IRiS Associates

Professor Hugh Adlington

Department of English Literature

Hugh has an interest in diverse readerships of canonical early modern English literature.  Of particular interest to Hugh are the fresh interpretations of well-known texts that such readers produce and how engaging with such texts challenges these readers' existing ways of thinking. 

0121 414 5672

Dr Vanessa Heggie

Social Studies in Medicine/Institute of Applied Health Research

Vanessa is a historian of modern science and medicine. She has been given a British Academy and Leverhulme small grant to start research on a new project on the history of the physiological study of racial difference in the twentieth century, particularly focusing on adaptations to non-temperate climates, and how racial physiology informed theories of human evolution.  

0121 415 8184

Professor Michalis Drouvelis

Department of Economics

Michalis’ work researches issues of human cooperation using experimental methods. He is interested in deepening understanding about how social norms are established and enforced in vulnerable populations such as refugees.

0121 414 6040

Dr Maria Roca Lizarazu

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Department of Modern Languages

Maria has a long-standing interest in German Jewish culture, literature and memory.  She has worked on questions of (anti-)assimilation, community and togetherness in the German Jewish context.  Maria is exploring practices of world- and future-making in the space of contemporary literatures and the Arts more broadly.


Dr Benjamin Hopkins

Birmingham Business School

Benjamin is a Senior Lecturer in the Birmingham Business School with expertise in work and employment issues.  He has published widely on the workplace experiences of central and eastern European migrants in the United Kingdom, with a particular concentration on the food manufacturing sector.  He is currently researching the impact of the Brexit process on these workers, on individual businesses, and for the sector more widely.

0121 414 6040

Dr Ruth Gilligan

Novelist and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing

As a writer, Ruth is interested in the potential – and potential limitations – of fiction to transcend cultural boundaries and offer empathic insights into diverse communities. This is reflected in her novels, but also in her ongoing work with the global not-for-profit ‘Narrative 4’, which believes in the power of personal stories to foster ‘radical empathy’. Since 2014, Ruth has been running Narrative 4 ‘story exchange’ projects between youths from diverse backgrounds across the UK and Ireland, in an effort to shatter stereotypes and create connections.

0121 414 3596

Dr Sultan Salem

Lecturer in Economics, Birmingham Business School

Sultan has an interest in studies concerning responsible financial integration for better harmony among diverse communities. Hence, looking and pointing out the positive financial contribution brought from recent or past immigrated communities into the UK. This could be scrutinized theoretically or empirically. 

Professor Emma Frew

Health Economics, Institute of Applied Health Research

Emma’s interest in diversity stems from her work tackling childhood obesity within and beyond Birmingham City.   Birmingham is a super diverse City and understanding how to design and evaluate effective obesity policy within and across diverse communities is critical. 

0121 414 3199

Ingrid Storm

Sociology, Department for Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology 

Ingrid is a sociologist with an interest in religious, national and ethnic identities and attitudes to immigration and ethnic minorities. She mostly analyses quantitative survey data but is interested in other methods including experiments and qualitative interviews. Ingrid has previously researched the relationship between economic insecurity and religiosity, and the relationship between religiosity and attitudes to immigration in Europe. She is currently working on a H2020 project (Dialogie about Radicalisation and Equality), where she is examining the relationship between inequality and anti-Muslim attitudes among young people in large-scale cross-national datasets. 

Dr Melanie Griffiths

Birmingham Fellow, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (GEES)

Dr Melanie Griffiths is an anthropologist by training, working on migrants and migration management in the UK. Her research expertise includes immigration enforcement matters, including immigration detention, criminalisation and deportation, and how these relate to questions of ethnicity, gender, class and immigration status. She also writes on time, men and masculinity, the judicial system and bureaucratic relations in the migration field. She works with a variety of migrant groups, particularly irregular and illegalised migrants, deportees and asylum seekers, as well as their British family members, offering insights into how immigration enforcement affects wider society. Melanie was awarded a prestigious Birmingham Fellowship in February 2018. She is currently leading research examining new developments in immigration enforcement evolving under Brexit. In 2014-17 she headed a Future Research Leaders project at the University of Bristol investigating the family lives and private life rights of 'mixed-immigration status' families, focusing on deportable migrant men and their British/European partners and children. Melanie has a PhD from the University of Oxford (on problems identifying refused asylum seekers and immigration detainees) and in 2013 worked on a University of Exeter project exploring disparities between asylum appeals heard at different tribunal centres.  

Dr Clara Rübner Jørgensen

Social Anthopologist, Department for Disability Inclusion and Special Needs, School of Education 

Clara's main research interests centre around children and young people's experiences of migration, education and friendships, and she has previously done research in both the UK and Spain on this topic. Her current research focuses on the intersections between migration and special education needs, and how these impact on children and young people's educational experiences, social wellbeing and access to support. 

Dr Tendayi Bloom

Lecturer in Politics and International Studies (starts at the University of Birmingham in September 2019)

Tendayi Bloom is a political and legal theorist who works on questions of noncitizenship and migration governance. She is author of Noncitizenism: Recognising Noncitizen Capabilities in a World of Citizens (Routledge, 2018) and co-editor of Understanding Statelessness (with K Tonkiss and P Cole, Routledge, 2017). She is currently focusing on work relating to global migration governance and to statelessness.