Migration and Brain Circulation


  • This interdisciplinary Migration and Brain Circulation Programme focuses on the relationship dynamics between receiving countries (immigration) and sending countries (emigration). While most research in other institutes is directed towards the determinants of emigration and the problems of integration of immigrants in receiving countries, this programme emphasizes that effects go both ways, not only in financial streams (remittances) but also by transferring and transforming citizens across borders. Furthermore, modern communication and travel technology play a pivotal role in connecting migrants and indigenous populations on both sides of the migration flow— both directly and via the media. These information, financial and human flows have a decisive impact on labour market behaviour, cultural exchange, integration behaviour, and potential further migration behaviour (circular migration). In addition, they are closely related to acquiring knowledge, or brain circulation.


    No twinning involvement is currently envisaged for this new research programme.

    Focal Point

    The focal point of the Migration and Brain Circulation Programme is Dr. Melissa Siegel.


    The purpose of the programme is to provide a better empirical understanding of migration flows and their effects on integration and development.


    Research involves a lot of fieldwork in a number of selected, high emigrant countries (Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Burundi, Morocco, Moldova).


    Gender issues are a central component of the research.

    Target Audience

    Both national and international policymakers and academics are the target of this programme.

    Intended Impact

    Impact: Contribution to the work of a specific UN agency
    Target: Assessing the impact of migration flows (IMO)
    How: Reports, projects, conferences

    Impact: Rethink/revisit existing theories/policies
    Target: Views on the impact of migration on integration and development
    How: Reports and publications

    Impact: Furthering knowledge in an academic field
    Target: Academic researchers
    How: Publications and conferences

    Research Findings

    See the list of research projects carried out so far within the framework of the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance of Maastricht University (MGSoG).

    Value Added

    Migration is one of the central policy issues confronting today and in the future both developed and developing countries. The programme fills in a major gap in UNU-MERIT’s overall research coverage


    The outputs of the programme are disseminated through publications and conferences.

    Timeline/Programme Cycle

    Will be expanding over 2012-2013.


    Regular evaluation will be carried out.


    Raising sufficient external contract funding and building up a strong research team.

    Expected Duration

    The programme is expected to run for a duration of 48 months, from 1 January 2012 through 31 December 2015.

  • United Nations University
    Maastricht Economic and Social Research and Training Centre on Innovation and Technology
    Keizer Karelplein 19, 6211 TC Maastricht
    The Netherlands

    T: +31 43 388-4400
    F: + 31 43 388-4499