What does this website do?
It allows organisations that work with migrants and researchers (that is students and academics) to connect with each other to ensure that the research that students and academics carry out about migration is useful and interesting to both these organisations and to migrants themselves. It is completely free.
Why do we need a website like this?
There’s lots of good will among students and academics for migrants in vulnerable situations. But organisations that work with migrants tire of being approached by students and academics for interviews or other data without having much say about the research process. This project draws on the principles of participatory research, which means making sure that research participants are active partners in the research process.
Who can use this website?
Any organisation that works with and/or supports migrants is welcome to enter an idea for research into the matchmaking website (via the ‘add a project’ tab on the front page) and to search through the profiles of researchers that are listed. It does not matter if you are a small organisation or have very few resources. You may even be an individual with a good idea for research. The intention is that you enter into a collaboration with a researcher but the nature of this collaboration is up to you. You can still use the site even if you do not have time to contribute to the research project that you would like completed, and even if you have no resources to offer the researcher to get the research done. In fact, it is precisely these groups that we are most hoping to support with this website, although if you can offer some resources to the researcher this may increase the chances of a successful collaboration. Remember, once registered, you can browse through researcher profiles without having to post a project yourself. If you see a particular researcher you’d like to work with – just say so! You can respond to a researcher’s profile directly.
Anyone who is able to and intending to carry out independent research can express an interest in taking up the projects listed on the site, and/or enter a profile of themselves that migrant support groups can view (via the ‘add a profile’ tab on the front page). You may be an established academic, a postdoctoral researcher, a PhD student, a Masters student, an undergraduate thinking about doing a dissertation about migration or simply someone with experience of carrying out research and some spare time. When you express an interest in forming a collaboration by messaging organisations that have posted ideas, bear in mind that you then take on some responsibility for being willing to carry out that project and working ethically with your collaborator (see the ‘resources’ page of this site for more ideas about how to ensure that you approach collaborations ethically).
How do I get started?
- Register on this site. Registration takes just a minute or two and protects the information that’s exchanged between site users.
- Once you’ve registered, a migrant support organisation can enter research they want doing by adding a project to the ‘Projects Seeking Researchers’ page (it’s easy and takes only a minute or two). You can include a description, timeframe, and keywords and when you have finished your project will appear as a tile in the research matchmaker on the front page. If you would like to delete a post, please ask us and we will do it on your behalf.
- Registered researchers, who are undergraduate, masters and PhD students, as well as professional academic researchers, can create a profile of their skills and areas of interest by adding a profile to the ‘Researchers Seeking Projects’ page. You can include a description of your skills and when you have finished your profile will appear as a tile in the research matchmaker on the front page.
- Registered researchers, can browse through posted projects and develop research that responds to an organisation’s identified needs. When a researcher sees a project they want and are able to do, they connect with a migrant support group by messaging the migrant support group that posted a project ‘need’.
- Likewise, migrant support organisations can browse researcher profiles and can identify specific researchers that they’d like to connect with to complete a project that the organisation needs done.
- Details of the collaboration are worked out together at the outset of a project and on an ongoing basis to ensure a fruitful ‘match’. We provide ‘resources’ to guide organisations and researchers in the collaborative process, which you can access here.
Whether you are involved in working with migrants, or interested in doing research that might help, have a look around the site and get stuck in! Tell others about us, leave comments and, if you find a match, don’t forget to let us know how you get on. Happy match-making!