Master Thesis Award competition

The nominees

Last year, in 2022, we started the first Master Thesis Competition from the Focus Area Migration & Societal Change. We were increasingly noted how many interesting research projects in the field of migration were undertaken at the Utrecht University, consequently we decided it would be time for a Master Thesis Award to acknowledge the great work and to get to know these studies better. We received eleven submissions from four different faculties from Utrecht University and we were thrilled about the quality and originality of all the submissions. The winner and three shortlisted candidates were invited to present their work in January during our New Year’s Reception and to laud them for their theses.

We congratulate Andrej Frelin the winner of the competition. He followed the LLM Public International Law program and wrote his thesis on the understanding how migrants that do not fall under the legal definition of a refugee according to the Refugee Convention can still be protected from non-refoulement[1].

Moreover, three more students had also been selected to a shortlist of the thesis award. Carola Vasileiadi, who followed Urban Geography, wrote on the construction of belonging among unauthorised migrants in Amsterdam through art. Ben van Enk from the research master program Migration, Ethnic Relations and Multiculturalism explored how educational attainment relates to perceived discrimination in ethnic minorities across European contexts. Last but not least, Irma Lammers had been nominated for their thesis on how humanitarian workers navigate the complex Dutch asylum apparatus in order to support LGBTQI refugees for their asylum claims which she wrote in her master’s program Cultural Anthropology: Sociocultural Transformation.

The winner and the three shortlisted candidates were all awarded a prize money of 500€ or 250€, respectively. We want to applaud them once again for their great theses and wish them all the best for their future endeavours.

Furthermore, we want to thank all nominees and their supervisors for their participation. The selection committee for the thesis award consisted of Prof. dr. Dina Siegel, Dr. Christoph Baumgartner, Dr. Ilse van Liempt and Prof dr. Marcel Lubbers.


[1] Under international human rights law, the principle of non-refoulement guarantees that no one should be re- turned to a country where they would face torture, cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment and other irreparable harm. (Source)