The Migration, Care and Ageing research group has diverse competences and backgrounds in social sciences including health, ageing, well-being, social inequalities, migration, organisational, social policy and many other research fields.
Sirpa Wrede

Sirpa Wrede, D. Soc.Sc., is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Helsinki. Her research interests deal with the dynamics of inequality in the social organisation of social service professionalism and social citizenship.  Her current work focuses on ageing and social ties in the context of migration and on professional groups in the context of neoliberal globalisation. She leads a research team within the Centre of Excellence in Research on Ageing and Care of which she is Vice Director.

More information on her work, publications, and projects can be found on the University of Helsinki website 

Twitter @SirpaWrede

Anne Kouvonen

Dr Anne Kouvonen is a Professor of Social Policy specialising in social inequalities. She is also an Honorary Lecturer of Social Epidemiology in Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland. In CoE AgeCare RG3 Anne leads the quantitative research stream. She has published approx. 140 international peer-reviewed papers, mainly on social determinants of health. She is the Deputy Director (Co-PI) of the Helsinki Health Study, and the University of Helsinki work package leader of the Strategic Research Council-funded DigiIN consortium, in which she and her team investigate digital inequalities and challenges of digitalisation in a multicultural society 

Anne Kouvonen at the University of Helsinki

Twitter @AKouvonen

Vanessa May

Dr Vanessa May is Professor in Sociology and Co-Director of the Morgan Centre for Research into Everyday Lives at the University of Manchester. She is also Co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal Sociology. In CoE AgeCare RG3 Vanessa leads the qualitative research. Her most recent research has explored various dimensions of belonging, with a particular focus on the temporal aspects of belonging related for example to experiences of ageing.  Vanessa May at University of Manchester

Twitter @VanessaLKMay

Anastasia Asikainen

Anastasia Asikainen (M. Soc. Sc.) is a doctoral student in sociology. She is writing her doctoral dissertation on the topic of ageing Russian-speaking minority in Finland as a part of Research Group 3 – Migration, care and ageing. Her current research interests include migration, minorities, civil society, Russian-speakers in Finland and questions of rights and belonging in the every-day related to this group.

Anastasia Asikainen at the University of Helsinki

Katarina Blomqvist

Katarina Blomqvist is an artist-researcher and a doctoral candidate at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in the Department of Film. After studying philosophy (MA, University of Helsinki) she has been working in creative audio documentary field.

Katarina Blomqvist at Aalto University

Ulla Buchert

Dr Ulla Buchert is a post-doctoral researcher in Work Package 2 Care Needs of Older Migrants. She is a sociologist whose research focuses on construction of immigrancy in the ageing Finland, presently especially in the context of the activities and services implemented by the third sector organizations. Her theoretical interests include categories, categorizations and classification systems especially in the institutional contexts. Her work at the CoE is funded by the Academy of Finland.

Ulla Buchert page at the University of Helsinki

Maija Harju

Maija Harju is a Social Sciences PhD student at the University of Helsinki. She is working on the “Approaching Social Death” project, funded by the Kone foundation, with docent Jari Pirhonen as the project leader. Harju’s research is centered around how seniors contemplate and process their own life stories and life paths in process drama held in care homes. The research is qualitative and relies on ethnographic and narrative research traditions. The data were collected in 2020-2021 by video recording drama sessions and interviewing the participants.

Maija Harju at the University of Helsinki

Laura Kemppainen

Laura Kemppainen (neé Lyytikäinen) works as a post-doctoral researcher in the CHARM project. She is a sociologist and her research focuses on migration, health and wellbeing especially in the context of ageing. Dr. Kemppainen’s research interests include research on inequalities, Russian studies, transnationalism and mixed methods. She acts as a principal investigator in the project Crossing Borders for Health and Wellbeing, which investigates medical travel in the Baltic Sea region.

Laura Kemppainen at the University of Helsinki

Veera Koskinen

Veera Koskinen is a doctoral candidate in sociology at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Jyväskylä. Currently she works in the project "Crossing Borders for Health and Well-being” (funded by Kone foundation), that investigates medical travel in the Baltic Sea region. Her research interests include wellness and related consumption, aging, and spa and wellness tourism. In her doctoral dissertation, she examines the pursuit of wellness in consumption and everyday life in contemporary Finland with particular focus on aging and stage of life.

Veera Koskinen at the University of Helsinki

Riku Laakkonen

Riku Laakkonen started his artistic doctoral studies in August 2020 at The Centre for Practise as Research in Theatre T7, Tampere University. Currently he works in the project “Approaching Social Death” (funded by Kone foundation), that investigates end-of-life of older persons with memory disorders residing in nursing homes. Riku’s research is artistic one and he explores collaboration with performing inanimate objects and older people. His study is interested in how older people build intra-active performances together with performing objects.

Riku Laakkonen at Tampere University

Inka Laisi

Inka Laisi (M. Soc. Sc.) is a doctoral researcher in sociology. Her dissertation examines primary care doctoring and professional agency of junior GPs in Finnish public primary healthcare.

Inka Laisi at the University of Helsinki

Mia Niemi

Mia Niemi (M. Soc. Sc., licensed social worker) is a doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki. Currently she is working in GERIT-project that focuses on gerontological social work and complex needs of older adults.

Mia Niemi at the University of Helsinki

Camilla Nordberg

Camilla Nordberg is a senior lecturer in social policy at Åbo Akademi University (AAU). Her research has broadly related to issues of migration, welfare, power, political discourse, and street-level institutional encounters. She currently examines citizenisation processes and subject making in relation to migrant background mothers and families in restructuring welfare state contexts. She is the PI of ‘Ordering the migrant family: Power asymmetries and citizenisation in restructuring welfare bureaucracies’ (MigraFam, 2017–2022, Academy of Finland), ‘Language diversity and vulnerability in social work in the era of digitalisation (SOSKIELI, 2021–2023, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health) and ‘Professional expertise in the multilingual landscape of welfare service work’ (2021–2022, Högskolestiftelsen)

Camilla Nordberg at the University of Helsinki

Antero Olakivi

Dr Antero Olakivi is a post-doctoral researcher and a specialist in the sociology of knowledge, interaction and morality. His empirical research covers various topics, including work and organisations, welfare state professions, management and managerialism, transnational migration, ageing and care. Olakivi is the chief editor in the Finnish Työelämän tutkimus journal (2022-2024)

Antero Olakiviat the University of Helsinki

Ilkka Pietilä

Dr. Ilkka Pietilä is an assistant professor of social gerontology (from April 2022 associate professor) at University of Helsinki. His research has explored gendered interpretations of health and ageing, with a particular interest in ageing men and masculinities. He is also interested in age relations in ageing societies, ageism and intergenerational relationships.

Ilkka Pietilä at the University of Helsinki

Jari Pirhonen

Docent Jari Pirhonen leads a research group studying death in nursing homes as a social process. He is a specialist in ethnography, nursing ethics, long-term care of older adults, and conceptions of good life.

Jari Pirhonen at the University of Helsinki

Anna-Leena Riitaoja

Dr Anna-Leena Riitaoja is a post-doctoral researcher in Research Group 3 – Migration, care and ageing. Her background is in education with a special focus on migration and inequality. Her theoretical interests include the nexus of social work professional knowledge and migration issues as well as categorizations of people with migrant background in institutional contexts and encounters. Currently she works in the Swedish School of Social Science in the fields of social work and migration studies. She is also a post-doctoral researcher in the Academy funded project “Ordering the ‘migrant family’: power asymmetry work and citizenization in welfare professional bureaucracies” (2017-2021, MigraFam), led by Dr Camilla Nordberg. In RG3 her research focuses on professionalism and professional knowledge related to ageing migrant clients.

Anna-Leena Riitaoja at the University of Helsinki

Nuriiar Safarov

Nuriiar Safarov is a doctoral student at the Faculty of Social sciences in the University of Helsinki. The doctoral dissertation title is 'Digitalisation of public services: a qualitative study of Russian-speaking migrants'. His research is focusing on the digital inclusion of older and working-age migrants, by examining their experience of taking into use and using various digital social and health services.

Nuriiar Safarov at the University of Helsinki

Anna Simola

Anna Simola is a postdoctoral researcher at the CoE AgeCare RG3 ‘Migration, care and ageing’, and a visiting scholar at the Interdisciplinary Research Center on Families and Sexualities (CIRFASE) at the UCLouvain, Belgium. Anna’s research approach is cross-disciplinary and her current research interests include sociology of personal life, transnational families and care, critical migration research, comparative welfare state research and governmentality studies.

Anna Simola at the University of Helsinki

Affiliated researchers

Dr Anna Avdeeva is a post-doctoral researcher in Research Group 3 - Migration, Care, and ageing. Her background is in Gender Studies and Sociology with a special focus on care and caring practices. Currently, she works on the project Care work at cultural and linguistic crossroads: Culture-specific understandings of social care and barriers related to minority language in social care services provided to/by language minorities funded by Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland. Anna explores institutional and interactional language barriers as well as mismatches between different perceptions of social care in the Swedish-language social care services in Finland and among Russian-speaking care workers.  Anna Avdeeva at the University of Helsinki

Dr Shahnaj Begum currently leads a project on gender inequality among caregivers and is co-leader of another project on ageing and ethnicity in the Arctic (AGE-Arctic); both projects are funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers. She is also an affiliated post-doctoral researcher at the Centre of Excellence in Research on Ageing and Care in Research Group 3 – Migration, care, and ageing. Her research background lies in the disciplines of law and the social sciences, spanning Arctic Studies, human rights, ageing and ethnicity in the North, and gender studies. Her recent research interest includes the concept of an age-friendly environment in the light of intersectionality and capability theory and as the concept might apply to and thus enhance the situation of older non-European immigrants. Dr Shahnaj Begum at the University of Lapland

Dr Reiko Shindo’s research derives from a general interest in citizenship and community: the research examines how the space of political community is being transformed through various practices and discourses of citizenship in the contemporary world. One of the areas in the research involves domestically-recruited care workers with ‘foreign’ background. In particular, the research focuses on policies and practices that encourage those identified as ‘immigrant youth’ to work in the care industry. Drawing on the empirical example of Finland, the research examines a disjuncture between the legal category – of citizenship status – and policy category – of who is deemed as ‘migrant’ despite being born in the country of citizenship. Reiko Shindo at the University of Tampere


Dr Bridget Anderson is the Director of Migration Mobilities Bristol and Professor of Migration, Mobilities and Citizenship. Her post is split between the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law and the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies. Bridget Anderson at University of Bristol 

Dr Loretta Baldassar is Professor in the Discipline Group of Anthropology and Sociology at The University of Western Australia and Director of the UWA Social Care and Ageing (SAGE) Living Lab. Loretta Baldassar at UWA

Dr Ivy Bourgeault is Professor in the School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies at the University of Ottawa and the University Research Chair in Gender, Diversity and the Professions. More on Ivy Bourgeault

Dr Peter J. Kivisto is Professor of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Welfare, Richard A. Swanson Chair of Social Thought. Peter Kivisto at Augustana College 

Dr Karen Kobayashi is Professor in Sociology at Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Victoria, Canada. Karen Kobayashi at UVIC

Dr Inga Jasinskaja-Lahti is Professor in Social Psychology at Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki. Inga Jasinskaja-Lahti at UH 

Dr Marja Tiilikainen is Senior Research Fellow at Finnish Migration Institute and holds title of Docent at University of Helsinki.  Marja Tiilikainen at Migration Institute 

Dr Lena Näre is Associate Professor in Sociology at Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki. Lena Näre at UH 

Dr Dermot O’Reilly is Clinical Professor at School of Medicine,  Centre for Public Health & Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation, Queen’s University Belfast, UK. Dermot O’Reilly at Queen’s University Belfast 

Dr Erika Takahashi is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Humanities, Chiba University. Erika Takahashi's ORCHID

Dr Ann Elise Widding Isaksen is Professor of Sociology at University of Bergen. Ann Elise Widding Isaksen at UiB