Our research interests include:

Ethnicity and minority populations
Global health and well-being
Migration and mobilities
Population estimations
Population inequalities
Reproductive Health
For research opportunities with specific professors or faculty, please see their university webpage.


Please click on the research project and view the description below.

Current Research Project

Evidence for Equality National Survey (EVENS)

Summary: EVENS is the largest and most comprehensive survey to document the lives of ethnic and religious minorities in Britain. Data collection took place between February and November 2021 to produce a survey of 14,200 participants, of whom 9,700 identify as members of ethnic and religious minority groups, uniquely allowing comparative analyses of their experiences. The EVENS dataset, the EVENS Teaching Dataset and associated resources are available from the UK Data Service, and the free-to-download book, Racism and Ethnic Inequality in a time of Crisis is available from Policy Press. The EVENS team are currently engaged in the EVENSinACTION project, working with partners to use EVENS data and analyses to inform policy and practice.

Find out more about EVENS at: Evidence for Equality National Survey (EVENS) – Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity – The University of Manchester

EVENS is funded by the ESRC via the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) (UKRI grants ES/V013475/1 and ES/W000849/1).

Project period: August 2020 – August 2026

PHRG team members: Nissa Finney, Michaela Šťastná, and Joseph Harrison

The longer-term impact of parental labour migration: Well-being, indebtedness and family sustainability in Southeast Asia

Summary: This study (2022-2025) investigates well-being, indebtedness and sustainability among transnational families in Indonesia and the Philippines at a time when the recent global COVID-19 pandemic is further exacerbating vulnerability in such families, with unplanned repatriations and income reductions for many migrants globally. It extends two waves of data collected in 2008/9 and 2016/7 for the Child Health and Migrant Parents in South-East Asia (CHAMPSEA) project with a new survey and selected in-depth interviews conducted with the same households, as well as a new sample of households, in both study countries in 2023/24.

Drawing on this unique dataset, the study examines the prevalence of indebtedness at different points over time; whether and how household debt affects the health and well-being of those who stay behind in origin countries; the impact of patterns of migration and debt on family sustainability (e.g. the likelihood of divorce); and the short-term impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on indebtedness, well-being and family sustainability in transnational households. The in-depth interviews provide greater insight into the strategies adopted by households to address current vulnerabilities. Engaging with a range of stakeholder, including the International Organization of Migration (IOM) and local NGOs, ensures that the findings are relevant both to migrants and their families in sending countries and to policy and services for migrants in destination countries. The study is funded by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council: Research Impact Fund (R7028-21).

PHRG team members: Prof Elspeth Graham (Co-PI)

Connecting Generations: Community resilience and social coherence

Summary: This project engages directly with the notion that all-age communities are vital for intergenerational connection and for tackling the causes of intergenerational unfairness; and the idea that the development of ‘age friendly environments’ support the wellbeing and participation of older people. Although recent literature has stressed the positive outcomes of communities of mixed ages, there remains limited quantitative scholarship in the UK (and, indeed, elsewhere) on residential age mixing, despite some increased attention in recent years. Similarly, recent community-oriented studies of place have paid greater attention to age, though with a particular focus on ageing (and ageing in place) rather than intergenerational connections. Studies have highlighted increases in neighbourhood age segregation in Britain, life course variations in age mixing and the need to consider the dynamics of places where people grow older. This project uses mixed methods to trace intergenerational residential mixing and understand the social and population processes that are shaping it. Find out more at: CPC – Connecting Generations

This project is funded by the ESRC via the Centre on Population Change (CPA) (UKRI grant).

Project period: January 2024-March 2027

PHRG team members: Nissa Finney, Elspeth Graham, Jo Hale and Mengxing Joshi

Geographies of Ethnic Diversity and Inequality (GEDI)

Summary: The UK’s population, households and neighbourhoods are becoming increasingly ethnically and racially mixed and diverse. Alongside these demographic changes, the uneven impacts of, for example, the COVID-19 pandemic and austerity measures, have shone a light on persistent ethnic and racial disadvantages, between people and across local areas. The GEDI project is answering these, and related, questions through an innovative integration of previously disparate research strands on ethnic diversity, residential segregation, ethnic inequalities, and internal migration.

Find out more at:

The GEDI project is funded by the ESRC

Project period: April 2023 – June 2026

PHRG team members: Nissa Finney

MyMove: residential mobility of children in the UK

Summary: As an international partner of the MyMove project led by Professor Helga de Valk (NIDI) we are analysing the UK Household Longitudinal Study to understand the prevalence, associates and implications of residential mobility in childhood.

Find out more about the project at: HOME | MYMOVE Project

MyMove is funded via an European Research Council (ERC) grant (ID: 819298).

Project period: 2020-2025

PHRG team members: Nissa Finney, Julia Mikolai, Michaela Stastna

MigrantLife: Understanding life trajectories of immigrants and their descendants in Europe and projecting future trends

Summary: The MigrantLife project (2019–2024) will investigate how employment, housing and family trajectories evolve and interact in the lives of immigrants and their descendants in the UK, France, Germany and Sweden; and how factors related to a societal context, an early life context and critical transitions shape their life histories. The study will project their future life trajectories using innovative computer simulation techniques, considering the main life domains and diversity between and within immigrant groups. The project will exploit large-scale longitudinal data from the four countries to deepen our understanding of the relationships between the three life domains, and the causes of less and more successful life trajectories among immigrants and their descendants. This project will show whether the current heterogeneity between and within immigrant and minority groups vanishes over time or rather persists, suggesting an increasing diversity of European societies. This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 834103).
PHRG team members: Prof Hill Kulu (PI), Dr Sarah Christison, Andrew Ibbetson, Joseph Harrison, Dr Mary Abed Al Ahad and Parth Pandya

Post-pandemic working practices and residential preferences: implications for people and places

Summary: One of the many anticipated lasting consequences of the covid-19 crisis is a structural change in working practices and residential preferences, brought about by increased remote working and an associated desire for more spacious homes in appealing locales. This shift has the potential to fundamentally reshape the geographies of work and home. However there remains much uncertainty regarding the prevalence and permanency of these changes. Furthermore, they risk forming new inequalities between those benefitting from new working practices and able to meet their residential preferences and those unable to do so. This research will analyse statistical datasets and conduct in-depth interviews with key stakeholders to elucidate the nature of changing working practices and residential preferences and to shed light on their socio-economic implications. Given its significance nationally and to the wellbeing of specific population sub-groups and types of places, this research has considerable public, commercial and policy saliency.

Project funded by British Academy

PHRG team member: Dr David McCollum

Social and spatial mobility within and across generations

Summary: Considerable and persistent inter- and intra-generational inequalities exist in individuals’ propensities to move across space and to move up (or down) the social hierarchy. There is recent evidence of declining rates of spatial mobility amongst higher socio-economic groups and hyper-residential mobility for some more marginalised groups. At the same time social mobility has stalled, particularly amongst younger generations, especially those lacking access to inter-generational transfers of wealth and other support. These inequalities are being exacerbated by the current health crisis and its economic consequences alongside the economic fallout of Brexit.

In this project, we use data from censuses and longitudinal studies (ONS LS, SLS and NILS), along with linked data from the NHS Central Register, to investigate persistent and emerging inequalities within and between generations. The research investigates how patterns of spatial mobility are changing, the trends in socio-economic mobility and the complex nexus between spatial and social mobility. The work provides new evidence for the ‘place’ agenda policy interventions aiming at ‘levelling up’. This research will be supplemented by analysis of the recent Understanding Society COVID-19 waves, providing insights into how the pandemic has shaped patterns and processes of spatial and social mobility.

This research is of interest to stakeholders such as the Social Mobility Commission, Sutton Trust, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, and the Centre for Cities, as well as relevant development agencies in large cities and private, public and third sector organisations involved in the UK’s City Deals. It will allow them to better target efforts to attract specific population sub-groups to particular types of places as a catalyst for economic growth. The post-Covid 19 landscape will likely result in new relations between place of work, place of residence and career progression, on which this research will be able to inform policy and business decisions.

Project funded by ESRC

PHRG team member: Dr David McCollum

Post-migration transitions and pathways to citizenship for EU youth in the UK amidst Brexit debates, challenges and anticipations

Summary: This study will be the first UK-wide study of EU-born young people’s (aged 16-26) experiences of education, work and training in the context of the UK withdrawal from the EU. The number of young people from Europe growing up in UK has risen sharply over past 15 years, particularly since the accession of 10 East-Central European states to the EU. These young people have spent their formative years experiencing multiple transitions and border-crossings related to moving home, learning English, changing education systems, finding work in a precarious and austere economic climate and forming key relationships in the context of divisive political rhetoric surrounding immigration. How do this sizeable cohort of young people navigate these transitions in different parts of the UK, as they develop plans for the future and pathways to citizenship? Existing inequalities in education and employment, combined with new challenges fuelled by Brexit, are shaping the choices of EU nationals about whether to remain or leave the UK (Lulle et al., 2016; King & Williams, 2017), with a dramatic decline in the level of EU immigration since the Brexit referendum in 2016 (ONS, 2019). Given the positive fiscal impact of EU migration to the UK and the reliance on this labour supply in key sectors of the economy (Wadsworth, 2018), there is an urgent need to better understand young people’s education and employment trajectories and how employers are planning for and responding to potential changes in workforce demographics after Brexit.

A multi-disciplinary team of researchers will combine expertise in migration and population studies, education and social policy to design and produce a series of significant research outcomes. First, the study will review the evidence on educational and employment pathways and challenges for EU-born young people through a systematic analysis of existing data sets and targeted, sustained engagement with practitioners and policy makers to identify key policy and practice challenges.

Second, the study will produce new longitudinal data over a 3-year period on the changing aspirations, experiences and outcomes of EU-born young people in education, training and employment to highlight how their plans evolve and what barriers they face and sometimes overcome.

Third, the study will use a participatory research approach to explore young people’s perceptions and experiences of settlement and citizenship in all four nations of the UK, in the context of Brexit. Involving young people as co-researchers, the study will explore their aspirations for the future; sense of belonging and citizenship in the UK; perspectives on potential constitutional change in the UK and the EU; and engagements with social movements and digital activism.

The research offers original data on how EU-born young people living in diverse geographical locations adapt to the multiple transitions of growing up as a migrant in the context of regional political transformation. We will consider how these dynamics actively shape pathways to citizenship and a sense of belonging in the UK, or particular parts of it. The proposed study fills a gap in research by employing an intersectional approach to analysing EU-born young people’s experience of Brexit alongside key youth transitions, with potential to inform UK-wide and devolved policy and practice tackling the challenge of youth marginalisation and migrant integration. In depth longitudinal data on young people’s educational aspirations, work experiences and citizenship practices will provide insight into how ‘integrated’ EU-born migrant youth feel in different nations of the UK, connected to various representations of ‘nation’ that circulate in policy, political and public discourses. Importantly, the study will also address the relative absence of migrant youth voices in public debate and provide policy makers and the public with a more rigorous understand of the everyday lives of young migrants.

Project funded by ESRC

PHRG team member: Dr David McCollum

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