Global Academic Interdisciplinary Network

As part of its pledge at the Global Refugee Forum (GRF), the University of Essex agreed to chair the Global Academic Interdisciplinary Network (GAIN) until the next GRF in 2023. The GAIN was launched in 2019 as part of the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) - adopted in December 2018 by the UN General Assembly - through research, teaching and solidarity with displaced scholars and students.

A Global Network 

Article 43 of the GCR provides that “a global academic network on refugee, other forced displacement, and statelessness issues will be established, involving universities, academic alliances, and research institutions, together with UNHCR and other relevant stakeholders”. Regional working groups and global level events are also envisaged to take place highlighting the contributions from academic institutions in low-and middle-income contexts.

An Academic Network

Anchored in a whole-of-society approach, GAIN seeks to ensure that academic contributions are shared in an accessible manner with policymakers and civil society actors; and to partner with forced displacement networks, alliances and consortiums on projects that advance implementation of the GCR.

An Interdisciplinary Network

The multi-faceted aspects of refugee protection and solutions necessitate contributions from experts in many different fields. To advance burden and responsibility sharing, the GAIN Secretariat works with universities, academic alliances, research institutions and individual academics from a variety of disciplines.  

Striving to promote
  • Research in support of the four objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees; ease the pressures on host countries; enhance refugee self-reliance; expand access to third-country solutions, and support conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity.
  • Teaching, training and knowledge exchange to advance knowledge of refugee, forced displacement and statelessness issues.
  • Solidarity of the academic community with forcibly displaced scholars and students through concrete support, for example, scholarships.

The GAIN Secretariat is currently chaired by the University of Essex and supported by UNHCR:

Team members

Rachel Criswell

Senior Policy Officer, UNHCR

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GAIN Secretariat