The NCCR in a nutshell

The nccr – on the move is the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) for migration and mobility studies, which has been operational since June 2014. The center aims to enhance the understanding of contemporary migration patterns and to establish an innovative and competitive field of research on migration and mobility in Switzerland. Managed from the University of Neuchatel, the network consists of some 70 researchers from social sciences, economics and law, who collaborate in 19 projects that are based at eight Swiss Higher Education Institutions: the Universities of Neuchatel, Basel, Bern, Fribourg, Geneva, Lausanne, and Lucerne, as well as ETH Zurich.

Research Focus

The overall scientific aim of the nccr – on the move is to offer a comprehensive and interdisciplinary framework for understanding the character of and the experienced shifts in contemporary migration and mobility to Switzerland.

Designed to develop new perspectives on the changing migratory reality, the nccr – on the move brings together research projects from social sciences, economics and law. These projects are combined to address the overall research question: What is the character of contemporary migration patterns – within the so-called Migration-Mobility Nexus?

In more concrete terms, the projects will:

  • provide a description of the status quo of human mobility in Switzerland;
  • trace the emergence and evolution of migration law in Switzerland;
  • specify the mechanisms through which international norms influence domestic law and regulation;
  • examine the impact of politics and law on different social and institutional actors;
  • explore the evolution of interactions between market forces and the State in the area of labor migration;
  • analyze the composition, trajectories and characteristics of specific migrant flows;
  • investigate the role of gender, age, education and social status in processes and outcomes of migration;
  • and, shed light on inclusionary and exclusionary practices that are developed and implemented in the context of migration.


Management Areas

In addition to the core task at the level of research, the different NCCR management areas – namely communication, knowledge transfer, education and training, equal opportunities – contribute to increase the benefit and impact of the nccr – on the move.

Interdisciplinary cross-fertilization among the projects and a doctoral program on migration and mobility research foster scientific innovation and strengthen the field of migration studies in Switzerland – the results of which will be published first in the nccr – on the move Working Paper Series and later in other publications. Internal communication plays a key role in enabling the exchange of ideas, approaches, data and results among the members of the nccr – on the move. Additionally, different knowledge transfer measures allow for entering into a regular and structured exchange with members of the wider national and international scientific community, with institutional partners, decision-makers and opinion leaders. These knowledge transfer measures are combined with external communication activities in order to spread excellence in science and to ensure that the knowledge gained within the NCCR also reaches a broader audience. Special attention is dedicated to improving equal opportunities and the awareness for gender issues, (in)equalities and stereotypes at all levels of the NCCR.