th anniversary of functioning.
Quality and Reputation of CMR
The high number of grants for research projects awarded to the CMR is a good indicator of the Centre’s quality and reputation. Since 1994, the CMR has obtained 20 grants from the State Committee for Scientific Research or the Ministry of Science, each of them for projects on international migration scheduled for at least a year. The CMR is also regularly invited to international projects on various aspects of international migration.
Individual assets of the Centre’s researchers contribute to the quality and reputation of the CMR. Most of the CMR staff has undergone training in foreign academic institutions and publishes in foreign languages. Two CMR researchers and one PhD candidate were granted Fulbright scholarships. Five others received prestigious awards of the Foundation for Polish Science for young scientists. Researchers of the Centre are regularly invited to give lectures at leading institutions and keynote addresses at international conferences.
The international reputation of the CMR is also visible in memberships in various editorial boards and academic committees of research centres. Researchers from the Centre are referees for journals like International Migration Review, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, International Migration, Europe-Asia Studies, European Journal of Population, Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies and others.
Among the CMR members there are well known migration researchers, such as (in alphabetical order):
- Prof. Wojciech Łukowski
- Prof. Marek Okólski
- Prof. Dariusz Stola
- Prof. Cezary Żołędowski