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Call for statements of interest: MARS staff exchange programme "Non-Western Migration Regimes in a Global Perspective"

Are you working at Leiden University and researching migration regimes outside of the Global North? Are you interested in doing fieldwork or a research visit at one of our partner universities? Then you might want to join the Leiden team of the EU funded Marie Curie Staff Exchange Network on non western migration regimes.


According to the latest World Migration Report, 12 of the 20 top destinations for international migrants were countries not belonging to what are considered traditional (Western) migrant-receiving countries in North America, Western Europe, and Australia. Yet, despite these ever-growing migratory processes in non-Western migration locales, the mainstream literature remains largely focused on the study of migrants’ experiences and immigration policies in the context of traditional Western liberal democracies. As a result, major non-Western migration destinations elsewhere in the world remain underrepresented by existing theories and comparative research within migration studies.

The overarching objective of the MARS is to increase our scientific understanding about global, regional and national governance of migration and mobilities by conducting research on non-Western migration regimes and to facilitate staff exchanges between research institutions across the Global South and Global North. Some of the research topics that MARS members work on include:

  • how non-Western migration regimes respond to and tackle global processes associated with the management of migration;
  • the everyday life of migrants and refugees in non-Western migration contexts;
  • the similarities and differences between Western and non-Western migration regimes with regard to labor migration and refugee protection/asylum system


MARS is led by Dr. Rustamjon Urinboyev at the University of Lund (Sweden); at Leiden University, Dr. Crystal Ennis from the Institute of Area Studies and Dr. Katharina Natter from the Institute of Political Science are leading the project.

MARS runs from February 2024 to January 2028 and allows members of the network to spend time at one of the partner universities outside of Europe. MARS has partner universities in Turkey (Marmara University), Japan (University of Tsakuba), Kazakhstan (Nazarbayev University), Indonesia (Gadjah Mada University), Ghana (University of Ghana), Argentina (Universidad Torcuato Di Tella), Qatar (Hamad Bin Khalifa University) and Egypt (American University Cairo).

We are looking for colleagues at Leiden who work on topics related to MARS and would be interested in spending between 2 and 4 months at one of our partner universities between mid-2024 and mid-2026. The research stay is supported by a lump sum of 2300 Euros per month. In addition, there will be opportunities to join workshops of the MARS network to present research insights or receive methodological or substantive training.

In return, those participating in the staff exchange commit to:

  • deliver a seminar/presentation of their research in the host organisations;
  • write a blog post about his/her research experience;
  • publish some of their research findings as part of academic articles, edited volumes or policy papers that mention MARS funding.

Attention: Only colleagues considered staff (including PhD students) can be considered for exchanges.


If you are currently working at Leiden University and want to do a research stay at one of MARS’ partner universities between mid-2024 and mid-2026, then please send your statement of interest to k.natter@fsw.leidenuniv.nl and c.a.ennis@hum.leidenuniv.nl by 31 May, outlining in max. 2 pages:

  • what you are currently researching and how this fits with MARS’ focus
  • where and when you would like to go on a research visit/fieldwork
  • what you hope to gain from joining the MARS network and doing a research visit
  • what you plan to substantively contribute to the MARS network
  • why you cannot fund your research stay abroad through other means

Please also mention your current position and employment status at Leiden University in your letter, and confirm that your contract will still be active at the time of the suggested research stay


We will review all interest statements by end of June and select those scholars whose research is the closest aligned with MARS’ focus and who can benefit the most from the opportunities offered within the MARS network.

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