Elena Vacchelli is Research Fellow in Social Policy at the SPRC (Social Policy Research Centre) and her work focuses on gender and sexuality, migration and urban studies. She has extensive experience in conducting and coordinating local, national and European research in areas such as migration policies with a particular focus on gender equality. Substantial knowledge of migration and diversity in the UK and Europe was acquired from years of research and management of projects in this field. Elena is also an expert in qualitative research methods and her experience includes working with vulnerable and marginalised groups. Her work is published in international peer review outlets such as Gender, Place and Culture, Hagar and International Migration. She completed her PhD at the Open University's Geography Department, working with Prof John Allen and Prof Sophie Watson on the feminist movement and women's organizations in Milan and more recent research includes working with the women's community and voluntary sector in London. Before her PhD she held academic assignments at the Humboldt University in Berlin and at the University of Milan-Bicocca in Milan.

Languages spoken

  • Italian-Fluent
  • German-Conversational
  • Working knowledge of French and Spanish

Elena's teaching responsibilities at the Middlesex University's School of Law range from undergraduate to postgraduate teaching and include : module leader for undergraduate module in Comparative Politics (2010-2013); module leader in Qualitative Research Methods part of the MSc in Research Methods (ongoing); exam marker; supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations. Recently she successfully completed the PG Cert HE, a qualification for teaching with professional recognition by the Higher Education Academy.

I particularly welcome doctoral students who intend to use feminist methodologies, post-colonial, visual, intersectional, ethnographic/nethnographic and participatory approaches to the following areas : Gender, diversity and migration; Feminist geography; Feminist movements; Gender and city; Women's NGOs and community/voluntary sector.

My publications include:

Peer-reviewed journals

Dodsworth, F., Watson, S. and Vacchelli, E. (2012) ‘Shifting religions and cultures in London’s East End’. Material Religion 9(1): 86-113

Kofman, E.,Vacchelli, E. and Saharso, S. "Gendered Perspectives on Integration Discourses and Measures" International Migration (in press DOI:10.1111/imig.12102)

Ryan, L. andVacchelli, E. (2013) ‘Introduction to Gender, Religion and Migration’ Gender and Religion 3 (1): 1-5

Ryan, L. and Vacchelli, E. (2013) ‘Mothering through Islam: narratives of religious identity in London’ Gender and Religion 3(1): 90-107

Vacchelli, E. (2008) "Milan 1970-1980: women’s place in urban theory" Research in Urban Sociology. Special edition theme issue: Gender in an Urban World. Vol.9, 29-51.

Vacchelli, E. (2011) "Geographies of subjectivity: locating feminist political subjects in Milan" Gender, Place and Culture (18) 6: 768-785

Vacchelli, E. (2013) "Researching the urban reflexively: feminist methodological issues" Hagar: studies in culture, polities and identities 11(1): 41-62

Vacchelli, E. (2014) "Experimenting with urban space in Milan: spatial practices and women’s collective action across two generations" Les Cahiers du Cedref (forthcoming in early 2014)

Vacchelli, E., Kathrecha, P. and Gyte, N. (2014) ‘Is it really just the cuts? Neoliberal tales from the women’s voluntary and community sector in London’ Feminist review (forthcoming)

Other articles

Daguerre, A. and Vacchelli, E. (2011) "Social Exclusion in Chinese Cities in the 21st Century" Chinese Cities and the Outside World: A Workshop for City, Culture and Society. Ed: Richard Croucher, Pingli Li and Hiroshi Okano URP GCOE DOCUMENT 10

Vacchelli, E. (2005) "The gendering of urban space in Berlin and Milan: a comparative perspective" Research and Training Network Urban Europe Series, Nr 1/2005

Edited collections

Elena Vacchelli and Louise Ryan have jointly edited the special issue for the journal ‘Gender and Religion’3(1) following a symposium on Gender, Migration and Religion held at Middlesex University on 4th November 2011 http://gendermigrationreligion.blogspot.co.uk/


FRA, Fundamental Rights Agency (2013) INEQUALITIES AND MULTIPLE DISCRIMINATION IN ACCESS TO AND QUALITY OF HEALTHCARE’ European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, Vienna

Kofman, E.; Howard, E.; Vacchelli, E.; Wray, H. (2010)"The impact of gender and racialised identities on the experience of discrimination" in GENDERACE THE USE OF ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAWS; GENDER AND CITIZENSHIP IN A MULTICULTURAL CONTEXT edited by Isabelle Carles and Olga Jubany-BaucellsEU Seventh Framework Program Grant 217237

Kofman, E., Vacchelli E. and D’Angelo, A. (2011): LOCAL INTEGRATION POLICIES FOR NEWCOMERS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM; PROSINT (Promoting Sustainable Policies for Integration) European Commission; Contract: JLS 2008/EIFX/CA/1039 ABAC No Supported under the European Integration Fund

Kofman, E; Vacchelli, E.; D’Angelo, A. and Lewis,H. (2012) NATIONAL FRAME FOR THE INTEGRATION OF NEWCOMERS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM; PROSINT (Promoting Sustainable Policies for Integration) European Commission; Contract: JLS 2008/EIFX/CA/1039 ABAC No Supported under the European Integration Fund

Kofman, E. and Vacchelli, E. (2011) SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACT OF INTEGRATION POLICIES IN THE UNITED KINGDOM; PROSINT (Promoting Sustainable Policies for Integration) European Commission; Contract: JLS 2008/EIFX/CA/1039 ABAC No Supported under the European Integration Fund

Kofman, E. and Vacchelli, E. (2012): NATIONAL DISCOURSES IN THE MIGRATION-INTEGRATION NEXUS DURING A PERIOD OF ELECTORAL AND POLITICAL CHANGE IN THE UNITED KINGDOM; PROSINT (Promoting Sustainable Policies for Integration) European Commission; Contract: JLS 2008/EIFX/CA/1039 ABAC No Supported under the European Integration Fund

Ryan, L. and Vacchelli, E. (2011) EVALUATION OF THE PREVENTING VIOLENT EXTREMISM-PREVENT Programme and Projects in the London Borough of Barnet (2007-2010), Communities and Local Government, April.


Vacchelli, E. and Kathrecha, P (2013) BETWEEN OPPORTUNITES AND CHALLENGES: WOMEN’S COMMUNITY AND VOLUNTARY ORGANIZATIONS IN LONDON, SPRC Report, July. Available at: http://sprc.info/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Women-Sector-Report.pdf

Vacchelli E., D’Angelo, A. and Kathrecha, P. (2014) ACCESSING HEALTHCARE: INEQUALITIES AND DISCRIMINATION IN ENFIELD, SPRC Report (forthcoming).

GENDERACE(2008-10) The Use of Racial Anti-Discrimination Laws: gender and citizenship in a multicultural context, EC Framework Programme 7; Management of UK study involving documentary analysis, interviews with a range of stakeholders and presentation of results; interviews with individuals who had experienced discrimination, analysis of case files.

PROSINT (2009-11) Promoting Sustainable Policies for Integration, European Integration Fund project; management of UK study involving documentary, parliamentary and media reviews; interviews with different organisations dealing with integration, including those providing ESOL, local authorities, migrant associations; contribution to comparative European analysis.

Evaluation of the Preventing Violent Extremism-PREVENT Programme and Projects in the London Borough of Barnet (2010-2011) Communities and Local Government; interviews and focus groups with several members of Muslim communities in Barnet.

Inequality and Multiple Discrimination in Access to and Quality of Healthcare (2010-12) FRA (Fundamental Rights Agency), coordinating team of a 5 country European study including the UK. It involved documentary review of UK policies, development of methodology for qualitative and quantitative analysis; interviews with several categories of hard to reach and vulnerable groups, including young minority ethnic people with disabilities and older ethnic minorities.

Welfare needs of the Afghan community in Harrow (2012) The research study elicited several key findings relating to the Afghan community in Harrow, their service needs and issues of barriers to access and gaps in service provision.

EREC (Enfield Race Equality Council) capacity building project, project manager (2013). The SPRC funded project aims at developing EREC’s organizational capacity and providing advice and support in order to build up a long term strategy which would enable the organization to become economically self-sufficient by 2016.

Accessing healthcare: inequalities and discrimination in Enfield (2014) project manager. The SPRC funded project aims at assessing levels of health inequalities and discrimination in accessing healthcare in the London Borough of Enfield. In particular, it investigates the extent to which local providers of healthcare and health advice are able to cater for minority and vulnerable groups and the extent to which new bodies and structures implemented as part of the NHS reform are engaging with equality legislation and are able to offer mechanisms to implement it.

A multi-perspective service evaluation exploring tuberculosis contact screening attendance at Northwick Park hospital (2013) consultant on research methods; Public Health England funded project conducted in collaboration with Jennifer MacLellan, Prof Abubakar at Public Health England, Dr Davidson at Northwick Park hospital. Mixed methods evaluation using questionnaire and in-depth interview data, analysed in NVIVO10 qualitative software package.

Bewteen Opportunities and challenges (2013) Women's community and voluntary organizations in London, project manager. The SPRC funded project aims at mapping existing women organisations in London, evaluating barriers to access and specific needs of women's organizations and assessing recent changes in the funding structure of the sector.

Assessing multiple discrimination in Refugee Women’s access to mental health care in London. SPRC funded project, current.