As an interdisciplinary researcher and mentor, I've always been driven by my love for data and my choice to be a social scientist. I'm a proud migrant, having lived and worked in Turkey, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and now, since the summer of 2022, in Cambridge, UK. I currently serve as a senior quantitative social scientist at Wellcome Connecting Science (WCS) and the Kavli Centre for Ethics, Science, and the Public, a joint initiative of WCS and Cambridge University. In addition, I continue working as a research professor at the Department of Sociology at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium, where I lead the AI, Migration and Society (AIMS) Lab. Beyond these roles, I've had the privilege of working as an external expert for the European Commission, and Belgian and international funding institutes, and have held advisory roles at numerous national and international institutes.
My collaborations span across various disciplines, including psychology, anthropology, political science, geography, educational science, economics, data science, and computer science. I also work closely with colleagues from industry, civil society, and public authorities. My scholarly interests are diverse, encompassing public perception and attitudes towards new technologies, ethical and trustworthy AI, the use and governance of Big Data and AI for global challenges, as well as diversity, migration, gender, inequalities, equal opportunities, and social and public policies. With over 15 years of experience in quantitative and mixed research methods, I've seen firsthand how empirical research can support policy-making. I am a firm believer in open science and the importance of 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 my MSc in Statistics and Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. fellow at the Center for Political Research, and as a post-doc researcher at the 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; as the research coordinator of the Interface Demography research group at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). I was a visiting scholar 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.
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.