Immigration Policy Research

Help me fund my dissertation research on immigration policies targeting foreign researchers, engineers, computer specialists and life-science professionals.
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Melanie Kolbe
Email Verified
164 Facebook Friends
Politics
Athens, Georgia
United States
1 Team Member

Who I Am

I am a German Ph.D.-student at the University of Georgia, Athens. I study international affairs and comparative politics and am currently writing my dissertation.

I am about to finish my research and all that is left is doing a series of interviews with politicians, policy and academic experts in Finland, Germany and Denmark. Unfortunately, as a non-US citizen it is very difficult to receive funding for your dissertation, particularly if you need to travel to the countries you are studying. Most dissertation or research grants are for US-citizens only, and so I am leaving trodden paths and try to find funding outside of academia. 


What My Research Is About

My dissertation seeks to explore why immigration policies trying to attract highly-skilled immigrants  - such as foreign researchers, engineers, and computer specialists - are sometimes so restrictive that they are de facto a really bad deal for prospective foreign workers? 

The "conventional wisdom" in immigration study suggests that labor immigration policy is determined by  the influence and power of unions or employer associations' (or employer lobby groups) on government policy-making. But I think that  when countries are not very open to immigrants in general, they do not suddenly reverse their stances on immigration, even if these immigrants are economically desirable.There is some leeway in giving more rights to qualified foreign workers, but countries like Germany cannot make Canadian style immigration offers (which is widely held as a role model), because they do not have a Canadian style attitude towards immigration.

I created an original data set measuring the rights granted to highly-skilled immigrants in 18 national labor immigration policies between 2002 and 2012, and tested different explanations against each other. Turns out, I was right! But I still need to know what exactly went on during the policy-making. There are a lot of unanswered questions, for example, what were the objectives and who called the shots? Therefore, I need to travel abroad to interview policy-makers, experts, and administrators to find out more.


The Impact

In donating to my campaign, you will help me make an important contribution to immigration policy research. There is little research on why some countries can make better immigration offers than others to attract the ‘best and brightest’ from abroad. 

I already booked my plane tickets, and research funding will allow me to have more time to do quality research by meeting with more policy-makers and experts. This will maximize my research and make my dissertation not only more insightful but also hopefully help policy-makers to devise better immigration policies! Your contribution between will help me accomplish this.


What I Need & What You Get

I need donations to help me defray the costs of my field research. From May to July 2014 I will travel to the field sites and extensively interview politicians, public officials and academic experts. I will need to pay for flights, hostel stays, food and public transportation, which adds up to $5,000.

The good news is that I pretty much have no expenses in Germany, except for the expensive flight from the US to Germany, and have saved up some money privately. The bad news is that the cost of living in Finland and Denmark is insanely expensive. For example, grocery prices in Helsinki and Copenhagen are around 48% higher than in Atlanta, GA (where I live close to). Surviving on little money for three weeks will be difficult.

For any donation you will receive a perk as listed on the right! 

Even if I do not reach my goal, anything will help and I will make it work. I have worked very hard to come this far and I’ll appreciate each and every donation that helps me keep doing my research!


Other Ways You Can Help

Please help me by passing on the link to this campaign over Facebook or Twitter!

Find This Campaign On
$2,825USD
raised by 67 people in 1 month
113% funded
No time left
$2,500 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on May 5, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $10USD
    J’Yeah!

    I can now use public transportation instead of walking several miles to my interviews. For this you'll get: • A Facebook shout-out. • Exclusive updates on my travel blog.

    6 claimed
  • $20USD
    Gee, thanks!

    I can now upgrade from ramen noodles and water every day to once a week a McDonald’s combo meal for $10 -12. On second thought…… maybe just a small fries, I guess. For this you'll get: • A Facebook shout-out. • Exclusive updates on my travel blog. • A personal, hand-written and entirely self-made thank-you note (I am quite crafty!).

    20 claimed
  • $50USD
    Wow! This is great!

    This may allow me to stay in a hostel for a couple of days! Thanks for helping me avoid sleeping on park benches. For this you'll get: • A Facebook shout-out. • Exclusive updates on my travel blog.. • A personal thank-you note. • A proof that Germans are funny! I get stage fright easily, but for this donation I will sign-up for an open-mic comedy show and record it (never done this before).

    11 claimed
  • $75USD
    Thanks for your confidence!

    That’s a third of the costs for the flight to Helsinki or Copenhagen! Thanks for not having to travel in the dog crate! For this you'll get: • A Facebook shout-out. • Exclusive updates on my travel blog.. • A personal thank-you note. • A proof that Germans are funny! Open-mic comedy recording just for you! • A present for you from Finland, Denmark or Germany, sent directly to your home.

    3 claimed
  • $100USD
    Wait, what? That’s insane!

    For this you'll get: • A Facebook shout-out. • Exclusive updates on my travel blog. • A personal thank-you note. • A proof that Germans are funny! Open-mic comedy recording just for you. • A present for you from Finland, Denmark or Germany, sent directly to your home. • Be on my dissertation thank-you list (that is, in my dissertation).

    6 claimed
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