The COST Action - “Connecting Theory and Practical Issues of Migration and Religious Diversity" (COREnet)

The COST Action - “Connecting Theory and Practical Issues of Migration and Religious Diversity" (COREnet) - is an interdisciplinary network that aims to produce, exchange and build knowledge and collaborations across Europe on the topic of migration and religious diversity. Specifically, COREnet focuses on combining theoretical and practical issues at the intersection of migration and religious diversity with a particular emphasis on bottom-up research.

This network is situated within the wider macro context of major political and societal grand challenges in relation to migration and religious diversity, evidenced recently in Europe by inward migration – specifically, migrants and refugees - from war-torn countries including Syria and Ukraine. Interdisciplinary research, cross-national collaborations to build capacity and knowledge, and widespread communication and information exchange pertaining to migration and religious diversity topics are essential means by which to document, compare and explore shared issues and concerns in migration and religious diversity.

The aim here is to better explain, understand and analyse the pertinent issues and challenges, and, moreover, to forward viable solutions and ways forward to support migrants, migration and religious diversity in an inclusive Europe.

The network aims thus to contribute to overcoming divisions within and across European countries through a collaborative approach that would add to existing social scientific knowledge on migration and religious diversity: the study of religions and theological insights explaining the narratives of migrants and refugees.

COREnet draws in researchers from all stages of their careers and across different European countries; training a new generation of interdisciplinary action researchers capable of connecting the study of religions and theology, and migration and the social sciences, and working that into action through processes of co-production.

This network bridges knowledge with stakeholders – governmental, non-governmental and media organisations - working in the field of diversity management at the local, national and European levels.

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Action Details

Action Chair Prof. Dr. Milda Ališauskienė
CSO Approval date: 25/05/2021
Start date: 21/10/2021
End date: 20/10/2025
Grant Holder: Vytautas Magnus University


To achieve the main goals of the Action, the following specific objectives shall be accomplished:

Research Coordination

The overarching objective of this COST Action in relation to research coordination is to enable knowledge exchange and collaboration.

The Action will engage in activities which will facilitate the exchange of knowledge and arrange for new, practice-related research about migration and religious diversity (including the role of religious narratives in migration) in and across different (European) contexts. Senior researchers, early career investigators (ECI) and non-academic stakeholders will be brought together to collaboratively pursue the following six aims:

  1. To produce a practice-oriented and scientific state-of-the-art repository of research in the field of migration and religious diversity that is accessible for/to different disciplines and practitioner stakeholders.
  2. To add perspectives from the study of religions, theology and diverse faith and secular traditions to the social science-dominated field of research into migration and religious diversity.
  3. To analyse the research methods used within the field of migration and religious diversity and to propose/develop cross-disciplinary research approaches.
  4. To develop interdisciplinary collaboration across empirical and normative research undertakings.
  5. To strengthen intersectional perspectives in research about migration and religious diversity, especially in relation to age and gender diversity.
  6. To create a cross-European repository of data collection and research on migration and religious diversity, including links to relevant websites and tools allowing for cross-country analysis.
  7. To create digital platforms to communicate and share conversations and results from COREnet-related research and the wider thematic field.

Capacity building

Building interdisciplinary, cross-European research capacity in the field of migration and religious diversity is integral to COREnet. In order to establish European and international research alliances and to carve out a joint future research agenda, the Action will fulfill the eight aims below.

  1. Establish digital platforms for the communication of discussions and results from COREnet and the thematic field.
  2. Create arenas for interdisciplinary exchange, where researchers interested in the field of migration and religious diversity can meet, discuss and collaborate.
  3. Establish settings where researchers, practitioners and policymakers, together, can develop research ideas on migration and religious diversity that improve the integration of migrants into host societies.
  4. Provide platforms for European research alliances in the field of migration and religious diversity.
  5. Establish in-person and digital platforms for knowledge exchange between researchers and other stakeholders (practitioners and policy makers) in the field of migration and religious diversity.
  6. Arrange events and share publications with stakeholders and policymakers on local, regional, national and EU levels pertaining to migration and religious diversity.
  7. Prioritize cooperation between researchers from ITC countries and other COST countries.
  8. Promote ten Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM) for PhD candidates and ECIs per year.

Our structure


Core Group

MC Chair

Prof. Milda Ališauskienė

Vytautas Magnus University

MC Vice-Chair

Prof. Annette Leis-Peters

VID Specialized University

WG1 Leader

Dr. Tuomas Martikainen

University of Helsinki

WG1 Co-Leader

Prof. Johannes Eurich

Heidelberg University


Dr. Eglė Aleknaitė

Vytautas Magnus University


Dr. Aleksandra Djurić Milovanović

Institute for Balkan Studies, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts

WG2 Co-Leader

Prof. Regina Polak

University of Vienna

WG2 Co-Leader

Dr. John Klaasen

University of the Western Cape

WG3 Leader

Dr. Olena Panych

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

WG3 Co-Leader

Mr. Berihun Wagaw

Basel University

WG3 Co-Leader

Dr. Michelle Attard Tonna

University of Malta

WG4 Leader / STSM Coordinator

Dr. Gilda Seddighi

NORCE Research Institute

WG4 Co-Leader

Dr. Deniz Cosan Eke

University of Vienna

WG4 Co-Leader

Prof. Halina Grzymala-Moszczynska

Jesuit University Ignatianum

WG4 Co-Leader

Dr. František Trapl

Masaryk University


Prof. Juan Carlos Martin

University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

WG5 Co-Leader

Dr. Alessandro Indelicato

University of Eastern Finland

WG5 Co-Leader

Dr. Stavros Parlalis

Frederick University


Dr. Gintarė Pocė

Vytautas Magnus University

Grant Awarding Coordinator

Dr. Sinem Abka

Dokuz Eylul University

STSM Coordinator

Prof. Siniša Zrinščak

Faculty of Law of the University of Zagreb

Memorandum of Understanding

Here you can find the Memorandum of Understanding of the Action.
This document explains the relevance, aims, objectives and expected results of the COREnet.