Prof. Heaven Crawley

Heaven Crawley is Professor of International Migration at Coventry University’s interdisciplinary Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR) where she leads a team of researchers working on issues of migration, displacement and belonging. She is also a Senior Research Associate at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). Heaven was previously head of asylum and immigration research at the UK Home Office (2000-2002) and Associate Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) (2002-2004).  She joined Coventry University from Swansea University where she was Director of the Centre for Migration Policy Research (CMPR) (2009-2015).

The primary inspiration for Heaven’s research are refugees and migrants themselves: what motivates and drives people to move; how they cope with and adjust to the social, economic and cultural changes with which migration and displacement is associated; the processes through which people who move maintain existing relationships and build new ones; the ways in which their experiences and identities are understood and interpreted in immigration policies and procedures and in political and public debates on migration, in the UK, Europe and globally.

Heaven has a background in gender and development and has worked with migrants and displaced populations in the UK, Italy, Greece, Malta and Northern India. She has published extensively on a wide range of asylum and immigration issues including the drivers of migration, gender issues in procedures for Refugee Status Determination, access to legal advice and representation, the experiences of children and young people, attitudes towards asylum and immigration and the politics of migration policy-making. Most recently Heaven has been leading a team of researchers from the Universities of Coventry, Birmingham and Oxford on the ESRC-funded MEDMIG project ( which explores the dynamics of migration in the Mediterranean region and the complex factors affecting refugee and migrant decision-making in the context of the current European ‘crisis’.

Heaven has served as a specialist advisor for a number of UK Parliamentary inquiries conducted by the Home Affairs Committee and Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) and is a regular contributor to print and broadcast media. She has served as a Trustee for Migrant Voice and the Welsh Refugee Council and is currently Patron of Asylum Justice and the Baobab Centre for Young Survivors in Exile. She has worked with a wide range of international organisations including UNHCR, UNICEF and Save the Children. In 2012 Heaven was conferred the title of Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) in recognition of her contribution to evidence-based policy making on migration and asylum issues.

The research leading to these results has received funding from the EPSRC Global Challenges Research Fund under grant agreement n° EP/P029531/1.
| The research presented in this website has undergone ethical approval at Coventry University reference: P61091.