Guest post by Ruby Shrimpton, a research assistant with the Asylum Network and a postgraduate law student at BPP University. The Asylum Network is a collective of academics and researchers led by Dr Nick Gill of the University of Exeter and Dr Deirdre Conlon of the University of Leeds.
During the course of our ESRC-funded work with migrant support groups (much of the results of which can be found here), we at the Asylum Network found that migrant support groups are tired of being approached by academics and student researchers for interviews or other data without having input into the research design process or access to the results.
In an effort to rectify this situation and to encourage participatory research in the field of migration, we have built a website to facilitate a process of informed research. We’re delighted to introduce the Asylum Network Research Matchmaker, which is now fully functioning (albeit a little rough around the edges).
The website works like this: migrant support groups can register and post a ‘project’ or research idea that they’d like to have answered or explored, and potential researchers can ‘match’ themselves to a project, drawing on these posts in order to formulate their research questions in the light of an organisation’s identified needs. Alternatively, academics and students can create researcher ‘profiles’ indicating their skills and interests. Organisations that work with migrants can then search these profiles and contact the individuals quickly and securely.
There’s much good will among students and academics for migrants in vulnerable situations. We’re hopeful that this website will help to ensure that research participants are active partners in the research process and that the outcome is mutually beneficial for all parties. To that end, the website also contains links to relevant publications and resources on the subject of participatory research that we believe are helpful.
But, of course, the website will only work if it’s used. The matchmaker is currently in its infancy and it will only grow as people post projects and profiles, and as awareness is raised and matches are made. We aim to have thirty projects posted by January 2015. Please consider spending a few minutes to register and enter a project or profile, or to share the site with groups or individuals who may be interested.
How to cite this blog post (Harvard style): Shrimpton R (2014) Introducing The Asylum Network Research Matchmaker. Available at:/ (Accessed [date]).