ISIM: Pioneering Research into Issues of International Migration and Internal Displacement
In 2008, the Institute for the Study of Migration (ISIM) at SFS celebrated its tenth year of operations. In addition to cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and analysis on issues in international migration and displacement, the Institute administers a certificate to graduate students and edits International Migration, a peer-reviewed scholarly journal in the field.
Currently, ISIM is three years into a six-year grant on migration and development from the MacArthur Foundation which has funded research and studies on a broad range of issues including remittances, diaspora philanthropy, and the feminization of migration. With this grant, ISIM also provides expert support to the Global Forum on Migration and Development, a government-led consultative process involving more than 160 countries. In another project funded by the Centre for Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) at Oxford University, ISIM is focusing on issues facing foreign health and social care workers in aging societies—specifically, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Canada.
From its first class of only a dozen students, the graduate certificate in Refugee and Humanitarian Emergencies has attracted a growing number of students from across the University. Graduates have gone on to work for a wide range of humanitarian organizations and in emergency situations across the world. “Nothing makes me prouder,” says ISIM’s executive director, Susan Martin, “than to hear that the research we conduct and the classes we teach help our student practitioners in their day-to-day work with refugees and displaced persons.”
Martin, the Donald G. Herzberg Professor of International Migration, came to SFS after serving as the Executive Director of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and the Director of Research and Programs at the Refugee Policy Group, a Washington-based center for analysis of U.S. and international refugee policy and programs. “SFS was the perfect place for me,” Martin says, “because it allowed me to continue to conduct policy-relevant research while building an academic program to train the next generation of experts in migration and refugee issues”. Martin has published numerous books and articles in the field, including her notable 2004 book Refugee Women. Martin received her BA from Rutgers University, and MA/PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.