Knowledge exchange, impact and esteem

Funded Research 

CRREN staff have won 11 grants (including prestigious awards from the ESRC and the AHRC) securing more than £1million of funded research at the University. Awards include:
1. 2013-2017: Understanding the dynamics of ethnic identity and inequality (CODE), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Centres Competition, £2,321,690. Ref: ES/K002198/1; (SMITH; VIRDEE).

2. 2014-2017: Location dynamics, owner occupation and ethnicity in Scotland, Economic and Social Research Council, £378,184, (SMITH; VIRDEE).

3. 2014-2017: Researching Multilingually at the Borders of Language, the Body, Law and the State, AHRC Translating Cultures Large Grant award, £1,968,749, (GIBB).

4. 2015-2017: Racism and political mobilisation: learning from history and thinking internationally, Economic and Social Research Council Seminar Series, £25,395; (VIRDEE).

5. 2015-2018: Migrant Christianity. Migration, Religion and Work in Comparative Perspective: Evangelical ‘ethnic churches’ in Southern Europe, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellowship of the European Commission, 160,477euros (SCRINZI).

6. 2016-2018: Building Futures: Aspirations of Syrian Youth Refugees and Host Population Responses in Lebanon, Greece and the UK, RCUK Global Challenges Research Fund, £252,263 (MULVEY).

7. 2018-2019: Gender and the populist radical right in Europe, British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship, £132,072, (SCRINZI).

8. 2019 to present: The worlding classroom: connecting places, disciplines and positionalities in discussing migration, asylum and borders. Glasgow-Radboud Collaboration Fund, £14,460 (PIACENTINI).

9. 2017-2018: Experience of camp/non-camp displacement: building learning from Jordan to build learning in Jordan. SFC-GCRF, £6235.00 (PIACENTINI).

10. 2016-2017: Improving Interpreting Practice in Healthcare Settings, ESRC-IAA, £5463.12 (PIACENTINI).

11. 2018: Finding Common Ground: Policy Implications of new evidence about Syrian refugees and citizens in the UK, Lebanon and Greece, ESRC, £14,900 (MULVEY).

Grant Applications

Most members are currently making preparations to submit grant applications, sometimes in collaboration with other colleagues within CRREN. Indicative examples include proposals on gender, religion and the far right in Europe (ESRC, SCRINZI); unearthing the colonial genesis of 21st-century urban planning in Europe (PICKER) and how do migrant populations do politics? a study of four localities (ESRC, MULVEY, PIACENTINI, VIRDEE).

PhD Students

CRREN’s PhD cohort has more than doubled over the past five years from 12 to 29 students. 20 PhD students have been supervised to completion in the most recent five-year period while we have a further 21 PhD students currently enrolled and affiliated to CRREN. Reflecting our notable success in competitive scholarship schemes, 11 of the students supervised to completion were funded through ESRC studentships and 13 of the 21 on-going students are funded by competitively won scholarships. The supervision load for most core CRREN staff is well in excess of the RG upper quartile.

Knowledge Exchange Activity 

All CRREN staff have engaged in extensive knowledge exchange activity with a range of national and international policy and third sector organisations, and through this have extended the reach of research conducted at the University of Glasgow. Indicative contributions include:
i. Dr Mulvey’s collaboration with the Refugee Council and two All-Parliamentary Groups to co-produce an event at Westminster focusing on the rights of refugee children. The conference was attended by MPs and Lords, including Lord Dubs (insert date);

ii. Piacentini and Liinpaa’s collaboration with the NHSGGC Equalities and Human Rights Team to deliver a programme of planned learning events to address discriminatory practices in multilingual health care encounters;

iii. Mulvey’s GCRF policy report on Insert here generated widespread media attention which led to the co-production of a photographic exhibition at the Lighthouse (visited by more than 2,000 people) and an event at the Scottish Parliament attended by 100 delegates;

iv. Gibb’s organisation of a three-day symposium in Bucharest, Romania in November 2015 which included an afternoon workshop with and for research participants with colleagues and a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) working with migrants (;

v. Mulvey’s collaboration with West Dunbartonshire Council to identify best practice around Syrian resettlement across Scottish Local Authorities;

vi. Smith’s participation in a number of Black History Month events, including discussions of showings of Black Panther and Black Skin, White Masks; as well as contributions to the development of World Write’s feature-length documentary on CLR James called Every Cook Can Govern (

vii. Gibb delivering a paper at an international conference entitled ‘Labelliser comme réfugié: Approches comparées des pratiques institutionnelles’ held at the Université Paris-Nanterre (France) from 27-28 March 2017 attended by representative of the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless People (OFPRA);

viii. McBride giving keynotes on racism and anti-racism in Scotland at 'BEMIS/Police Scotland 'Tackling Prejudice' conference, held at Hampden Park, Glasgow October 2018 and 'Anti-Irish racism in Scotland' presented at the Cross-Party Group on Tackling Islamophobia in Scotland, Scottish Parliament May 2018

ix. Scrinzi’s participation at a training workshop on the far right Rencontre intersyndicale sur l’extrême droite, organised by VISA (Vigilance InterSyndicale Antifasciste, organisation gathering several French trade unions including CGT, Union syndicale Solidaires, SUD, and students’ unions), Paris, France, attended by 50 trade union’s members and participation in the Gruppo di lavoro sulla Prevenzione della radicalizzazione violenta (Working group on preventing violent radicalisation), Municipality of Turin, Italy (2018);

x. Virdee’s development and leadership of a programme of knowledge exchange activities (including curation of exhibitions and preparation of educational use in secondary schools) which transformed public understanding of the part played by ethnic minorities in British history leading eventually to a curriculum change in A level History (2017).

xi. Virdee’s co-production of 3 ESRC seminars with the British TUC, the Canadian Labour Congress, The Tricontinental Institute (India) and The Institute of Race Relations (UK) on ‘economic crisis and working lives’, ‘racialized violence of state and non-state actors’ and ‘austerity and racism’ facilitating knowledge exchange between academics and activists from more than a dozen countries. Around 150 individuals, mainly from economically disadvantaged communities as well as ethnic minorities, attended these events due to the explicit focus on tackling societal exclusion.

xii. Virdee, as part of his on-going visiting scholar duties at the Havens Centre for Social Justice, University of Wisconsin, USA lead a programme of knowledge exchange activity in collaboration with third sector organisation Freedom Inc. aimed at ending violence against people of colour, women and youth and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Most recently, this has included using his research on Caribbean and South Asian alliances in the UK to co-create (with US activists) an understanding of the importance of building multi-racial coalitions among sometimes divided communities of colour (e.g. African-American and Asian American) as a necessary precondition for generating effective cultures of civic engagement and societal inclusion. One measurable outcome has been the transformation of Freedom Inc. into a genuinely multi-racial formation representative of the local community.

xiii. Arising directly from the publication of a co-edited book ‘No Problem Here’: Understanding Racism in Scotland (January 2018) – the first book-length account of the place of race in Scottish society from Empire to the present – Davidson became the academic expert to the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Committee on Islamophobia chaired by MSP Anas Sarwar.

Planned Activities and Events 2020 - 2025


All staff have ambitious plans for outputs which will consolidate the Centre’s international reputation as a producer of field-defining work. For instance, drawing on his extensive funded anthropological research, Gibb will complete a monograph on asylum procedures in France and Bulgaria. A series of accompanying articles in peer-reviewed journals on specific aspects of these procedures (e.g. the transcription of asylum interviews, issues of interpretation and translation, the multilingual working practices of asylum lawyers, state officials, judges and social workers) are also planned.

Scrinzi is contracted to produce a sole-authored volume on Gender and the populist radical right based on data collected through her ERC starting grant. Additionally, she will submit articles to International Migration Review and the European Journal of Women’s Studies on different aspects of her research.

Picker will complete a monograph entitled Planning White Europe in 2022 and is also working on articles on The Italian postracial archive and racial camps for publication in Ethnic and Racial Studies and Theory, Culture and Society.

Virdee will publish a collection of essays entitled Race, Nation and the Left in 2021. Alongside a series of articles focusing on race, modernity and concrete utopias for the British Journal of Sociology and Sociological Review, he will also complete a second monograph entitled Racism, Crisis and the Politics of Class (Verso).

Piacentini is planning to write a pedagogical text on the ethics and politics of migration-related teaching in the contemporary conjuncture.

Smith will produce an entry on ‘Racism’ for the prestigious Routledge Encyclopedia of Race and Racism and produce a series of articles emerging from the local area studies undertaken as part of the work of CoDE. These include an article on everyday aesthetics, locality and racism in Cultural Sociology (with Bethan Harries, Bridget Byrne and Lin Garratt) and a piece on racialized cultural capital is expressed in local contexts (with Shirin Hirsch).

Grant applications

Most members are currently making preparations to submit grant applications, sometimes in collaboration with other colleagues within CRREN. Indicative examples include proposals on gender, religion and the far right in Europe (ESRC, SCRINZI); unearthing the colonial genesis of 21st-century urban planning in Europe (PICKER) and how do migrant populations do politics? a study of four localities (ESRC, MULVEY, PIACENTINI, VIRDEE).

Knowledge exchange

Knowledge exchange has been an integral part of the work of CRREN staff. Piacentini will be working with third sector organisations (Glasgow Night Shelter, Govan Community Project) to analyse the effects of long term destitution for individuals made destitute by immigration policies and identifying humane alternatives; Piacentini is also working with Glasgow City Council in the Inclusive Cities project - a KE project across 9 UK cities whose overarching aim is to achieve a step-change in their approach towards integration of newcomers in the city. (KE). Scrinzi has planned a stakeholder workshop on ‘International perspectives on gender and the far right in Europe’ which will bring together scholars, practitioners and stakeholders from across Europe. The workshop will be held at the University of Glasgow in spring 2020. Picker is collaborating with colleagues in CEU (Bucharest) and the Monitor Racism initiative at the European University Institute (Florence) to run a monthly three Centre seminar series focusing on different European racisms. Mulvey is working with COSLA to develop the New Scots Refugee Integration Strategy and alongside this is planning to work with the Scottish Refugee Council on providing expert policy advice, particularly in response to Brexit.


Virdee was conferred as Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) in 2018. Since 2015, he has delivered more than 30 invited lectures including the 2019 British Sociological Association (BSA) plenary; the Working Class Studies Association International Conference plenary (2019), the 2018 Sociological Review Annual Lecture; the 2017 Ethnic and Racial Studies Annual Lecture; the Havens Centre for Social Justice lecture series, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA (2016). Since 2016, he has been joint editor of the Racism, Resistance and Social Change book series, Manchester University Press.  and is also an editorial board member of the international journals Ethnic and Racial Studies, Sociological Review and Whiteness and Education.