School of Geography

Dora-Olivia Vicol


Postdoctoral Research Associate

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 2745
Room Number: Bancroft Building, Room 2.11


Olivia joined the School of Geography in January 2018, to work with Professor Kavita Datta on a Leverhulme project which investigates the Disciplining of the Remittance Marketplace

Prior to joining Queen Mary University, Olivia conducted her doctoral research in Anthropology at the University of Oxford, in the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society. With a thesis focused on Romanian migrants’ encounters with London’s precarious work sectors, Olivia’s project was dedicated to unpacking the power and pitfalls of informal economies. In 2016, Olivia helped found the Work Rights Centre: an employment rights charity where she is happy to act as Chair of Trustees. Since then, her work has continued to straddle a theoretical interest in states, markets, and the tension between formal and informal exchanges which runs through the heart of industrialised societies, with an active interest in public engagement with stakeholders beyond the academy.



Vicol, D.O. (2017) Permanent Residence and the power of bureaucracy, COMPAS blog

Vicol, D.O. (2016) Paradoxically European: how a spike in xenophobia re-values EU citizenship, COMPAS blog

Vicol, D.O. (2016) The Conservative migration plan: does it work for anyone?, COMPAS blog

Vicol, D.O. & Allen, W. (2014) Bulgarians and Romanians in the British national press, The Migration Observatory, University of Oxford

Vicol, D.O. (2014) Immigration justice: book review, St Antony’s International Review, Vol 9, No 3

Public Engagement

In February 2016 Olivia helped establish the Work Rights Centre charity. With a weekly multi-lingual clinic, based in the London borough of Brent, the Work Rights Centre provides free and confidential advice to any UK or EU nationals who are in, or at risk of, precarious work. It is through this collaboration with the charity that Olivia engaged in public consultations. She provided evidence of migrant workers' precarity for the London borough of Brent, the Romanian Embassy, and the Romanian Minister for the Diaspora, and presented papers at: 

  • the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR): 'Precarious work: Macro gaps and micro solutions'
  • the Law Centres Network: 'Living Rights Project': 'Precarious work: Learning from outreach'
  • the Romanian Embassy in London: 'Brexit and the danger of invisible bureaucracies'
  • the European Centre for Workers’ Questions (EZA): 'Precarity, contraband, and the normal of 'what it's like around here'.