Refugee Studies Centre

The Refugee Studies Centre (RSC), part of the Oxford Department of International Development, conducts multidisciplinary, independent and critical research into the forced displacement of populations, including displacement due to conflict and generalised violence. The RSC has won an international reputation as the leading centre for research on the causes and consequences of forced migration, work which embraces a commitment to improving the lives and circumstances of forced migrants.
To ensure that the Centre’s work has a meaningful impact beyond the academic community, research is combined with active engagement with international and national policymakers, with partners at a local level, and with the public.

Current and recent research focuses on:

  • the governance (law, policy, and practice) of international protection for those displaced, including projects on the politics of the Syrian refugee crisis, international refugee law, global refugee policy, banishment and deportation, international cooperation, UNHCR, and humanitarian nutrition and shelter;
  •  the experiences of the displaced, including refugees’ economic livelihoods (‘refugee economies’), the innovative coping strategies of refugees, and the perceptions, aspirations and educational needs of refugees from the Syrian conflict.

Geographically, current focus areas include the Syrian refugee crisis, and, in Africa, Uganda and Kenya, both countries hosting many refugees from the conflicts in South Sudan, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


Professor Alexander Betts
Leopold Muller Professor of Refugee Studies and Forced Migration
Director, Refugee Studies Centre

Louise Bloom
Research Officer, Humanitarian Innovation Project

Georgia Cole
Joyce Pearce Junior Research Fellow

Dr Cathryn Costello
Andrew W Mellon Associate Professor of International Refugee and Human Rights Law

Professor Matthew J Gibney
Elizabeth Colson Professor of Politics and Forced Migration
Deputy Director, Refugee Studies Centre

Dr Will Jones
Departmental Lecturer in Politics and Forced Migration

Professor Gil Loescher
Visiting Professor

Dr Naohiko Omata
Senior Research Officer, Humanitarian Innovation Project

Dr Tom Scott-Smith
Associate Professor of Refugee Studies and Forced Migration

Leïla Vignal
Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellow

Emeritus, but still active

Professor Dawn Chatty
Emerita Professor of Anthropology and Forced Migration

Professor Roger Zetter
Emeritus Professor of Refugee Studies


For information about upcoming events at the Centre, please follow this link.