PhD Opportunities at Utrecht

Dr. Valentina Di Stasio is recruiting two PhD students who will join her team for the project TARGETS, funded by the European Research Council (ERC StG 2021), and starting in September 2022. The projects will be embedded within the ICS, the Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology, and are based at ERCOMER (European Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic Relations), Utrecht University. 

TARGETS is a multi-disciplinary and multi-method project bringing together insights from sociology, socio-legal studies, organizational and social psychology, management and organization studies, with the aim to understand the conditions under which people are recognized as targets of discrimination (both in the workplace and in the courtroom), and the strategies that members of vulnerable groups adopt to avoid becoming targets.

You can find more detailed information on the two PhD projects at these links:

Project 5 (Discrimination Attributions)

Project 6 (Coping strategies)

The deadline for applying is April 11. More information on the application procedure can be found here:


Call for Papers: Migrants’ skills wastage in the labor market: a multidisciplinary approach for policy formation

The call for our special issue on brain waste is now official:

Deadline for submissions is 31 July 2022

The topic of migrants’ skills wastage has generated a sizable but scattered body of research spanning economics, demography, sociology, law, and other social sciences over the past few years (Griesshaber and Seibel 2015; Flisi et al. 2017; Leuven and Oosterbek 2011; Pecoraro 2014; Capsada-Munsech 2017; Klink 2008; Zhou et al. 2016). While the topic is interdisciplinary by nature, recent work has been disciplinary, generating field-specific hypotheses, data, methods and applications, to the detriment of interdisciplinary links and policy debate. The risk of continuing on the current trend is that specialist disciplinary lines will not only progressively depleting the benefit of informing and generating new knowledge by studying an effectively interdisciplinary phenomenon but generate policy recommendations that only cater for a partial aspect of the problem. In an extreme scenario, they risk becoming irrelevant.

The objective of this special issue is to produce a reference resource which consolidates the existing research body, summarises key insights across several disciplines, and provide a firm foundation for continued interdisciplinary dialogue aimed at unifying knowledge for policy debate and policy formulation.

Specifically with this call for papers, we seek to consolidate research findings from different disciplines on migrants’ skills wastage. This includes the study of topics such as over-education, the international transferability of human capital, statistical or outright discrimination in the labour market and within firms, migration policy, and methodological approaches addressing the self-selection that characterises the choice to migrate and enter the labour market of the host country.

At the same time, we seek novel approaches that unite different perspectives and allow a continuation of interdisciplinary research on the topic, with the objective of providing clear information for policy use. Examples could include, but no be limited to, topics such as the spatial dimensions associated with the under-use of human capital, inter-generational and household effects of experiencing skills under-use (especially educational choices of children whose parents experience skills mismatches), the development of new databases, methodologies or variables, and migration policy considerations from both sending and receiving countries with across regions within a country.

Submission portal: Submission deadline: July 31, 2022

Zhiming Cheng
Wei Guo
Marco Pecoraro
Didier Ruedin
Massimiliano Tani

Is there discrimination against Blacks in Switzerland? — my first video abstract…

I briefly discuss the results from a field experiment on hiring discrimination in Switzerland. We find that Black job seekers must send around 30 per cent more applications than White candidates to be invited to a job interview.

German version:

Rosita Fibbi, Didier Ruedin, Robin Stünzi & Eva Zschirnt (2021) Hiring discrimination on the basis of skin colour? A correspondence test in Switzerland, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, DOI:

Out Now: Hiring discrimination on the basis of skin colour? A correspondence test in Switzerland

I’m very happy to announce a new publication in JEMS on hiring discrimination of Blacks in Switzerland (joint work with Rosita Fibbi, Eva Zschirnt, and Robin Stünzi). Sometimes it’s funny how events unfold — the decision to run this correspondence test to measure hiring discrimination on the basis of skin colour was taken in 2014, and we went into the field in 2018. Then, in 2020, the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum and increasingly people in Western Europe started talking about racism and discrimination against Blacks. In this sense, we‘re very happy to make our contribution to document discrimination as an undeniable fact, regardless of the fact that some keep claiming that without formal colonies Switzerland could not be affected by racism (I’ll leave the “happy” for times when things get better).

We show that Black jobseekers in Switzerland must send around 30 per cent more applications than White candidates in order to be invited to a job interview.

Not entirely by coincidence, we can compare the results with other recent correspondence studies in Switzerland that cover immigrants from Kosovo, and we can show that the level of discrimination is substantively equivalent for applicants with a Kosovo-Albanian name. This suggests that in the Swiss case there is on average no additional penalty for skin colour. Explorations, however, reveal significant differences in discrimination rates between urban and rural settings, opening new avenues for understanding why ethnic and racial discrimination vary across geographical contexts.

Rosita Fibbi, Didier Ruedin, Robin Stünzi & Eva Zschirnt (2021) Hiring discrimination on the basis of skin colour? A correspondence test in Switzerland, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2021.1999795

Call for papers: Discrimination and Racism in Temporal Perspective

Panel organized at the 19th IMISCOE Annual Conference, Oslo
29 June to 1 July 2022
Co-organized with Patrick Simon and Valentina Di Stasio

Racism is still mostly studied without explicit references to discrimination, and many contributions continue to conceive it as a specific expression of prejudice. While the most blatant forms of racism are barely tolerated in contemporary societies, more subtle and systemic forms of racism continue, as shown by studies on ethnic and racial discrimination and inequalities. In the last twenty years, research on discrimination against immigrants and their descendants has grown significantly, paralleling both the settlement of immigrant populations and the coming of age of their children. Studies document differential treatment and discrimination in different markets (e.g. labour market, housing) and social spheres regulated by principles of equality (e.g. school, health service, police). Patterns of discrimination are embedded in institutional contexts and a larger societal environment, characterized not only by economic uncertainties and increasing political polarization in the public debate around immigrant-related issues, but also by increasing ethnic and cultural diversity and opportunities for interethnic contact. Such changes in the context are likely to affect attitudes and ideology diffusion in majority and minority members.

This panel will bring together researchers on discrimination, racism, and inequalities, tackling these issues from various disciplines, theoretical backgrounds and methods. We welcome empirical studies of discrimination patterns across a large variety of domains (considered separately or in relation to each other), theoretical perspectives on how the prevalence of ethnic discrimination and racism should be explained and conceptualized, and quantitative or qualitative analyses of the repertoire of people’s reactions to discrimination experiences. We are particularly interested in papers that examine temporal aspects of racism and discrimination, including their framing and expressions, forms of resistance and coping strategies, and studies on the (lack of) impact of anti-discrimination policies and legislation on perceived discrimination and on various forms of prejudicial attitudes and anti-immigrant sentiments. We also welcome papers which use and discuss theories about cross-country differences, ethno-racial hierarchies, and the cumulation of risks and disadvantage over time and across domains or generations.

Submit your abstract specifying the research question, data, methods and findings (200 words maximum) at no later than 1 December 2021. For further information, get in touch with Didier Ruedin (, Patrick Simon ( or Valentina Di Stasio ( The notification of acceptance will be made by 10 December 2021.

Full Call for Papers