Dr Gabriella Alberti

Dr Gabriella Alberti


Academic background and biography

I completed my PhD in Social Sciences at Cardiff University (2011) with a thesis on Transient Working Lives: Migrant Women's Everyday Politics in Londons Hospitality Industry. At Cardiff, I also studied my MSc in Social Sciences Research Methods. During my studies I worked at the European Parliament, Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and at the International Labour Office in Geneva on forced labour and migration. I graduated from the University of Bologna, School of Politics Institutions and History (2006).  Upon completion of my PhD in 2011 I was awarded an ESRC Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London. Gabriella has worked at Leeds Business School since 2012 and she is now Associate Professor in Work and Employment Relations and researcher at the Centre for Employment Relations Innovation and Change (LUBS). I am co-founder of the University’s Leeds Migration Research Network and a member of the board of the Leeds Social Science Institute.

My approach to the study of employment, labour migration and diversity is highly interdisciplinary drawing from Industrial Relations, sociology of work, labour geography and organisation studies. My research interests revolve around the questions of transnational labour mobility, precarious work and their implications for changing employment relations, migrant intersectionalities trade unions renewal and movements for social ad environmental justice (see my recent keynote at the BUIRA webinar Intersectionality and IR” where I focused on racialised migraton in post-Brexit UK at this link)

Through my interdisciplinary background and activist research, I developed an unconventional perspective to management studies, with particular attention to migration, racial and gender equality at work for precarious and contingent workers without social protection. For several years I have been an elected member of the University College Union committee, with a focus on equalities and recently, climate action.


  • Academic staff (teaching and research)
  • Teaching, Human Resource Management (UG &PG)
  • Research, Work and Employment Relations Division

Research interests

My research interests revolve around the conditions of workers at the bottom end of the labour market, whether on non-standard contracts, engaged in gig/platform work, excluded from social protections, migrants and minorities workers facing multiple and intersectional forms of discrimination and exclusion.  I am particularly interested in the forms of agency and resistance that workers build individually and collectively, despite their precarious status, as I explored in my past and recent publications in international peer-reviewed journals such as Work Employment and Society, the International Journal of Human Resource Management, Economic and Industrial Democracy, the British Journal of Industrial Relations, and Working USA.  My qualitative research explores migrant precarious employment, intra-EU mobility, migration and temporary agencies, transnational labour mobility, trade unions strategies with migrant and gig workers, community organising, union renewal, and more recently the impact of post-Brexit migration policy on sectors hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Selected funded research

2021-2024 “Labour mobility in Transition: a mulit-actor study of the re-regulation of migrant work in “low-skilled” sectors (£986, 203) awarded May 2021. ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCIL STANDARD GRANT. (PI, with Chris Forde, Jo Cutter, Zyama Ciupijus, Ioulia Bessa, Gary Graham, Elenora Morganti.Project webpage https://business.leeds.ac.uk/dir-record/research-projects/1870/labour-mobility-in-transition-a-multi-actor-study-of-the-re-regulation-of-migrant-work-in-low-skilled-sectors-limits

2019: Responding to Brexit before Brexit: navigating the work and labour market impacts of the 2016 EU referendum Leeds Social Sciences Institute / ESRC Impact Acceleration Account, CO-I (£14,402.50) 2018

2017:-2020 Evaluation of the Migrant Access Project Plus’, a Joint proposal with the  Centre for Health Promotion Research Leeds Beckett University), Leeds City Council (PI Louise Warwick-Booth), £25,000. See Final Report here, with Chris Fode.

May 2019: Sadler Seminar Series, "Migration and the City: Imagining and Making Urban Lives", LHRI University of Leeds (with Giorgia Aiello and Helen Kim, School of Media and Communication),£ 2,000

November 2018: The impact of Brexit on employers and employment rights, Leeds University Business School Seedcorn Funding for External Grant, PI (with Jo Cutter, Zyama Ciupijus, Ioulia Bessa and Chris Forde) £1,980

May 2017: ESRC Brexit / Industrial Strategy Challenge fund on ‘Migration, equality and social cohesion: promoting inter-community dialogue in times of change: focus on Brexit’, PI, £ 5,600 (External partner: Leeds City Council). See Report of Final event Migrant Voices in Dialogue with the City

December 2016: Social protection for workers in the collaborative economy CERIC (PI Chris Forde and Mark Stuart) as part of the European Parliament Tender for a multiple framework service agreement with the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, £130,000

November 2016-January 2018 Migration, equality and social cohesion: promoting inter-community dialogue in times of change. Leeds Social Sciences Institute, Responsive Mode Fund (IAA funding £8,500, total value of the project 10,000) with Chris Forde (WERD) and Louise Waite (Geography) External partner: Leeds City Council. 

September 2015-ongoing Migration, Development and Global Transformations (MDGT)  World University Network research development fund (RDF) (with Chris Forde)  £11,000 (as part of larger WUN RDF, PI Ann Singleton, Bristol University)

September 2014-April 2015:  EU Social and Labour Rights and EU Internal Market Law (PI Professor Dagmar Schiek, Queen University Belfast) See http://lubswww.leeds.ac.uk/ceric/eu-social-rightsinternal-market-law/ (Total grant. £114,555) See here the Final Report for the European Parliament

Doctoral research supervision and opportunities:

My activity in the Centre for Employment Relations Innovation and Change at LUBS involves collaborative research on migration and labour mobility in a transnational perspective, trade unions, employee voice and collective action in precarious employment (including in outsourcing, platform and gig work). With  Professor Chris Forde, Professor Jane Holgate, Jo Cutter, Dr Zynovijus Ciupijus, Dr Liz Oliver  we are currently interested in supervising doctoral projects related to:

  • The management of migration: labour and migration policy regimes
  • Precarious employment and intersectionality
  • Transnational mobility and temporary staffing agencies
  • The impact of migrant labour on HRM strategies
  • Restriction of free movement and impact on work and employment
  •  Community organizing, trade union renewal and social movement unionism
  •  Workforce diversity, equality, intersectionality
  •  The hospitality industry and low-paid service sector employment
  •  Climate action and workers rights
  • Post-Brexit labour migration
  • Labour Migration and Skills

If you would like to contact me about a proposal or application, please do so via email: g.alberti@leeds.ac.uk


  • 2011 PhD in Social Sciences, Cardiff University
  • 2007: MSc Social Sciences Research Methods, Cardiff University
  • 2006: BA Political Sciences, First Class, Department of Politics, University of Bologna

Professional memberships

  • 2018 -to date Member of the Board of the Leeds Social Sciences Research Institute
  • 2019-to date: Associate Member of Editorial Board of the journal Frontiers of Sociology, Work and Organisation
  • May 2012- present: Member of the Centre for Employment, Innovation and Change, Leeds University Business School
  • 2011-present: member of the academic European network Immigration, Immigrants and Trade Unions in Europe (IITUE)
  • October 2016-ongoing: Doctoral academy board of the University of Padua, Department of Sociology
  • September 2015-present: Member and co-founder of the Leeds Migration Research Network, University of Leeds

Student education

 2017-2020 Programme Director of the MA in HRM

Module taught

  • LUBS5330M - Human Resource Management Core Course (MA HRM)
  • LUBS5339M - International Employment Policy and Labour Mobility (MA HRM)
  • LUBS5376M - HRM Dissertation (MA HRM)
  • LUBS3311 - Human Resource Management Dissertation (BA HRM)
  • LUBS2000 - Management, Work and Organisations (BA HRM)
  • LUBS2060 - Contemporary Industrial Relations (BA HRM)
  • LUBS1755 - Business and Society (Combined) (BA HRM)

New modules (2020-21)

Sustainable Futures, Digitalisation and the Future of Work (MA HRM, MSc Consulting)

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change

Current postgraduate researchers