Research School » Programme » Sylff Mikrokolleg

SYLFF-Mikrokolleg „Forced Migration“

The RUB Research School cooperates with the Tokio Foundation to present you a Mikrokolleg within the Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (SYLFF) on the topic of forced migration.

Starting in 2018, the fellows are part of a small, highly interdisciplinary research group and work on individual doctoral projects within different research perspectives under the overarching topic of forced migration. The Mikrokolleg is located at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum and professors from different disciplines such as economics, law, political science or sociology focus on interdisciplinary cooperation.

The fellows of the SYLFF-Mikrokolleg work on a variety of aspects related to international forced migration which is understood as a cross-border "migratory movement in which an element of coercion exists, including threats to life and livelihood, whether arising from natural or man-made causes" (International Organisation for Migration).

All fellows are members of RUB Research School which provides an international research and social environment to support the fellows academic and non-academic future careers. The fellows eligible to apply for additional funding of RUB Research School PLUS and the Tokio Foundation, such as for field research and conference organisation.



  • October 2020

    Foto: © RUB, Marquardt

    Welcome our new Sylff scholarship holders 2020! On October 27th,  Spyridoula Katsoni (International Law), Jan-Phillip Graf (International Law) & Rafael Bohlen (Sociology) presented their doctoral research on Forced Migration.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    During the kick-off of the second cohort, also the members of the first funding cohort and associate doctoral researchers of the Sylff Mikrokolleg on Forced migration presented their research.

  • April 2020

    Using a Sylff Research Abroad (SRA) grant, Benedikt Behlert spent four months from September 2019 to January 2020 as a junior visiting fellow at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, which proved to be highly beneficial for his PhD project on the administrative procedures required to protect human rights. Read more about his research experience in Geneva.
  • February 2020

    The SYLFF associate Mais Masadeh took part in an art competition at  the University of Leiden on the topic of 'Posters for Protected Persons'  in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions 1949.

    Mais was awarded first place in the international competition. Her work along with others are printed in a calendar of best contributions. The competition’s aim was to raise awareness of International Humanitarian Law and the protections of civilians and non-combatants in armed conflict.

    For more information on the art work, competition and calendar, click here.
  • January - March 2020

    The SYLFF associate Mais Masadeh launched an art exhibition aims to raise awareness on the migratory routes of refugees at home, in transit and at arrival. The exhibition concept ‘Die Reise’ – The Journey – was opened in January and lasted until March 16 this year, is composed of five original paintings depicting different crossing terrains: the Desert, the River, the Island, the Mountain, and the Indefinite. The work has been inspired by Mais’s PhD research and her previous working experience with refugees and internally displaced persons.
  • November 2019

    "Forced Migration in Transition: Perspectives from Social Science and Law" Conference of the SYLFF Mikrokolleg on Forced Migration
    14 – 15 November 2019
    Ruhr University Bochum
    More info here.
  • October 2019

    On October 1st, Keita Sugai from the Tokyo Foundation visited the RUB Research School. He took the opportunity to exchange ideas with Prof. Dr. Löwenstein, Dr. Christiane Wüllner and Dr. Sarah Gemicioglu on the design of the Sylff Mikrokolleg. At a meeting with fellow students and associates of the Kolleg, he learned more about the activities and the upcoming conferences, organized by the members of the Sylff-Mikrokolleg.
  • July 2019

    The SYLFF associate, doctoral candidate Mais Masadeh presented her research on the resilience of victims of war currently living in Germany, at the workshop  “Politics, Identities and Relationships in the Transatlantic World” which took place  at City University New York (CUNY)  between July 8-13 in NY.

    The program was organized and funded by the Graduate Center of CUNY, The Ralph Bunche Institute, the EU Studies Center, and the RUB Research School Bochum. Lead by the Dean of the Faculty of History, Prof. C. Goschler and his counterpart Prof. J. Torpey, the director of the R.Bunche Institute,  the program focuses on leading a platform of transatlantic research cooperation and equip participants with recent academic and professional skills such as sharpening research ideas and identifying gaps in research through group discussions, publishing inside and outside academia, grant seeking and cultural nuances. Key speakers included Steven Sokol, the president of the American Council on Germany, Yvonne Rothschild, the Executive Director of the European-American Chamber of Commerce, Micah Kleit, the Director of the Rutgers University Press, and Anne Glusker the Deputy Editor of To ensure the continuity of this transatlantic cooperation, the sixth program-meeting will convene in July in 2020 welcoming researchers from American institutions and will take place at RUB.

  • June 2019

    On June 4th, the Sylff associate Mais Masadeh along with Dr. Gedahus moderated a panel entitled “Was kommt nach der Flucht aus der ISIS-Sklaverei?”. The panel hosted two keynote speakers Ms Salwa Rasho, a Yazidi human rights activist who was abducted by ISIS in 2014 along with thousands of Yazidi women and girls. She was able to escape the terrorist organization in 2015 and was resettled through a humanitarian program in Germany. Mirza Dinnayi, the founder of Luftbrüke Irak, a non-profit organization aims to assist victims of war from Irak to be treated in German hospitals. The panelists shared experiences from their lives during ISIS siege of parts of Kurdistan, challenges of humanitarian aid in the region, how the surviving Yazidi population are adapting after the war and the current situation of rescued children who have been recruited into ISIS military camps and challenges to assist and reintegrate them back not the society. The panel was organized by the IFHV in cooperation with the faculty of social sciences.
  • June 2019
    Mit der Bitte um zahlreiches Erscheinen: Veranstaltung der RUB zum Weltflüchtlingstag 2019, am 15. Juni im Blue Square.
  • May 2019
    RUB Research School visiting Tokyo Foundation

    RUB Research School Managing Director Dr. Christiane Wüllner and Dr. Jörn Benzinger gladly accepted the invitation to visit the headquarters of Tokyo Foundation and SYLFF during their visit to Japan. The informative exchange helped to foster the strong relationship between RUB Research School and Tokyo Foundation.
    We are very much looking forward to continuing the extremely fruitful cooperation and would like to express our sincere gratitude for SYLFF’s support of doctoral researchers at our university. Thank you for having us!
  • March 2019

    We are starting to build RUB's network on "Forced Migration". Share your approaches, ideas and results with fellows and associates of the Sylff Kolleg on "Forced Migration". Doctoral researchers and advanced master students of all disciplines are invited to discuss their research in this network. Read more.
  • December 2018:

    The Sylff Fellows participated in a one day workshop on providing and receiving feedback in an academic setting at RUB Research School.
  • February 2018: Sylff-Mikrokolleg Kick-off

    The Kick-off Event of the Sylff-Mikrokolleg in Forced Migration started with a warm welcome by Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Löwenstein, Dean of RUB Research School and Research Academy Ruhr as well as a member of the Steering Committee of the Sylff-Mikrokolleg. Dr. Benjamin Etzold from the Bonn International Center for Conversion (Bicc) held the inauguration speech and provided a talk on „Violence – Mobility – Space. Key Perspectives in Forced Migration Studies“. Afterwards, the four Sylff fellows presented their PhD projects to the audience. All those present used the opportunity to discuss the different research projects within the get-together after the event.

SYLFF links

SYLFF links

  • RUB Mailinglist on migration (Flucht und Migration)
  • Further information on projects and activities dealing with the subject flight throughout Germany can be found in the Interactive Map made by the Bonn International Center for Conversion (Bicc) in collaboration with the “Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies”. The Sylff-Mikrokolleg is also listed in this map.