Alpa read Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge and then completed her doctorate (University of Cambridge) in which she empirically examined perceptions of Asian criminality in the UK. Following this she held a British Academy Postdoctoral fellowship at King's College London in which she researched police stop and search practices under the Terrorism Act 2000 and the consequences of counter-terrorist polices for minority ethnic groups - particularly British Asian people. Theoretically her research considers the implications of security practices upon notions of belonging and ethnic identity, and multi-cultural citizenry. During her postdoctoral fellowship, she was a visiting scholar at Berkeley, University of California, at which time she conducted a comparative policing study on stop and search and stop and frisk. Her book Crime and the Asian Community is forthcoming (Oxford University Press) and her recent publications include 'Stop and Search in London: Counter-terrorist or counter-productive?' (2011 in Policing and Society 21(4)) and 'Configuring Ethnic Identities: resistance as a response to counter-terrorist policy' (2013 in New Directions in Race, Ethnicity and Crime edited by Coretta Phillips and Colin Webster). In addition to researching ethnicity, gender, racism and criminalization, Alpa's current project explores the intersection of securitization and race and the consequences this has on migrants crossing borders between India, Europe and the USA.