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IMISCOE Report Summary

Project ID: 506236
Funded under: FP6-CITIZENS
Country: Netherlands

Final Report Summary - IMISCOE (International migration, integration and social sohesion in Europe)

The IMISCOE Network of Excellence (NoE) was established on 1 April 2004 in response to a call by the DG Research of the European Commission in the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) to create NoE. The task of a NoE would be to create a sustainable infrastructure for the domain of international migration, integration and social cohesion in Europe, expressing itself in research programming, training of future researchers and practitioners, and for dissemination of results of research to a wide audience.

In particular, the project pursued three specific goals:
1. building an integrated, multidisciplinary, comparative research programme;
2. establishing an infrastructure for the training of researchers and stakeholders;
3. setting up a structure to disseminate research results to the public, politicians and, in particular, policymakers.

As in former years, the strength of IMISCOE has very much been constituted both by the bottom-up initiatives taken by its own members as well as the continued loyal commitment of the network's board and committee members who form IMISCOE's executive structures and External advisory committee (EAC). The EAC is characterised by a core group of members who attend not only specific EAC meetings, but are also present at annual conferences (thereby, participating in full conference programmes) and strongly promote IMISCOE within their own external networks.

Initially, IMISCOE had instated three teams to look into the feasibility of developing new strategic research lines. Three so-called feasibility study teams produced analytical studies on IMISCOE's central topics of international migration, integration and social cohesion. During the third year, Eurolinks, Intpol and SOCO, as the teams are called, were asked to develop strategic research proposals into new work packages. This was carried out in close cooperation with relevant clusters, thus allowing the original feasibility studies to merge into either cluster-based initiatives or new cross-cluster activities.

Intense discussions on new, strategic lines of research as well as the studies of the teams already conducted made it clear that IMISCOE still required another instrument to specifically stimulate theory-building and methodological development. To this end, a special call for conferences was launched in December 2006. The call resulted in the organisation of a series of five conferences on fundamental, strategic issues in theories, concepts and methodologies for the study of migration and integration

IMISCOE has given priority to three ways of enhancing training: 1) by facilitating participation in training and mobility for IMISCOE members; 2) by developing specific training offers for newcomers in the field; and 3) by developing joint PhD training programmes and Master's degree courses.
In the final year, the NoE had only limited funds were available for its activities. The 'board of directors' therefore had no choice but to cancel the training and travel grant programme.

The NoE has been successful in its first task: creating a platform for research programming. It has brought together growing numbers of researchers in the field, making them work together on research proposals and publications. This is expressed in numerous new proposals (and success of acquiring external funding for these projects) and publications. External evaluations confirm this, but the most convincing argument is the fact that all institutional partners committed themselves to the self-funded continuation of the IMISCOE NoE in the new IMISCOE research network.

IMISCOE has also been successful in its second task: the organisation of training. However, this task was to a great extent narrowed down to the training of young researchers, an activity that has met with great appreciation. Other types of training have been initiated on a limited scale only.

Major efforts have been invested by IMISCOE in its third task, that of disseminating the results of research to a wide audience. Significant progress has been made, but also much has to be learned and done yet in this domain in the future. The recently filed proposal under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), called APRIMI, outlines how major steps forwards could be made, if that proposal will be implemented.

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