Call for interview participants: Understanding the experiences of migrant academics

Principal Investigator: Dr Kate Sang, School of Management and Languages, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland ( Funders: The Carnegie Trust and Heriot-Watt University


I am a Lecturer in Management at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh (Scotland) and I will be travelling to Australia and New Zealand in May 2013 to undertake interviews with first generation migrant academics. Building on a previous study with migrant academics in the UK[i], this qualitative study will use life history interviews to understand the experiences of migrant academics based in Australia and New Zealand. This is an opportunity to contribute to our understanding of the experiences of academic migrants whose voice is frequently absent from debates on migration and careers, in particular how migratory status intersects with other characteristics to inform these experiences.

The study:

I would like to interview a total of 20 men and women who have migrated to either Australia and New Zealand (from any country) for work or personal reasons and who work as academics in any discipline (at any stage of their career). These interviews will last approximately 60 minutes and will cover:

  • Reasons for migration
  • Career history
  • Experiences of migration and working with academia
  • Work life balance
  • Plans for the future

The study has received full ethical approval from the Research Ethics Committee at Heriot-Watt University. Should you agree to participate, I would like to record the interview to facilitate analysis. Recordings will be professionally transcribed and resulting transcripts fully anonymised to protect the identity of all participants. Participation is entirely voluntary and you are free to withdraw from the study at any time without providing any explanation.

I would like to undertake interviews face to face if possible, although I am also happy to use the telephone, particularly if you are based outside of Sydney, Melbourne, Wellington and Auckland. The dates of my field work are:

6th May to 14th May, Sydney

13th May & 14th May, Melbourne

16th May & 17th May, Wellington

20th May to 24th May, Auckland

27th May to 31st May, Sydney.

I very much hope you will be able to participate in my study. If you would like to take part please contact me at to arrange a time and date. If you know of other colleagues who would be interested in participating please feel free to pass on this information.

I look forward to hearing from you,


[i] Sang, K., Al‐Dajani, H., & Özbilgin, M. (2013). Frayed Careers of Migrant Female Professors in British Academia: An Intersectional Perspective. Gender, Work & Organization20(2), 158-171.

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