Photo of Catherine Harris
  • Source: Scopus
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Personal profile

Research Interests

Labour Migration, EU Migration, Social Diversity, Integration, Ethnic Entrepreneurship. 


Catherine joined Coventry University in 2018 having worked as a Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield, and a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham. 

Her role at the University of Sheffield involved work on the AHRC INTERSECTION project. The project explored intergenerational justice in relation to consumption and sustainability through comparative research in three contrasting urban contexts (China, Uganda and the UK). This was a multi-method project which involved a survey, interviews and participatory action research with NGOs and the public. Prior to this she worked on the ERC LIVEDIFFERENCE project. The project explored the extent and nature of everyday encounters with 'difference' by collecting original data in the UK and Poland. 

At the University of Birmingham her role was Senior Research Fellow at City REDI (City Region Economic Development Institute), Birmingham Business School, focusing on issues surrounding regional economic development. Her particular focus within this is was on migration, particularly migrant workers from the EU and their labour market experiences and also the needs and experiences of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Within this role she secured both research and consultancy funding. Research projects included building a Cohesive Migration Strategy for the West Midlands (West Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership funded) which involved interviews with stakeholders in the West Midlands to assess what resources they need to meet the needs of migrants and also where their key demands are coming from. Similar research was undertaken for Coventry City Council, in collaboration with the Coventry Refugee Migrant Centre. This project included both stakeholders (local authority and NGOs) and migrants to assess the provision of services for migrant groups in Coventry. I am also participating in an interdisciplinary project which explores Brexit in Birmingham (College of Social Sciences, University of Birmingham funded). Within this project, my work package explores the reactions and responses of EU migrant run businesses to Brexit. The research explores how Brexit may impact on the businesses they run, their sense of belonging and the cohesiveness of the communities within which they are situated. The research is longitudinal and will investigate how these reactions and responses change over the Brexit process.

Her role at Coventry University is Research Fellow on the MiFriendly Cities project, a three-year programme of activities designed to help refugees and migrants feel that their contribution to society and the economy is valued. Catherine will be leading the evaluation of the project. 

Vision Statement

I am motivated by how local communities can become more inclusive, particularly in relation to migration. Specifically, I focus on the social and economic aspects of migration and how migrants can make sure their contribution to the economy and society is maximised and valued, whilst at the same time encouraging meaningful contact and encounters with the native population. It is the responsibility of researchers to enhance the skills and experiences of migrants and unpack their needs and to aid suitable responses to this from both the public and policymakers. 

Education/Academic qualification

Economic Geography, Doctorate, University of Birmingham

Award Date: 1 Aug 2012

International Studies, MA, University of Birmingham

Award Date: 30 Sep 2007

Geography , MA, University of Oxford

Award Date: 30 Jun 2005


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