MER membersSome members of the MER Centre

Interdisciplinary research conducted by members of the Western Centre for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations informs public policy and practice that facilitate the well-being of immigrants and ethnic minorities in Canada and internationally. The Centre provides training opportunities for students beyond the borders of their own discipline and internationally, and connects academic researchers with policy makers and community stakeholders.

News and Events

  • President, Five Alumini Among Finalists

    Western President Amit Chakma, along with five Western alumni, have been named finalists for the RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award for 2014.
    The annual awards, given out by Canadian Immigrant Magazine, in partnership with RBC Royal Bank, since 2009, is the first Canadian national award program that recognizes immigrants’ achievements from all walks of life. Chakma, who was born in Bangladesh and arrived in Canada in 1983, was chosen as one of 75 finalists from more than 630 nominees by a panel of judges, consisting of Canadian Immigrant Magazine editorial staff as well as immigrant and ethnic community leaders. Among the Western alumni nominated are Farah Mohamed, MA’96; Towhid Noman, BSc’90; Alan Diner, BA ‘90; Dunstan Peter, BESc’05; and Dr. Surinder Khurana, DDS’06. 
    For further information, click here

  • New laboratory highlights $1.4 million in new funding

    Researchers at Western University have secured funding to establish a new laboratory to improve services for newcomers to Canada and to conduct gender analysis of international development policy and practice. Led by Victoria Esses and Bipasha Baruah, the new Migration, Gender and International Development Laboratory will be funded in part by the $181,474 it received this morning from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) Leaders Opportunity Fund. Esses, a psychology professor and director of the Centre for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations, will lead multi-year studies that develop strategies to improve settlement and integration experiences for immigrants to Canada. These studies will provide much-needed guidance to federal and provincial ministries and settlement organizations responsible for providing settlement information and services to newcomers. “Much of my work involves helping equip community organizations and governments with evidence-based strategies that promote inclusion, local development and economic and social sustainability,” Esses says. READ MORE


  • New Pathways to Prosperity Partnership Awarded $2.5-Million Grant to Support Settlement and Integration of Immigrants across Canada

    The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada has awarded a 2012 Partnership Grant to Victoria Esses and a pan-Canadian team of thirteen co-investigators.  The project - Pathways to Prosperity: New Policy Directions and Innovative Local Practices for Newcomer Integration and Attraction - will equip local institutions with the analytic capacity to address challenges related to migration, integration, local development, and economic and social sustainability. The project will also help federal, provincial, and municipal governments develop and implement policies for attracting, settling, and integrating newcomers in centres across Canada. The partnership will comprise a network of five regional nodes – Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Prairies, and British Columbia – with the Welcoming Communities Initiative serving as the project’s Ontario node.  For more information, see the press release.

  • MER PhD student Riley Dillon was named among 10 Africa-based and 10 Canada-based graduate students receiving funding from the Africa Initiative Graduate Research to confront critical issues facing Africa. Read more here.

  • Congratulations to Melissa Stachel, Victoria Esses, and Gillian King, who have just received a University Of Western Ontario Autism Centre Of Excellence Award for their project, "A qualitative, cross-national analysis of the experiences of Somali parents raising children with and without autism."  

  • MER graduate Dr. Abel Chikanda will be conducting an IOM-funded training workshop in Senegal on diasporas and development. For more info please click here.

  • The Western Centre for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations, in partnership with the Canada-U.S. Institute, held a conference in London, Ontario, on April 28-30, 2011. The conference is titled: "Taking Stock of a Turbulent Decade and Looking Ahead: Immigration to North America in 2000-2010". More information can be found at the website:

  • Harold Crabtree Foundation Award in Public Policy - Congrats to Prof. Vicki Esses and PhD Candidate Caroline Bennett-AbuAyyash, who are the 2010-2011 recipients of this award! <<more info>>

  • "Coping with Autism: Suffering and Hope Among Somalis in the Twin Cities", news article written by MER Student Melissa Stachel, published October 9, 2010.

  • Christopher Taylor, MER PhD Student, is currently doing an internship in Mwanza, Tanzania, in coordination with the Western Heads East Project. To check out the details of his research travel and internship agenda, Chris invites you to read more on his blog "Christopher Stuart Heads East".