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Interdisciplinary researcher, mentor, data-lover by birth and social scientist by choice. I am a proud migrant, have worked and lived in Turkey, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK. I currently work as a research professor at the Department of Sociology and the research coordinator of the Interface Demography research group at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium. I am also affiliated as a senior research associate at HIVA (KU Leuven). I am working as an external expert for the European Commission, Belgian and international funding institutes.

I am a collaborator of several scholars from different disciplines such as anthropology, political science, geography, economics, data science, computer science as well as numerous colleagues from the industry, civil society and public authorities. My scholarly interests cover a wide range from migration, refugees, gender, inequalities, equal opportunities, social and public policies to new methodologies and use of Big Data and AI for studying societal challenges. I have more than 15 years of experience in quantitative and mixed research methods and empirical evidence-based policy-making. I believe in open science and science for society.

A bit about my academic journey:


After receiving my BSc in Statistics degree at the Middle East Technical University (METU), Turkey; I completed MSc in Statistics and PhD in Social and Political Sciences degrees at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium. Since April 2019, I am based at Interface Demography, VUB.

 

I worked as a statistical analyst and researcher at Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Germany; as a PhD fellow at Center for Political Research and post-doc researcher at Research Center of Public Economics (KU Leuven), Belgium; as an assistant professor at Okan University, Turkey; as a lecturer and senior researcher at Bahcesehir University, Turkey; as a senior researcher at Research Institute for Society and Work - HIVA (KU Leuven), Belgium. I was a visiting scholat at the Department of Sociology, Cambridge University (UK) between March-August 2021 and at the Social and Affective Computing Group, Department of Information and Computing Sciences, Utrecht University (NL) between October 2020-January 2021.

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A bit about my personal journey:

I have always loved small cities and am fascinated by people's stories. So, I listen and observe. I believe that everybody should have equal opportunities and access to their rights. Hence, I do my best at every chance to fight against inequality. I am a mother of two amazing boys who brag about their mom being a scientist and my biggest challenge is trying to raise them as fair and caring human beings.