Saija Niemi is a Migration Researcher at the University of Helsinki. She has implemented research, taught and supervised students mainly in geography in the Faculty of Science and in development studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences. Her master’s thesis concentrated on the Mexico–US migration. In her doctoral research she developed a new migration theory – Theory of Control Tuning – which is grounded in migration related experiences of urban-, camp- and rural-based migrants, refugees, internally displaced persons, authorities and local residents. Her forthcoming post-doctoral research relates to boundaries, human smuggling and social media. Saija’s research interests include migration (in all its diversity), islanders in urban settings, researcher trauma, the methodology of grounded theory, multi- and interdisciplinary research, and qualitative methods.
Saija is often invited to speak in public forums on different aspects of migration including the topics of South Sudanese migration and migration and climate change. She has served as a migration advisor and expert several times and has been a member of associations, societies and institutes such as the Royal Geographical Society and HELSUS. She acted as a visiting research fellow in the American University in Cairo in 2005–2006. She has worked in connection to various places in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, North America, Oceania and Europe. Saija has led and participated in many projects in and outside the academia in Finland and elsewhere. She has also worked in doctoral education for the doctoral programmes in the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Theology in the University of Helsinki.