Transmission and support are key foci of the Global Migration Centre as it accompanies students on their journey into Migration research.

The Centre attributes two awards to promote innovative and high-quality research on migration.   It has also put together the Migrants' Rights Law Clinic, relying on a pool of selected and highly committed post-graduate students from the Institute.  The GMC Furthemore hosts a PHD  Doctoral Affiliate programme and offers Internships. 

Also, find out more about the student-led initiative which aims to promote awareness of the contemporary migration crisis, with the Migration Initiative.


Global Migration Award

The Global Migration Award has been created by the GMC to promote innovative and high quality research on global migration. The prize rewards a Master student of the Graduate Institute for her/his outsanding thesis in the field of global migration (including mobility, forced or voluntary migration, transnational or internal displacement, citizenship, diaspora and the many other issues linked to the movement of persons). It is delivered each year on a competitive basis following a peer review process, and is open to any Master students of the Graduate Institute regardless of their specialization.


The next call for applicants has been postponed to early 2022.

The Award consists of

  • The opportunity to publish the Master thesis within the Global Migration Research Paper Series and;
  • A prize of 1'000 CHF.

How to apply

  • Applicants must be enrolled in one of the Master Programmes of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.
  • The perspective can be interdisciplinary or disciplinary alongside the main fields of the Graduate Institute, i.e., international relations, political science, international law, international history, international economics, development studies, anthropology and sociology of development.
  • Theses are accepted in either French or English.
  • Applicants should send their thesis, CV, grade transcripts and the thesis reports in a single PDF file to the following email address: Applicants should name their file in the following way: SURNAME_FIRSTNAME_Award20XX.pdf

Previous laureates

  • Silvan Oberholzer (2020)
  • Yaël Parrotta (2020)
  • Juan Pablo Cadena Gómez (2019)
  • Julie Melichar (2017)
  • Cecilia Truffer (2017)
  • Keri Leigh Baughman (2016)
  • Noah Oehri (2016)
  • Eva Ostendarp (2015)
  • Raphael Dallaire Ferland (2014)
  • Nora Bardelli (2014)
  • Yuki Kobayashi (2013)
  • Siow Boon Chia (2013)

International Refugee Law Student Writing Competition


The American Society of International Law's International Refugee Law Interest Group (IRLIG) announces its sixth annual International Refugee Law Student Writing Competition, co-sponsored by:

Eligibility and Requirements

1. Papers may address any topic related to international law and refugees, stateless persons, internally-displaced persons (IDPs), and forced migrants.
2. Student authors must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at an accredited university at the time of submission.
3. Papers must be written solely by the candidate, in English, and may not have been submitted for publication elsewhere.
4. Citations should be in footnotes, rather than endnotes. If the paper is selected for publication in the International Journal of Refugee Law, it must comply with the Journal's style sheet and the OSCOLA footnote style. For that reason, students may choose to adopt this style in their manuscripts.
5. Submissions may range from 7,000 to 12,000 words, including footnotes.
6. Each candidate is limited to a single submission.

Deadline and Method of Submission

1. The deadline for submissions is 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time, XX January 2022
2. Articles should be submitted to as Microsoft Word attachments. Questions should be directed to the same address.
3. By submitting papers, candidates represent that they fulfill the eligibility requirements of the Competition. The organizers may request formal proof of eligibility.
4. No later than 72 hours after the submission deadline, candidates will receive an e-mail confirming that their submissions have been received.

Competition Procedures and Selection Criteria

1. The author's name and affiliation, the paper title, and word count should be written on a separate first page. Nothing identifying the author should be included in the paper itself.
2. The administrator will detach the first page, and each submitter will be assigned a number. Reviewers will refer only to those numbers in their communications.
3. The Competition will be judged by reviewers named by IRLIG, in consultation with ILSA and the other co-sponsors. In assessing papers, reviewers will take into account:
a. knowledge of facts and law;
b. proper and articulate analysis;
c. extent of research, innovation, and scholarly creativity;
d. clarity and organization;
e. style, grammar, and proper citation of sources.
4. A message announcing the name of the winner of the Student Writing Competition will be sent to all members of the International Refugee Law Interest Group following the final selection, as well as to the co-sponsors and to the IRLIG forum on

The winner's name will also appear in the program of the ASIL Annual Meeting. An e-mail with the final outcome will also be sent to all who submitted papers.

Award and Announcement

1. The winner of the sixth annual International Refugee Law Student Writing Competition will receive from IRLIG a $100 cash award, as well as complimentary admission to the 114th ASIL Annual Meeting, to be held in Washington, DC, from 1-4 April 2020; a complimentary one-year student membership provided by ASIL; and £300 worth of books from Oxford University Press. The winning paper will also be promptly reviewed by the editorial team of the International Journal of Refugee Law, who will advise and work with the winner with a view to bringing the paper forward to publication.
2. The award will be formally presented at the 114th ASIL Annual Meeting.
3. To enable the winner to attend the Annual Meeting, the Global Migration Centre at ASIL Academic Partner Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies Geneva will contribute up to Sfr 1,500 toward travel expenses.

Doctoral Affiliate

Doctoral affiliation to GMC aims to strengthen the links between the Graduate Institute's PhD students interested in global migration and the Centre's activities.  If you are a PhD student of the Graduate Institute willing to be a GMC doctoral affiliate, please send a CV and a short biography (max. 150 words) mentioning your research topic and a photo to:

  • Christina Atekmangoh (Anthropology and Sociology)
    Dissertation: 'Les Mbengis', Gender, Migration, and Family: The moral economy of Cameroonian migrants’ remittances
  • Tessema Belay (International Law)
    Dissertation: The Right to Family and Private Life as a Limitation to Expulsion of Non-nationals under International Law
  • Anca Doina Cretu (International History)
    Dissertation: "For the Sake of an Ideal:" The Construction of Greater Romania and America's Assistance Practices (1917-1938)
  • Mehrdad Fallahi (International Law)
    Dissertation: International Law of Consular Protection upon Deprivation of Liberty
  • Hirotaka Fujibayashi (Department of International Relations and Political Science)
  • Alexandra Masako Goossens (International Law)
    Dissertation: The International Protection of People Displaced by Natural Disasters
  • Elif Naz Kayran (International Relations/Political Science)
    Dissertation: Can welfare state reform be the cause for hostility towards immigration?
  • Aditya Kiran Kakati (International History)
    Dissertation: Periphery to Paradise: a contemporary history of transformations, temporalities and narratives of Northeast India
  • Vsevolod Kritskiy (International History)
    Dissertation: The delimitation of Central Asia in the 1920s-30s
  • Taehoon Lee (International Economics)
    Dissertation: Three essays in Economics of Migration
  • Ginevra Le Moli (International Law)
    Dissertation: Human Dignity in International Law
  • Sonja Moghaddari (Anthropology and Sociology)
    Dissertation: Juggling resources: Social differentiation and the creation of capital among Iranians in Hamburg
  • Céline Moreau (International Law)
    Dissertation: The Notion of Membership in a Particular Social Group in Asylum Law
  • Daniel Norfolk (International Relations/Political Science)
    Dissertation: No Good Deed Goes Undisputed: Immovable Property, Mobilized Networks, and Changing Borders in Contemporary Conflict
  • Carse Ramos (Anthropology and Sociology)
    Dissertation: The politics of memory and forgetting in post-genocide Ruanda
  • Michael Noel Sam (International Law)
    Dissertation: Migrants’ Social Security Coordination Mechanisms in International Law: A Comparison of Regional Blocks
  • Jesse Sargent (International History)
    Dissertation: Accommodating Civilizations: Reforming the Jesuit Missions in Asia, 1580-1620
  • Caio Simoes de Araujo (International History)
    Dissertation: Entangled Bodies: Decolonization and Entangled Histories of Race, ca. 1955-1965
  • Claudio Todisco (Anthropology and Sociology)
    Dissertation: Conflict, humanitarianism and migration among the Murle people of South Sudan


Migrants' Rights Law Clinic


With a growing need for an evidence-based approach to migration and human rights, the Migrants' Rights Law Clinic (MRLC) stands as a unique initiative in the heart of International Geneva to foster neutral, practical and solution-oriented expertise and dialogue. Its aim is to provide objective insights on the multifaceted issues relating to the human rights of migrants.

While migration has never been higher on the international agenda, misperceptions surrounding the protection of migrants remain. Yet the duty to protect migrants’ rights has been firmly reaffirmed by UN Member States in the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants of September 2016.

With such a need for an evidence-based approach to migration and human rights, the Migrants’ Rights Law Clinic (MRLC) stands as a unique initiative in the heart of International Geneva to foster neutral, practical and solution-oriented expertise and dialogue. The MRLC acts as an independent pool of expertise at the disposal of governments, as well as international and non-governmental organizations. Its aim is to provide objective and pro bono expertise on the multifaceted issues relating to the human rights of migrants. The services offered by the MRLC are tailored to stakeholders’ needs and can take a variety of forms, such as research briefs, preparatory research, fact-finding reports or expert opinions.

Supervised by Dr Vincent Chetail, Professor of International Law and Director of the Global Migration Centre (GMC), the MRLC capitalizes on the leading expertise of the GMC in the field of migration and human rights. It actively involves students from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, offering them a unique practical experience during their studies. Striving for the highest quality and degree of professionalism, students are selected on the basis of their strong motivation, commitment and skills, while working under the close supervision of the GMC Director and in collaboration with GMC researchers.  


The MRLC welcomes requests for pro bono expertise from any international organizations, non-governmental organizations or governments, in the form, for instance, of research briefs, preparatory research, fact-finding reports or expert opinions.

Please send us an email briefly stating your needs, the specific issue(s) to be dealt with and the timeline to


The MRLC relies on a pool of selected and highly committed  students from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.

Interested candidates should email in a single pdf file their CV, cover letter and grades transcripts (undergraduate and postgraduate) to (please indicate ‘Law Clinic application’ in the subject of your email). Candidates are kindly asked to state their availability (hours per week and duration) in their application.

Migration Initiative

Logo Migration Initiative small


The Migration Initiative was founded in February 2016 by a group of students concerned about migration issues in the modern world. The initiative aims to catalyse student and community engagement with migrants in Geneva, as well as across the world including places like Lesvos, Idomeni and Calais. While the Migration Initiative is based out of the Graduate Institute, Geneva (IHEID), we are open to engaging with any organisations, initiatives, or individuals who hold to principles in line with our own.



  • Defend migrants, asylum seekers, refugees and other victims of forced displacement rights and denounce inhumane anti-migrant policies.

  • Create a platform for exchanges of knowledge and experience to generate new ideas and promote reflection.

  • Raise awareness and open a more human perspective on current migration issues.

  • Get students engaged with the concrete reality of migration, and reinforce the link between Swiss civil society and migrant communities

  • Promote and participate in the integration of affected groups in Geneva through a variety of social projects.



As mobility is a human phenomenon, we acknowledge that we are all migrants. We believe that all human beings deserve the same rights and dignity, and we promote respect of all people in forced or voluntary migration, in their individuality and diversity.

Through a variety of projects, we wish to open a space for critical reflection on human mobility, and facilitate inter-personal exchanges between students – and civil society more generally – and migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. We believe that personal change and mind opening is the first step towards a better future society.

Everyone is welcome to get involved with our mission and our projects! If you are interested please contact us on Facebook, or by email at



French Courses
MI French classes are held twice a week from 18:15-19:45 on Mondays and Wednesdays at Maison de la Paix to help refugees and vulnerable migrants in Geneva to improve their French levels – whether for work, for study, or just to better communicate here in Geneva. We are continuously accepting volunteers to teach French (no formal training required and it is not necessary to be a native speaker).

The Intensive Summer French course, a 3-week course for incoming international students and refugees living in Geneva, is organized by the IHEID with the collaboration of the Migration Initiative.

English Courses
Following the success of the French classes, we recently began providing English classes under the same model. Classes are held at Maison de la Paix from 18:15-19:30 on Tuesdays. We are looking for teachers – you do not require formal training or to be a native English speaker as long as you are confident in your ability to teach.

Scholarship Program
The Migration Initiative has successfully lobbied for IHEID to facilitate the provision of scholarships for refugees to attend IHEID and further their studies. Currently a full annual scholarship is available for refugees who have already received a residence permit in Switzerland and meet the academic requirements of entry for Masters or PhD programmes. The Initiative continues to collaborate with the Institute in promoting the scholarship as well as assisting the candidates with any application-related queries.

We hold one large fundraising event a semester to raise funds for small NGOS that support migrants and refugees. In the past, we have raised money to NGOs with projects in post-hurricane Central America,  (in partnership with LANI Initiative), in Greece, to support children education and women empowering projects, and to an NGO helping Rohingya refugees.

Student activites
We organize lunch discussions, invite alumni to share their research and professional experience related to migration, organize film screenings, excursions, and interdisciplinary panels such as during the Swiss Sustainability Week

Community Engagement
Activities with the migrant and refugee community in Geneva, such as picnics in the beginning and end of the year, holidays parties for Halloween, Iftar, and Christmas. We also share information about local volunteering opportunities including with Essaim d’Accueil that  organises regular events and meetings between locals, students, migrants and refugees. If you are interested in their work, please see their website or Facebook page.

If you are interested in a particular project, please feel free to email directly the Migration Initiative at the addresses below: