Stay Connected – WSF ALUMNI

Alphabetical List of Researchers

Ainsaar, Mare | University of Tartu
Biehal, Nina
| University of York
Chung, Heejung
| University of Kent
Hamed, Sarah
| University of Uppsala
Heindlmaier, Anita | University of Salzburg
Kramer, Dion | Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Leist, Anja | University of Luxembourg
Leruth, Benjamin | University of Canberra
Lopez Lopez, Mónica | University of Groningen
Padilla, Beatriz | University of South Florida
Popic, Tamara | European University Institute
Reibling, Nadine | University of Siegen
Phillimore, Jenny | University of Birmingham
Renema, Jeanette A.J. | National University of Singapore
Roescu, Andra | European University Institute
Runfors, Ann | Södertörn University Stockholm
Schneider, Simone | Max-Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy
Seibel, Verena | University of Groningen
Taylor-Gooby, Peter | University of Kent
Zimmermann, Katharina | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, European University Institute

Mare Ainsaar | University of Tartu

btyAfter the end of Healthdox project I continue my work at University of Tartu at the Institute of Social Studies as a senior research fellow. We still have unfinished papers inspired by Healhdox project to work with and we dedicate time to finalise them. Meanwhile also new projects related to the different aspects of governance had arrived to our working schedule: methods of science impact analyses, e-health, fertility, integration analyses and a project related to gender pay gap measurement methodology. It has been great to cooperate in next projects with people from NORFACE, the common history in meeting in Florence and elsewhere has been essential trust builder.

Mare can be contacted via mare.ainsaar (at)

Nina Biehal | University of York

Nina BiehalNina Biehal is still engaged with Hestia, continuing to write papers comparing child protection policy and systems. She remains at the University of York where she is working on the Permanently Progressing? study of alternative family placements in adoption and foster care for children in Scotland who cannot safely remain with their birth families.

Nina can be contacted via nina.biehal (at)

Heejung Chung | University of Kent

Chung profile 2017Although officially, Welfsoc has ended in the autumn of 2019 – we have had a number of papers published recently from our project – including the Special Issue of the Social Policy & Administration, and the new paper in the Journal of Social Policy. Furthermore, we are still working on developing new papers on welfare attitudes, conditionality etc. from the immense amount of data we have gathered throughout our project. This also includes collaborating with other projects/data that deals with welfare attitudes – such as working with the new wave of the European Social Survey to provide a mixed methods approach. My work on welfare attitude, especially pertaining to gender/family policies/labour markets, will also continue through additional grant applications in similar areas, as well as continuous collaboration with colleagues from Welfsoc and other NORFACE grant holders that I had the pleasure of meeting during our project. So watch this space!

Heejung can be contacted via h.chung (at)

Sarah Hamed | University of Uppsala

UPWEB Sarah HamedSarah Hamed worked as a research assistant in the UPWEB project. After the project’s end, Sarah started her doctoral candidacy at the Department of Sociology at Uppsala University in 2017 and is a member of the Research Group Welfare and Life-course. Her research focuses on racism in Swedish healthcare.

Sarah can be contacted via sarah.hamed (at)

Anita Heindlmaier | University of Salzburg

Heindlmaier_Foto_komprimiertAfter completing her PhD in the context of the TransJudFare project, Anita Heindlmaier currently works as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Salzburg where she is part of the project “Rebalancing the Enlarged Single Market” (RESiM), a joint project of the Universities of Salzburg and Bremen. RESiM analyses the social rebalancing in the enlarged single market by considering three forms of atypical labour migration: marginal employment, solo self-employment and posted work. Anita Heindlmaier thus continues her research on free movement and social rights of mobile EU citizens, now with a focus on labour mobility.

Anita can be contacted via anita.heindlmaier (at)

Dion Kramer | Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Dion_Kramer_2016_tcm248-430030After having been involved as a PhD researcher in the TransJudFare project, Dion Kramer is currently finishing his PhD dissertation and lecturing at the Vrije Universiteit and Amsterdam University College. After completion, he will continue as Assistant Professor at the Department of Transnational Legal Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He will continue to research free movement rights in the European Union with an increased focus on the rights of mobile homeless persons and rights to social assistance and study finance.

Dion can be contacted via dion.kramer (at)

Anja Leist | University of Luxembourg

Anja LeistAnja Leist is Associate Professor in Public Health and Ageing at the Institute for Research on Socio-Economic Inequality at the University of Luxembourg. After receiving a PhD in Psychology at the University of Trier, Germany, she had postdoctoral research stays at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and the University of Luxembourg. Her research interests include health, cognitive functioning and dementia at older ages, social and life-course inequalities, and technology and ageing. Anja is Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America. In 2018, she received an ERC Starting Grant on the topic of cognitive aging.

Anja can be contacted via anja.leist (at)

Benjamin Leruth | University of Canberra

Benjamin LeruthBenjamin Leruth left the University of Kent in May 2017 to become Assistant Professor of Politics and Public Administration at the Institute for Governance & Policy Analysis (University of Canberra). His experience working as part of the WelfSOC team has had a major impact on his career and he is still working on the data collected between 2015 and 2016. He still works very closely with the team and hopes to keep on collaborating with NORFACE colleagues in the future.

In Australia, he works very closely with leading political scientists such as John Dryzek, Gerry Stoker and Diane Stone. He presented some of the project’s findings at four workshops and conferences in Australia and these generated much interest from academics and the media. He recently submitted an Australian Research Council DECRA bid to adapt the WelfSOC project to the Australian context.

Benjamin can be contacted via benjamin.leruth (at)

Mónica Lopez Lopez | University of Groningen

LopezHestia is far from over! In 2019, several publications from this research project will see the day of light. In the coming months, Mónica will be busy editing the ‘Handbook on Decision Making and Judgements in Child Welfare and Protection: Theory, Research and Practice’ (Oxford University Press), which includes a chapter from Hestia. Mónica is currently coordinating the project ‘Audre’ on the experiences of LGBTQIA+ young people in out-of-home care, and project ‘Matching’ focused on the professional decision-making processes of matching children and foster families. Moreover, Hestia has revealed a high variability in decision-making in the child protection systems compared, opening new research questions that the team will try to address in a new grant proposal. Long live to Hestia!

Monica can be contacted via m.lopez.lopez (at)

Beatriz Padilla | University of South Floria

Beatriz PadillaIn 2018, Beatriz Padilla joined the Department of Sociology at the University of South Florida, USA as an Assistant Professor. At the Instituto Universitario de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL) in Portugal, Beatriz is still engaged in a research project focusing on refugees. Additionally, she became the co-chair of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) section on Gender and Feminism.

Beatriz can be contacted via padillab (at)

Tamara Popic | European University Institute

healthdox tamara popic 24012019After three years of collaboration with the HEALTHDOX project team as a post-doc at the University of Lisbon, Tamara has continued her academic path as a research fellow at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence. At the EUI, she works on coordination of the NORFACE Welfare State Futures programme and helps finalize the HEALTHDOX project main output – a Handbook on Health Politics in Europe. Next academic year (2019-2020), Tamara will be a post-doc fellow at the EUI’s Max Weber Programme, where she will work on the topic of policy responsiveness in the context of welfare reforms in new democracies.

Tamara can be contacted via tamara.popic (at)

Jenny Phillimore | University of Birmingham

Jenny PhillimoreJenny Phillimore continues her work as the Director of the Institute for Research into Superdiversity at the University of Birmingham, UK. She is leading a new international project called SEREDA which looks at sexual and gender based violence in the refugee crisis. Prof Hannah Bradby, a former UPWEB Principal Investigator, is a partner in this project with colleagues from the Universities of Melbourne and Bilkent.

Jenny can be contacted via j.a.phillimore (at)

Nadine Reibling | University of Siegen

nadine-reibling-hinewsSince June 2017 Nadine Reibling leads her own junior research group on the “Medicalization and Psychologization of Social Problems: Challenges and Changes for Social Policy (MEPYSO)” ( for which she was awarded a major grant by the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. In her research group she continues to investigate research questions at the intersection of social policy and the sociology of health and illness as in her work within the HiNEWS project.

Nadine ca be contacted via reibling (at)

Jeanette A.J. Renema | National University of Singapore

jrenema_fotoAfter successfully finalizing her PhD dissertation as a part of the MIFARE project at the Radboud University, Jeanette Renema left the Netherlands and joined the Social Service Research Centre at the National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore as a postdoctoral fellow. There, she supports the department’s theory-driven social program evaluation projects, with a particular focus on the summative evaluation phase. Jeanette will also continue her work on topics related to European welfare states and migrants’ preferences and preferences. She hopes to keep collaborating with other NORFACE colleagues.

Jeanette can be contacted via j.renema (at)

Andra Roescu | European University Institute

andra roescuAfter being part of the team focusing on the Dutch health care system within the HEALTHDOX project, Andra Roescu has been awarded a Max Weber Fellowship in the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute in Florence. During her time at the EUI she will continue her research on health care, focusing on the public opinion – policy link in different institutional settings, both in the form of voting behaviour and of policy responsiveness.

Andra can be contacted via andra.roescu (at)

Ann Runfors | Södertörn University Stockholm

ann_runfors2Ann Runfors continues her work as Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor at the School of Historical and Contemporary Studies at Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden.She is leading a new project on life strategies and identity building among youth: Transnationalism and belonging in the Baltic Sea region among descendants of Polish migrants in Sweden(funded by Baltic Sea Foundation, 2018-2021). The project takes interest in young who grew up as children to Polish migrants in Stockholm and examines how they construct place, belonging and transnational connections in the Baltic sea region.

Ann Runfors can be contacted via ann.runfors (at)

Simone Schneider | Max-Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy


Since November 2017, Simone Schneider is a senior researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy in Munich ( She is working on building the “Social Policy and Law Shared Database” (SPLASH, previously PERFAR), which will provide legal information on changes in social policy across European countries. Inspired by her previous work within the HEALTHDOX project, she will also continue working on topics related to healthcare and public opinion.

Simone can be contacted via s.schneider (at)

Verena Seibel | University of Groningen

Verena SeibelAfter three enriching years as Post-Doc at the University of Konstanz (Prof. Dr. Claudia Diehl) as part of the MIFARE Project Verena Seibel just moved to the Netherlands, where  she was recently appointed Assistant Professor at the Sociology Department of the University of Groningen. Her current research projects are concerned with migrants’ attitudes and knowledge about their welfare rights with specific focus on healthcare and childcare. She is also interested in the relation between gender, migration, and the welfare state.  In her future work she will apply a social network approach in order to further understand the emergence and development of migrants’ welfare state attitudes.

Verena can be contacted via v.m.k.seibel (at)

Peter Taylor-Gooby | University of Kent

WelfSOC Peter Taylor GobyLife with WSF is not quite over for Peter Taylor-Gooby, Heejung Chung and Ben Leruth on the Welfsoc project. They are still working as a team on at least three new papers and have others in press. They will also deposit the data for others to work on shortly. Peter is planning to take a change of direction with a research project on what novels tell us about values of responsibility and individualism in modern society. He is also working on his next novel. WSF has been a very positive experience. The team has been able to use democratic forums to explore attitudes and how people link them together for the first time in social policy research.

Peter can be contacted via P.F.Taylor-gooby (at)

Katharina Zimmermann | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, European University Institute

ZimmerAfter three very exciting and inspiring years in the German WelfSOC team (together with Steffen Mau and Jan-Ocko Heuer), Katharina is still based at the Humboldt-University. From September to December 2018, she is a visiting fellow at the European University Institute with Ellen Immergut – a fantastic opportunity which emerged out of the Welfare State Futures Programme. At the EUI, Katharina works on a paper on welfare attitudes for which she uses the rich empirical material gathered in WelfSOC. She will also continue to analyse the WelfSOC data in the future, in cooperation with other WelfSOC and Welfare State Futures researchers.

Katharina can be contacted via katharina.zimmermann (at)