The University of Cologne is looking for a PhD candidate in the project “Migration, Intersectionality and Institutional Interaction: Experiences of African Migrants in the United Arab Emirates”, headed by Prof. Dr. Michaela Pelican.

The project is part of the interdisciplinary research group “Cross-border Mobility and Institutional Dynamics” (FOR 5183) coordinated at the University of Siegen. The research group investigates interactions between mobility and institutions, specifically: the importance of institutions for shaping and controlling cross-border mobility, as well as the consequences of mobility for the existence and transformation of institutions. Five projects from the disciplines of sociology, anthropology and political science will collaborate in the research group. The empirical-qualitative, theory-oriented and reflective methodological work of the research group is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

The project “Migration, Intersectionality and Institutional Interaction” examines the interaction between migrant actors and representatives of the institutions found in the Gulf States. It assumes that the institutions relevant for labor migration (formal and informal institutions of the labor and housing market, migration authorities, institutions of migrant self-organization) do not treat mobile persons as homogeneous clientele, but that in institutional interactions different positionalities are made relevant by all parties. Accordingly, the project is interested in how intersectionality shapes interactions between migrants and institutional actors in the Gulf States and how social positionings are strategically used by both sides. Empirically, the project examines the experiences of migrants from Africa (especially Ethiopia and Cameroon) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  Particular focus will be placed on the institution of the kafala or sponsorship system, which is widespread in the Gulf region and closely linked to institutions of migration control and the labor market, as well as on institutions of migrant self-organization.

The application deadline is 1/10/2021. For further information:


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