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DTU MINLAB PhDs Students

Each of the MINLAB PhD position is attached to a particular research stream and is associated to a dedicated PhD supervisor (from CREA, INSIDE or LISER), a Doctoral School (DSSS or DSEF), and an employer (UL or LISER).



Nikita Gaponiuk (DEM) / Supervisor: Pierre M. Picard (DEM)

Research interests: Immigration, Trade Economics

Thesis title:  Sustainable policies for free movement of workers

 Nikita Gaponiuk is a first-year Ph.D. candidate in Economics at University of Luxembourg. He received his MS in Economics and Finance from Higher School of Economics (Moscow) and University of Luxembourg. He obtained BS in Economics and BA in Law from Samara State University of Economics. His work broadly focused on the sustainability of free movement policy within multinational framework, importance of trade and migration frictions.

Nikita Gaponiuk

Katherine Ford (DBCS) /  Supervisor: Anja Leist (DBCS)

Research interests: Quantitative Methods, Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Cognitive Ageing

Thesis title: Work, gender, and cognitive health

Katherine joined the INSIDE research unit as a PhD candidate in January, 2018. She received a Bachelor of Science from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, and has a Master of Public Health from École des hautes études en santé publique in Paris, France.  She has experience working on public health related projects with a number of reputable charitable organizations including the British Heart Foundation and the International Diabetes Federation. Her interests lie in the field of social epidemiology for chronic disease. Her current research explores the relationship between psychosocial conditions at work and cognitive health in older employees.

Giuseppe Grasso (LISER) / Supervisor: Konstantinos Tatsiramos (DEM/LISER)

Research interests: Labour Economics, Applied Micro-Econometrics

Thesis title: Labour Market Effects of Policy Interventions

Giuseppe Grasso is a PhD student at the Doctoral School in Economics and Finance (DSEF) of the University of Luxembourg and at the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER). His research, supervised by Prof. Konstantinos Tatsiramos, focuses on evaluating the effect of policy and institutional changes on labour market outcomes. Before starting the doctoral program, he worked at the World Bank – studying the extent and drivers of income inequality in Mauritius – and then, as part of a research grant, at the Bank of Italy – conducting microsimulation of income support measures to appraise their impact on poverty, inequality and work incentives. He holds a MSc Economics from Milan’s Catholic University.

Adda Carla Justiniano Medina (LISER) / Supervisor: Maria Valentova (LISER)

Research interests: Labour Markets, Immigration, Integration, Inequality, Gender Gap

Thesis title: Civic Engagement and the Integration of Immigrants

Short description:

Adda Carla graduated from BA at the University of Genova, Italy in Economics and Commerce, then enrolled in a joint master in Economic Development and Growth in University Charles III from Madrid, Spain and University of Lund in Sweden.
A combination between personal experiences and academy drove her interest towards research in her current project. Her goal ​is to disentangle and find determinants of the integration of immigrant women.


Alessio Monetti (DEM) / Supervisor: Arnaud Dupuy (DEM)

Research interests:

Thesis title:    Analyzing the impact of taxation on the migration of skilled and unskilled labour across occupations and across countries or regions. Assessing the capability of EU labour markets to absorb the country or regional disparities and job polarization


Victoria Maleeva (DEM) / Supervisor: Skerdilajda Zanaj (DEM)

Research interests: Gender Inequalities, Poverty, Family Economics, Environmental Policies

Thesis title: Migration and Economic policies

Short description:

Victoria holds a Master degree in Economics and Finance Research Track from the University of Luxembourg. She is writing her thesis under the supervision of Professor Skerdi Zanaj. Currently, they are working on gender inequalities and female labour force participation in the context of family economics.

Silvia Perrachi (DEM) / Supervisor: Michel Beine (DEM)  

Research interests: Economics of migration, Applied Econometrics

Thesis title: Essays in the Economics of International Migration

Silvia is a first year PhD student in Economics, writing a thesis on the topic of migration. She is originally from Italy, but she completed her Research Master in Brussels (ULB).

She is currently working on diversity, with a mainly empirical approach. In general, she particularly likes learning innovative data collection and analysis tools (e.g. geocoding), and at the moment the software she mostly uses includes R and STATA. Silvia is currently a teaching assistant for a Research Seminar class directed to first year Master students, which involves the application of the gravity model in the economic context and its estimation methods.

Rhea Ravenna Sohst (DSS) / Supervisor: Philippe Van Kerm (DSS/LISER)

Research interests: Integration, Immigration & Inequality, Future of Migration

Thesis title: Where and why does integration work?

Ravenna Sohst is a doctoral researcher at the University of Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER). Her research interests are centered around empirical analyses of immigrant integration, inequality and social policy. Prior to joining the University of Luxembourg, she worked at the OECD’s International Migration Division and completed a MSc in Public Policy and Human Development at the United Nations MERIT University/Maastricht University. 

Alper Ünsal (LISER) / Supervisor: Bertrand Verheyden (LISER)

Research interests: Labour Economics, Economics of Migration

Thesis title: Understanding how public policies affect integration, migratory trajectories (including subsequent and return migration) and immigrants’ ties with the home country

Alper Ünsal is a Ph.D. student at the Doctoral School in Economics and Finance (DSEF) of the University of Luxembourg and at the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) since October 2018. He obtained an M.Res. in Economic Analysis from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, an M.A. in Economics from Boğaziçi University and a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from Boğaziçi University. He also undertook two research assistant positions at the Department of Economics of Boğaziçi University. Alper’s main research interests lie in the fields of Economics of Migration, and Labour Economics. His current research focuses on the role of language barrier on underutilization of immigrants’ skills, and evaluating related public policies potentially affecting labour market outcomes. He writes his thesis under the supervision of Dr. Bertrand Verheyden.





Rana Comertpay (DEM) / Supervisor: Luisito Bertinelli (DEM)   

Research interests: Migration Economics, Refugee Studies, Applied Econometrics

Thesis title: Refugee Mobility: Evidence from Phone Data in Turkey

Rana is a second year Ph.D. student in economics at the University of Luxembourg. She conducts empirical research in the area of migration. She completed her research master in this university and obtained a prize for her master thesis from the Economist Club in Luxembourg. She is Belgian, she grew up and did her previous studies in the province of Liege. She is originally from Turkey. Before she arrived in Luxembourg, she worked in the UK on research projects of the European Commission in the areas of inequalities, social development and migration. Curious and willing to learn continuously, she is interested in a research career. During her Ph.D., she aims to improve and acquire skills in data collection and analysis by learning new tools and software. Rana is currently a teaching assistant for the econometrics course offered to first year master students and for the macroeconomics course offered to first year bachelor students.


Andreï Kostyrka (DEM) / Supervisor: Gautam Tripathi (DEM)  

Research interests: Econometrics, Semi-parametric Methods, Conditional Heteroskedasticity

Thesis title: Empirical-Likelihood-Based Inference with Missing Data

Andreï Kostyrka was born in 1992 in Moscow, Russia, in a Ukrainian-Russian family. He enrolled in a Bachelor programme at the Higher School of Economics, Moscow in 2009 and obtained a Master’s degree from Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne (joint programme with the Higher School of Economics, Moscow) in 2015.
Andreï is currently a Ph.D. researcher at the University of Luxembourg under the supervision of prof. Antonia Cosma, working together with him and prof. Gautam Tripathi.

His hobbies: writing and translating poems, typesetting in LaTeX, editing literary miscellanies (being the editor of ‘Parizhsk’), classical music, piano composition, piano tuning, languages and puns, open-source software, Linux.

Link to personal website: http://kostyrka.ru

Andreï Kostyrka

Maximillian Schiele (DSS) / Supervisor: Louis Chauvel (DSS)

Research interests: Interdependence of Migration and Inequality

Thesis title: Inequality, Stratification and Migration

After gaining his Abitur in Bavaria (Germany) Maximilian Schiele gained his Bachelor in Sociology in Bamberg. His Bachelor Thesis was on the effects of migration on the local labor market. His education in Bamberg was accompanied by a two semester Study abroad in Busan (South-Korea). After gaining his degree in Bamberg, Maximilian continued his sociological education with a Master at the University of Amsterdam. His Master thesis explored the motivations of asylum seeker stranded in Calais (France) on their way to the UK. Maximilian started his PhD in Sociology under the supervision of Louis Chauvel at the University Luxembourg in March 2017.

Maximilian Schiele

Giorgia Menta (DBCS) / Supervisor: Conchita d'Ambrosio (DBCS)

Research interests: Applied Microeconomics, Household Economics, Gender Inequality, Genoeconomics

Thesis title:  Essays on the intergenerational transmission of economic inequality

Giorgia Menta is a PhD student in Economics at the University of Luxembourg. Before, she received her MSc degree in Economics and Social Sciences from Bocconi University in Milan and had experiences working for international organizations, such as the United Nations ESCAP and the EU’s Directorate-General for Competition.

Her PhD thesis revolves around the topic of intergenerational transmission of economic inequality. She uses a variety of cohort studies from the UK to explore the link between parental socio-economic status and children’s cognitive and non-cognitive skills, with a particular focus on the biological channels (such as DNA methylation) through which stressful life events affect individuals and their later-life outcomes. Her research further encompasses the analysis of gender inequality in relation to labour market outcomes such as labour market participation, the housework gender gap, and customer discrimination.