Joint Nordic-UK research initiative on Migration and Integration

The past decades have witnessed a significant increase in human migration for a variety of reasons worldwide. Both previous migration and the recent large influx of refugees to Europe have had significant economic, socio-political and cultural impacts on the Nordic region and the UK as well as in other European countries. European societies have been impacted to varying degrees as a result of forced and voluntary migration, but they all share similar opportunities and challenges in terms of integration and settlement, access to labour markets, health services, housing and education to name some examples.


The aim of the initiative is to stimulate the knowledge communities in the Nordic countries and the United Kingdom to cooperate in order to enhance opportunities and address challenges of migration and integration. The main objectives of the Programme are to enhance Nordic and British research collaboration and to fund excellent research with impact within and beyond academia.

Research collaboration and knowledge-sharing between the Nordic countries and the United Kingdom can create new insights that build upon and further extend knowledge to better equip actors both within and outside of academia to address the challenges of increased migration and to capitalise on the opportunities that this brings.


In 2015 and the beginning of 2016, the Nordic Council of Ministers developed ideas for an initiative on research collaboration on migration and integration. Parallel to this, NordForsk convened a group of researchers to discuss potential Nordic added value for this topic.

In June 2016 the Nordic Council of Ministers commissioned NordForsk to draw up a report on ongoing migration and integration research in the Nordic countries, to identify knowledge gaps and Nordic added value and provide recommendations regarding new initiatives. The report was presented to the NordForsk Board at its meeting in March 2017, and the Board decided to launch a Nordic Research Programme on Integration and Migration in collaboration with national funding partners from Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the UK.

The Joint Nordic-UK Research initiative on Migration and Integration was established based on the conviction that collaboration between researchers in the Nordic countries and the UK can create outcomes and impact of greater value for the countries involved than could be achieved through national activities alone. Examples of such added value could be building critical mass, networking, sharing data, infrastructures and resources, and enhancing scientific excellence as well as creating impact and contributing to research-based policy making.


The total budget of the initiative was approximately NOK 88 million for the period 2018-2023, and would finance 7 Nordic or Nordic-UK research projects.


  • Gunnlaug Daugstad, Head of Department, Research Council of Norway, Norway, Chair
  • Tor Lunde Larsen, Special advisor, Research Council of Norway
  • Mary Day, Economic and Social Research Council, Part of UK Research and Innovation, United Kingdom
  • Helena Vänskä, Senior Science Advisor, Academy of Finland, Finland
  • Johan Söderlind, Senior Research Officer, Forte, Sweden
  • Sigrún Ólafsdóttir, Senior Adviser, Icelandic Centre for Research - Rannís, Iceland
  • Patricia Yocie Hierofani, Senior Research Officer, Swedish Research Council, Sweden
  • Anna-Maria Mosekilde, Nordic Council of Ministers (Observer)

Funding partners


Thomas Jacobsson

Thomas Jacobsson

Senior Adviser