Tatiana Eremenko, hosted at INED as a PhD student
Hosted at INED as a doctoral student, Tatiana Eremenko defended her PhD thesis on the pathways of migrants’ children to France in March 2015 (interview from April 2014).
What trajectory brought you to INED?
I came from Russia to study in France, initially at the University of Strasbourg, where I earned an undergraduate degree in sociology. That was where I discovered demography. I’ve always liked figures and questions of human geography, and demography enabled me to combine the two. All demography students know of INED. I came to INED on an internship after completing the two-year Master’s degree in demography in 2007. I worked for about a year and half with Xavier Thierry, an INED researcher, on a project on statistics on international migrations in Europe and uses of an administrative file on requests for family reunification in France. At that point I decided to do a thesis and I enrolled at the University of Bordeaux IV; I was hosted at INED for the entire period of my doctoral degree. In my first year I took a study program at the European Doctoral School of Demography, an intensive program taught in a different country every two years (the School is currently located in Warsaw).
How is doctoral research organized at INED?
Doctoral students applying to work at the Institute identify an INED researcher they would like to work with, who then becomes their tutor if their application is selected by the admissions committee. Doctoral students arriving at INED joins their tutor’s research group but may also work in another group if their project is transversal. The idea is for the student’s research to become integrated into the projects of the research group.
I work in the International Migrations and Minorities group. In my thesis I am analysing the migration trajectories of families with children who arrive in France, studying the impact of the family, socioeconomic, and legal factors of the receiving country. Migrant family trajectories today are increasingly broken up, whereas before they unfolded over one or two stages. More and more children are migrating alone to join a relative whereas they used to migrate with their mothers.
Since beginning my thesis I’ve had two or three opportunities to present my work to the members of my group; also to participate in the group’s scientific meetings. Several activities at INED are organized especially for doctoral students, among them a doctoral workshop where other students and young researchers present their work. Doctoral students can also participate in conferences, seminars and scientific study days. This enables you to construct a network while you’re writing your thesis, which is a great advantage: the projects I’m going to work on as a post-doc have emerged from the contacts I’ve made as a doctoral student.
As you see it, what is specific about INED?
INED occupies a central place in the discipline of demography. As a doctoral student here, you acquire a complete perspective on the research done in this area but also on all the existing issues involved in population questions. You realize that not only demographers study these questions but also sociologists, geographers, economists and historians. It’s interesting to see how researchers in other disciplines approach the same questions, and to know that you can always turn to specialists to read your work, give you an opinion, or provide information. It’s really a very stimulating work environment.