Over the years, ISIM has undertaken the following projects:


ISIM worked with colleagues at the Centre for Migration Studies (CeBaM) at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland, on a 3-year research on contemporary female mobility between Poland and Norway. The project explored social and cultural issues of Polish-Norwegian relations such as increased feminization of migration between Poland and Norway; the role of Polish female migrants in the Norwegian labor market; relations between migratory career paths, educational training and labor markets; social cohesion; and the impact of female migration on children, families and households in Poland and in Norway. The project received funding from the Polish National Science Centre (Harmonia).


ISIM collaborated with colleagues at the Norwegian Social Research (NOVA) and the Peace Research Institute (PRIO) in Oslo, the Centre for Migration Studies at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, and the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland on a study on pathways of Polish, Swedish, and Filipino nurses into the Norwegian labor market and society, examining the impact of mobility regimes on migrants’ lives. 

Human Trafficking

ISIM faculty have been researching human trafficking since the early 2000s. Dr. Elżbieta M. Goździak studied return and reintegration of female victims trafficked for sexual exploitation and male victims trafficked into the fishing industry and other labor exploitation in Moldova, Poland, Thailand, and Nepal. Drs. Goździak and Lowell also evaluated strategies to stabilize and integrate adult survivors of human trafficking to the United States. Trafficking projects have been funded by the National Science Foundation and National Institute of Justice applied research on human trafficking in Nepal and Cambodia has informed policy-making of the U.S. Department of Labor, the J/TIP in the U.S. Department of State, and the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as well as activities of philanthropic institutions such as Humanity United and the American-Himalayan Foundation.

Egyptians in Kuwait

Researchers at ISIM have conducted a qualitative study that examines Egyptian living and working in Kuwait. The purpose of the study is to better understand the migration histories and trajectories of Egyptians, their experiences and interactions within Kuwait, and their connections with a changing Egypt at home. 

After rescue

This project analyzed data on foreign-born, mainly adult survicors who received case management services under the Per Capita Reimbursement program, funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) and administered by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), in the years 2006 to 2011. 

urban Refugees

This research project seeks to understand the phenomenon of refugees in urban settings across Jordan, Lebanon and Malaysia, in a comparative examination of their experiences as contrasted with those of other urban residents.

Stop Girl Trafficking Program In Nepal 

Collection of data has been completed. We are currently analyzing survey results. Stay tuned for preliminary findings in the next few weeks.The final evaluation report will be published in 2014.

Health Disparities and Immigrant Children

With funding from Georgetown University, Dr. Elzbieta M. Gozdziak collaborated with Drs. Edilma Yearwood and Rosemary Sokas on an exploratory participatory action research project with Latino youth residing in the Columbia Heights and Adams Morgan neighborhoods of the District of Columbia.

Study Team on Climate-Induced Migration

This initiative systematically brought together researchers, practitioners, and policy representatives from both sides of the Atlantic to link two important debates and policy spheres that up until then were only sporadically linked: those of migration and those of climate change.

International Competitiveness and Talent: Managing the Flow of Stem Workers

The project focused on three interconnected issues: impacts of the recession on foreign students, trends in employment of workers in science; technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields; and challenges in the management of temporary work programs and innovations in numerical admissions.

Reintegration: A Challenge for Building Peace and Restoring National Integrity

Patricia Weiss Fagen was awarded a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellowship at the U.S. Institute of Peace. The project examines the priorities, sequence, and timing of needed actions, and questions the definition of “integration” in conflict or post-conflict settings.

Evaluation of the Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking,International Child Labor Technical Cooperation Program

ISIM conducted an independent in-depth evaluation of the Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking, International Child Labor Technical Cooperation Program as recommended in the most recent Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) review of the program by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Foreign Workers in the U.S. Labor Force

Through this project, ISIM aimed to improve understanding of trends in the admission of temporary foreign workers, the impact of temporary worker programs on the United States, and the implications of these findings for future policy development.

Migrant Health and Social Care Workers in Aging Societies

This international collaborative project examined the future need for migrant care workers in the context of aging societies. The project explored the employment of migrant workers in the delivery of health and social care to older people across the UK, the USA, Ireland and Canada.

Collective Remittances and Social Service Provision in Haiti

A team of researchers from ISIM, Trinity College and FOCAL, working with Haitians in New York, Florida and Haiti, examined the extent to which the Haitian diaspora communities in Canada and the United States are directly funding health and education services through professional associations, home town associations, churches and other associative organizations.

Science and Engineering Career Transitions

Policy makers and industry leaders are once again concerned about the inadequacy of the U.S. Science and Engineering (S&E) workforce, citing lack of preparation by U.S. natives and the decline, or potential 
decline of immigrants entering U.S. graduate schools and S&E workforces.

Literature Reviews/Background Papers in IDPs

Under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement, ISIM provides research support to the Representative of the Secretary General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons. 

Immigration and Integration Policy

The project provided a venue for this intensive exchange of information about policy and program alternatives proposed and/or implemented by the post-industrial countries and it identifies areas in which cooperative transatlantic policy development and implementation may help address issues defying more traditional unilateral approaches.

The Role of Affected States in Humanitarian Action

ISIM’s research in this context examined the case of El Salvador, a post conflict country, where there were three major disasters and two minor disasters between 2001 and 2007 when the study was undertaken. The study examined the evolution of the state apparatus to manage disasters, and the human and material resources available to do implement state policies.

Third Generation Globalization and Systems of Human Capital Development

Researchers analyzed these apparent changes to identify more precisely industry-specific and country-specific effects in migration flows and migration dependency; shifts in R&D engineering work; human capital development, by occupation/discipline in the US, Europe, and NIEs, and implications for U.S. education policy for developing the S&E workforce.

Separated, Unaccompanied and Trafficked Children

Under this grant, ISIM and the USCCB Migration and Refugee Services organized meetings that brought together government officials, nongovernmental organizations and others to discuss issues pertaining to separated, unaccompanied and trafficked children who arrive in the United States from other countries.

Women's Involvement in Local Leadership

The research focused particularly on: 1) project formulation and implementation aimed at promoting greater and more democratic participation among women in local and community organizations; and 2) the respective roles that men and women play within the observed economic and social settings, and the impact of these roles on women's participation and leadership.

Methodology Meeting: Research on Remittances

ISIM conducted a workshop on May 25-26, 2007 entitled “Research Methods: Remittances and Countries in Crisis”. In contrast to most discussions on remittances, which tend to focus on the results of data and analyses—using primarily financial data--the discussions at this workshop centered on methods of achieving valid results in contexts that are difficult to research. As a result of the May 2007 meeting, Participants organized two panels for the January 2008 meeting in Cairo of the International Association for the Study of International Migration.

Internally Displaced Persons

ISIM conducted research in support of the mandate of the Representative of the Secretary General on Internally Displaced Persons. Projects included an analysis of when internal displacement ends, a study of the integration of internal displacement issues into peace processes, and development and maintenance of a database on international, regional and national standards and laws related to internally displaced persons.

Controlling Irregular Migration: the Challenge of Worksite Enforcement

The project investigated data and expert opinion on issues of verification and identification; employment discrimination based on national origin or citizenship status; the enforcement of employer sanctions and labor standards; and the organizational capacity, staffing, financial resources and institutional arrangements required to carry out worksite enforcement.

Victims No Longer: Research on Child Survivors of Trafficking for Sexual and Labor Exploitation

This project aimed to: 1) examine patterns of abuse of child victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation; 2) analyze the challenges service providers face in assisting them; and 3) identify best practices and treatment modalities used to facilitate rehabilitation of child victims of trafficking.

Congress and Tomorrow's Workforce

ISIM hosted a workshop on methods to improve projections of the size and characteristics of immigrants admitted to the United States under various legislative scenarios. ISIM also produced a report on the technical aspects of visa projections.

Improving Disaster Response

The grants supported the Certificate on Refugee and Humanitarian Emergencies and mid-career leadership training for officials in government, international and nongovernmental agencies involved in disaster relief.

Assessment of Disaster Relief Grantmaking

This project enabled ISIM to make recommendations on ways to improve philanthropic giving for natural disaster and humanitarian emergency relief around the globe.

Poultry, Apples, and New Immigrants in the Rural Communities of the Shenandoah Valley: an Ethnographic Case Study

The project focused on the new settlement areas for migrants in the Shenandoah Valley. It studied the processes of industrial restructuring and rural industrialization in the Shenandoah Valley and the ways in which company policies, driven by market forces, can set in motion processes that go beyond the plant gates and orchards to recast the configuration of whole communities.

Forecasting Science and Engineering Visas Under Senate Bill 2611

Most public controversy has focused on the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act’s (S.2611) process for resident undocumented aliens (passed May 25, 2006). However, there are also numerous reforms to highly skilled admissions. This project developed a profiling of highly skilled workers who might be admitted under the proposed legislation.

The Impact of Aging on Gender-Specific Migration Flows

This report presents initial forecasts of the future number of foreign-born, female nurses from the Developing World resident in North America and Europe in coming decades.

Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies

This grant supported teaching and research activities related to refugees and humanitarian emergencies. Through this grant and others, ISIM offers a Certificate in Refugee and Humanitarian Emergencies at the Masters level.

Gender-Specific Determinants of Remittances and Gender-Specific Remittance Mechanisms

This research paper explicitly assesses gender and remittances with random surveys of formal remittance senders from 18 different countries — from Latin America, the Caribbean, and West Africa — and residing in the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom. In particular, it examines whether women remit more relative to men and do so to more distant relations.

Declining Numbers of S&E Students and Immigrants: Policies, Labor Markets and Global Competition

Researchers on this project analyzed legislation post-9/11, interviewed a range of stakeholders, and assessed how security concerns have affected admission procedures. An analysis was conducted of S&E labor market trends. The results of the project resulted in an improved understanding of how admission policies are implemented and concrete recommendations on how they might be improved.

Implementation and Impact of U.S. Immigration Policy

Under the grant, ISIM conducted research and analysis on legal admissions to the US, unauthorized migration, refugee and asylum policy and practice, structural reform of the US immigration system, and the integration of immigrants.

Cooperative Efforts to Manage Emigration

The project examined ways in which immigration destinations can work more effectively with source and transit countries to coordinate movements and reduce emigration pressures.

Building Capacity to Respond to Humanitarian Emergencies in Developing Countries

This funding provided support for regional workshops to bring together nongovernmental organizations, academic institutions, and government officials in developing countries to plan for ways to improve their capacity to respond to natural and manmade disasters and to develop an inventory of best practices in capacity building.

Transnationalism and Development: Central America and the Caribbean in Perspective

The project focused on the role of expatriates in the development of their home countries. It examined the role of transnational communities in such areas as tourism, transportation, telecommunication, transfer of remittances and nostalgic trade. The project also sought to understand transnationalism by looking at inter- household linkages, the magnitude and costs incurred by poor transnational communities, the effects at the macroeconomic level, and the extent of its impact on development.

Refugees Resettled in Hawaii

This project assessed the situation of refugees resettled in Hawaii to identify their service needs. The results were published in a white paper.

Improving Migration Studies

Under this grant, ISIM identified and discussed ways to improve the study of international migration in universities. The project examined the current standing of migration studies both within and across academic disciplines.

Partnership to Enhance Capacities to Address Issues of Forced Migration in Eastern Africa

This grant supported a partnership between Georgetown University and the University of Dar es Salaam, Makerere University and Moi University to enhance the capacity of the east African universities to address issues of forced migration. The grant facilitated regional workshops on refugee and humanitarian issues in east Africa, visiting scholars programs and institutional capacity building.

Women and Migration

This research project analyzed issues such as the role of women migrants in fostering development, female labor migration, refugee and displaced women, trafficking in women and girls, and changing gender roles resulting from migration.

Immigration and New Settlement Areas

This project identified and mapped new areas of immigrant settlement in the United States, examined the impact of these new settlement patterns on immigrants and the receiving communities, including barriers to full social and economic integration, and identifies innovative approaches for addressing integration and impact problems.

Complex Forced Migration and the Humanitarian Regime

This grant supported a collaborative project (with the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford, University ofDar es Salaam, Regional Center for Security Studies in Sri Lanka, and Brookings Institution) to examine the evolving humanitarian regime for addressing issues of forced migration.
[Beyond the Gateway]

Beyond the Gateway: Immigrants in a Changing America

Beyond the Gateway is the first effort to bridge the gaps in communication not only between the immigrants and the institutions with which they interact, but also among diverse communities across the United States dealing with the same stresses but ignorant of each others' responses, whether successes or failures.



The Uprooted: Improving Humanitarian Responses to Forced Migration

The Uprooted is the first volume to methodically examine the progress and persistent shortcomings of the current humanitarian regime. The authors, all experts in the field of forced migration, describe the organizational, political, and conceptual shortcomings that are creating the gaps and inefficiencies of international and national agencies to reach entire categories of forced migrants.


A Nation of Immigrants

This book traces the evolution of these three models of immigration as they explain the historical roots of current policy debates and options. Arguing that the Pennsylvania model has best served the country, the final chapter makes recommendations for future immigration reform. Given the highly controversial nature of immigration in the United States, this book provides thoughtful analysis, valuable to both academic and policy audiences.

Mexico-U.S. Migration Management: a Binational Approach

Contributors assess the main characteristics, trends, and factors influencing Mexico-U.S. migration and recommend actions that should improve migration management, substantially reduce undocumented flows, and refocus Mexican migration into legal channels.


Managing Migration: the Promise of Cooperation

Managing Migration presents the valuable results of the Cooperative Efforts to Manage Emigration project, a bottom-up effort to identify models and best practices for spurring economic development and respect for human rights in migrant countries of origin.



Refugee Roulette

Refugee Roulette is the first analysis of decisions at all four levels of the asylum adjudication process: the Department of Homeland Security, the immigration courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the United States Courts of Appeals. The data reveal tremendous disparities in asylum approval rates, even when different adjudicators in the same office each considered large numbers of applications from nationals of the same country.