Cathryn Costello wins ERC Starting Grant for 'Refugees are Migrants' project

03 November, 2016

ODID’s Dr Cathryn Costello has been awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant of just under 1.5 million euros for a project titled Refugees are Migrants: Refugee Mobility, Recognition and Rights (REF-MIG). The project will start in March 2017.

ERC Starting Grants are awarded to early career researchers with a track record that shows great promise. A total of 2,935 proposals were submitted in the 2016 call, of which 325 were funded.

Dr Costello’s project has two principal aims: firstly, to re-examine refugee protection through a lens of mobility and migration, and secondly, to bring scholarship on refugee law into conversation with the practices of the refugee regime, in particular to subject the latter to legal scrutiny.

It will re-examine three key aspects of refugee law – access to protection, refugee status determination (RSD), and refugee rights – and bring them into conversation with the refugee regime’s norms and practices on responsibility-sharing and solutions.

Crucially, the project takes a long and broad view of the refugee regime, in order to open up new possibilities and trajectories. It also brings critical new insights into the regime, by undertaking a legal assessment of the role of non-state actors. In particular, it will provide an important and timely legal assessment of the role of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). It examines EU law and practice, as an actor in the global refugee regime, engaging not only with asylum-seekers and refugees on its territory, but via cooperation with transit and host states. It will examine law and practice in the EU, and in Turkey, Lebanon, Kenya and South Africa.

Dr Costello is the Andrew W Mellon Associate Professor of International Human Rights and Refugee Law at the Refugee Studies Centre (RSC) at ODID.

ERC Starting Grants are awarded to researchers of any nationality with 2 to 7 years of experience since completion of their PhD (or equivalent degree). The research must be conducted in a public or private research organisation located in one of the EU Member States or Associated Countries. Funding (up to €1.5 million per grant) is provided over a maximum of 5 years.