Photo of Emilia Pietka-Nykaza

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

refugee integration; Post EU-enlargement migration to the UK

Willing to speak to media


Research output per year

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Personal profile


My current research and academic experience is located within the broad field of refugee and migration studies. I have a specialist interest in the theme of integration and migrants’ settlement practices from a multidisciplinary and policy- focused perspective. 

Current research activities

My current research focuses on exploring issues around how citizenship is being practiced, lived and experienced by migrants. In particularly, I'm interested on exploring what citizenship means for migrants to define the boundaries for inclusion and explusion into citizentry.

I'm also working on exploring multi-dimensional experiences of uncertaintiy among EU citizens following Brexit. Recently, I've organised series of seminars focusing on 'Sociology of Brexit': 

Area of academic expertise - outline

My research expertise is placed around two main themes:
• the process of refugee integration and settlement in Europe
• drivers, impacts and long-term trajectories of Central and Easter European Migration to the UK

Emilia has participated in number of international and national research projects including: 

  • Worldwide University Network - Negotiating transition to a ‘grown up world’: the journey to sexual and reproductive health for unaccompanied adolescent asylum seekers.
  • Examining the drivers, impacts and long-term trajectories of Polish migration a decade after accession (ESRC funded prefect) Centre for population Change, University of Southampton 
  • Mental health and Psychosocial Support Network ( Global Host for Refugee Integration
  • Intergenerational learning in Polish migrant families in Scotland’(funded by Scottish Centre for Intergenerational Practice), University of Strathclyde
  • My Home Abroad. Life experience of Eastern European migrant children in Scotland (ERSC funded project),University of Strathclyde
  • Living Together: MyGrant Cities (project developed in co- operation with the British Council and The Institute of Public Affairs) University of Strathclyde

Desired research direction

In the future I would like to focus on developing a framework to investigate the citizenship in the context of migration 

Target collaborative organisations

Refugee Council, British Cross, Centre for Populaiton Change 

Other areas of expertise available for knowledge exchange

refugee integration and settlement, EU migration, methodologies in researching migration.

External positions

Research Fellow, University of Southampton

Mar 2014Nov 2014

Research and Policy Officer, BEMIS (Black and Ethnic Minorities Infrastructure for Scotland)

Sep 2011Mar 2013

Teaching and Research Assistant, University of Strathclyde

Sep 2007Jun 2012

Research Assistant , University of Warsaw

Jan 2007Aug 2007


  • HM Sociology
  • migration
  • refugee studies
  • citizenship
  • ethnic minorities

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Research Output

Complexities of Polish migrant's citizenship attributions in the context of Brexit and the Scottish Independence Referendums

Pietka-Nykaza, E. & McGhee, D., 17 Aug 2020, In : Scottish Affairs. 29, 3, p. 386-402 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 9 Downloads (Pure)

    Scotland and Brexit: citizenship, identity and belonging

    Pietka-Nykaza, E. (ed.), Leith, M. S. (ed.) & Clark, C. (ed.), 17 Aug 2020, In : Scottish Affairs. 29, 3, p. 293-304 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 5 Downloads (Pure)

    Polish diaspora or Polish migrant communities? Polish migrants in Scotland, 1945-2015

    Pietka-Nykaza, E., Aug 2018, New Scots: Scotland’s Immigrant Communities since 1945. Devine, T. M. & McCarthy, A. (eds.). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    EU post-accession Polish migrants trajectories and their settlement practices in Scotland

    Pietka-Nykaza, E. & McGhee, D., 2017, In : Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studie. 43, 9, p. 1417-1433 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 150 Downloads (Pure)

    Forced Migration and Education: Refugee Women Teachers’ Trajectories in Canada and UK

    Pietka-Nykaza, E. & Ratkovic, S., 2016, Diversifying the Teaching Force in Transnational Contexts: Critical Perspectives. Schmidt, C. & Schneider, J. (eds.). Sense Publishers, p. 179-200 (Transnational Migration and Education; vol. 3).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    • 2 Participation in conference

    Rethinking the teaching of migration in the political now

    Colin Clark (Invited speaker) & Emilia Pietka-Nykaza (Invited speaker)

    14 Jun 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

    Refugee Politics: Dilemmas and Trade-Offs’; Symposium at the Scottish Parliament, 15 June 2018, Greek/German Politics Specialist Groups – Pushing the Boundaries Award

    Colin Clark (Invited speaker), Emilia Pietka-Nykaza (Invited speaker) & Hartwig Pautz (Organiser)

    15 Jun 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference