German Center for Integration and Migration Research (DeZIM)—Start-up Project

Research question/goal: 

Directed by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ), the German Centre for Integration and Migration Research (DeZIM) was founded in July 2017. It aims to strengthen, connect, and advance existing structures in migration and integration research. Furthermore, it addresses crucial questions of migration and integration research while attempting to close research gaps.

DeZIM consists of two cooperating pillars: the DeZIM institute in Berlin, which is intended to provide departmental research, and the DeZIM research community. Seven prestigious research institutes that have already been conducting comprehensive migration and integration research, among them the MZES, form the DeZIM research community.

The DeZIM start-up project, which was initiated by the BMFSFJ for a period of two years, aimed to provide input in order to establish structures for the DeZIM institute and to encourage cooperation between members of the DeZIM research community. In addition to three large structural projects, six content-oriented projects investigated specific aspects of migration and integration. These projects were supplemented by networking and coordination positions in all research institutes within the DeZIM research community, intended to ensure intensive and systematic exchange between all institutes involved.

The Mannheim Centre for European Social Research contributed to four sub-projects within the DeZIM start-up project:

  • Besides ensuring continuous communication and knowledge transfer between the institutions of the DeZIM research community (e.g. newsletter, short publication form DeZIMinutes), the DeZIM networking and coordination project organised and conducted several scholarly events (e.g. Early Career Scholars’ Conference 2019 in Duisburg).
  • The subproject DeZIM Research Data Centre addressed questions regarding the functions a research data centre at the DeZIM institute (DeZIM.fdz) should and could fulfil in the medium and long run, and how these functions can be implemented in substantial, organisational, and technical terms. The first project period formulated clear recommendations for the institutionalisation of the DeZIM.fdz, consisting of four modules: data archive, user support, online access panel, and meta database. In the course of the project, researchers worked on the practical implementation of the data archive, resulting in an  accreditation of the DeZIM.fdz by the German Data Forum (RatSWD).
  • The project Exit – Transit- Transformation (ExiTT) tested different methodological approaches of data collection (quantitative surveys, qualitative interviews, psychological transformation study) in Middle East (Lebanon), West Africa (Senegal/Gambia) and Germany. Its findings highlight the complexity of all stages of migration and the necessity to further explore the multiple relationships between migration processes in origin and transit countries and integration processes in the destination country. Further research should pay particular attention to heterogeneities between different migrant groups. Building on these experiences, the follow-up project Transnational Perspectives on Migration and Integration (TRANSMIT) will further investigate global migration and integration processes to and in Germany besides continuing the development of appropriate methodological approaches.
  • The project The Role of Discrimination for the Labour Market Integration of Young People with a Migration Background (ARBEIT) analysed the causes of labour market differences between persons with and without migration background. Central findings confirm the important role of human capital for the explanation of ethnic differences in the labour market. Applying combined methods of correspondence tests and surveys, the project further demonstrates that additional disadvantages exist for immigrants based on their geographical origin. However, little evidence was found for systematic discrimination in the educational system and at the entry into the labour market.

Fact sheet

2018 to 2020