Uppsala University (UU) is the scientific as well as administrative coordinator of the project. UU will be actively involved in research tasks in various work packages, e g fulfill the data gathering tasks related to Sweden and taking responsibility for work packages 5, 7, 9, 10 and 11. Besides the project managementand scientific coordination tasks, UU will be responsible for dissemination and exploitation of the project’sresults. UU has profound experience in managing EU-projects. UU hosts more than 40 ERC-projects, and takes part in around 250 collaborative projects under FP7 and Horizon2020, both as partner and coordinator. It is the oldest university among the Nordic countries, founded in 1477, and is consistently being placed among the top 100 in international rankings, such as the Academic Ranking of World Universities (# 60 in 2016). World-class research and high quality education pursued at UU benefit society and business on a global level. The university is characterized by diversity and breadth, with international frontline research at nine faculties counting 24 600 full-time equivalent students; 6 000 employees, whereof about 1 800 teachers and researchers (including some 700 full professors, of which 27 % are women). Comprehensive peer reviews and rankings consistently show that research and teaching at UU is of the highest international standard, which is also reinforced by the fact that about 54% of the research is funded by external sources, not least from the EU.

The project’s activities will be located at the Uppsala Religion and Society Research Centre (CRS), an interdisciplinary research Centre at the Department of Theology, focusing on processes of religious andsocial change. The research that currently dominates activity at CRS is the ten year programme “Impact ofReligion – Challenges for Society, Law and Democracy”, involving about 60 researchers at a broad range offaculties and departments at UU. Three (3) post-doctoral positions on Migration and Religion will beinaugurated during 2017 by the “Impact of Religion” programme. This multi-faceted and comprehensive research environment will provide a vibrant and stimulating milieu for RESPOND. Furthermore, RESPOND, will benefit from the recently established Center for Multidisciplinary Research on Racism (CemFor), which will closely tie to the Uppsala Religion and Society Research Centre. RESPOND will have direct accessto CRS’ operational capacity and profound experience in managing large and complex research projects.Thus, facilities such as financial and other management, dissemination of results to a broad range of audiences, and hosting international researchers, will be efficiently and professionally provided for. In addition, the Faculty of Theology, to which CRS is affiliated, runs four master programs of relevance toRESPOND; 1) “Euroculture” focussing on European integration; 2) “International Humanitarian Action” (NOHA), focussing on emergency and disaster relief; 3) “Religion in Peace and Conflict” focussing on religiously and ethically grounded engagement, and; 4) “Human Rights” focussing on ways in which human rights can be interpreted, developed and implemented in society.

RESPOND at Uppsala University


Önver a. cetrez | Scientific coordinator of respond

Associate Professor and lecturer in Psychology of Religion and Cultural Psychology at Uppsala University, is the Principal Investigator of the Swedish team and the coordinator of RESPOND. Dr. Cetrez has profound expertise in studies of migration, refugees, health and acculturation. He is also a member of the Regional Ethical Board in Uppsala. He has led two similar research projects, both financed by the Swedish Research Council, one among Iraqis in Sweden (2010-2013), the other among Syrians in Turkey (2014-2016). Dr. Cetrez held the position as Deputy Director of the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul during the years 2014-2016.



Soner Ö. Barthoma | administrative coordinator of respond

Independent researcher with a background in political science. He has broad research interest in various inter-disciplinary topics, amongst forced migration, governance and discourse theories, European politics, Turkish foreign policy, late Ottoman period and genocide studies, history of the modern Middle East and its political regimes, identity politics, cultural heritage and revitalization of endangered languages. He is board member of Stichting Inanna Foundation in the Netherlands and Mor Ephrem Stiftung in Germany; initiated and coordinated various international projects, most recently Erasmus+ Aramaic-Online (2014-2017) and Surayt-Aramaic Online Project (2017-2020) He has edited two volumes on the 1915 genocide, published various articles on identity, migration and integration related topics.



Valerie DeMarinis

Ph.D., Psychologist. Full Professor in Psychology of Religion and Cultural Psychology, Uppsala University. Gäst Professor in Public Mental Health at the Institution for Public Health and Clinical Medicine at Umeå University (Medical Faculty), Sweden. Research Professor in Public Mental Health Promotion, Innlandet Hospital Trust, Norway. DeMarinis has extensive experience in both research and clinical work with refugees and other migrant groups in the healthcare system in Sweden, in both mental health- and somatic contexts. In the clinical context, she is responsible for developing the meaning-making assessment framework, including existential meaning, used in mapping patient world views.


Karin Borevi

Associate Professor and senior lecturer in Political Science at Södertörn University and researcher at the Uppsala Religion and Society Research Centre (CRS), is a member of the Swedish team of the Horizon 2020 EU RESPOND project. She has long and profound experience in studying immigration, integration, citizenship, multiculturalism and the welfare state. She is leader of theme 1 “Religious and social change” within the Linneaus Center of Excellence and research program The Impact of Religion: Challenges to Society, Law and Democracy at Uppsala University and is part of the Oslo-based research project When poverty meets affluence: Migrant street workers in Scandinavia (Fafo, Norway).


Mudar Shakra

PhD candidate in Psychology of Religion at Uppsala University; member of the Swedish RESPOND team. He has a law degree from Damascus University (2000-2006) and MA from Stockholm University (2011-12). He worked as a lawyer (2006-11) and as Senior Protection officer for UNHCR (2007-11) before emigrating from Syria to Sweden. In Sweden he worked in several positions related to the migration, refugee law and integration issues and as a research-assistant at Uppsala University in two research projects among Iraqi newly arrivals in Sweden and Syrian refugees in Turkey (2013-14). 



Jenni Wirman

Research Assistant at the Uppsala Religion and Society Research Centre at Uppsala University, working on the Horizon 2020 RESPOND project. Jenni has a political science background with a bachelor’s degree and an ongoing master’s degree in Political Science from Uppsala University. She has also studied at the University of Sheffield. Her research has focused on migration policy, international aid cooperation and structural violence. Jenni has prior experience of international work from the public and non-profit sector, her main focus having been Swedish aid cooperation in Afghanistan, education, and child and youth rights. Her research interests span over international migration, gender, politics in the MENA region and social justice issues.


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Research Intern at the RESPOND project in Uppsala. Jonas holds a bachelor’s degree in political science with history as a minor. During his bachelor’s he studied at the University of Munich and the University of Copenhagen. He currently studies the joint-degree master’s programme “Euroculture” at the Universities of Göttingen and Uppsala. His research is focused on European integration and political culture, regionalism and migration. Jonas will combine his experience from RESPOND with his interest in border studies in his master’s thesis. He has work experience in the governmental sector through an internship at the German Environmental Ministry.



Recent Blog Entries

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Research intern at Uppsala Religion and Society Research Centre (CRS) at Uppsala University, is a member of the Swedish team of the Horizon 2020 EU RESPOND project. He is pursuing his Master’s degree in Local Development at Padova University, Italy and holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in English degree from Daffodil International University. Previously he has worked at Padova University under student collaborations and since 2017, he has been a selected member for Tutoring at Disability and Dyslexia Service at the University of Padova. Rajon has interdisciplinary research interest in migration, integration policy, psychology of religion in peace and conflict, media effects, radicalization, hate speech and hate crimes.


Rebecca Emrick

Rebecca graduated from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) in 2017 with a B.A. in International Relations – Political Science, and a minor in French Literature. She took a fifth year in her bachelor studies to also study at the French Grande École Sciences Politique in Paris, France. She now studies Euroculture, an ERASMUS Mundus Master of Excellence joint-degree program, in Uppsala University and Jagiellonian University. Her research within the program specifically focuses on cultural diplomacy and migration within a European and EU context, however the multidisciplinary nature of the program means that she has also studied religion, history, politics, and sociology within the program. Her professional experiences range from working for the International House at UCSD, to interning for the EU Delegation to the U.S. in the Press and Public Diplomacy Section in Washington D.C.