Portrait of Gianna Maria Eick

Gianna Maria Eick

PhD Candidate in Social Policy
Graduate Teaching Assistant
Project Manager of the Kent Self-Study


Supervisors: Dr Trude Sundberg, Dr Tina Haux and Dr Heejung Chung

Gianna Maria Eick is a PhD candidate in Social Policy at the University of Kent and was awarded a Scholarship for Quantitative Social Science to complete her PhD. Currently, Gianna is also a Graduate Teaching Assistant and one of the Project Managers of the Kent Self-Study of the Q-Step Centre at Kent. The Self-Study is a longitudinal multi-purpose study, involving responses from 4,000 undergraduate students from the university across all years. It includes topics such as an evaluation of research skills, attitudes, and lifestyle.

In 2016  Gianna Maria was awarded a First Class BA (Hons) in Sociology with Ethnology as a minor subject at the University of Hamburg (Germany). In the same year, she was the recipient of the Janpeter-Kob Prize for 'The best undergraduate dissertation in Sociology'. For her dissertation, she used a mixed-methods approach to examine the educational upward mobility of second-generation immigrants in Germany. In 2017 Gianna Maria was awarded a First Class  MA in Sociology at the University of Hamburg. Within her MA thesis, Gianna Maria focused on xenophobia in a European context, performing advanced statistical methods such as multilevel analysis. During her MA, she received an ERASMUS+ Scholarship and studied for one term at the University of Kent.

In the course of Gianna Maria's previous studies, she worked for almost five years part-time at the WISO-Research Laboratory of the University of Hamburg. This way Gianna Maria gained extensive experience in designing, conducting and managing academic research projects. She also published a paper for a public office in Germany on the relationship between anti-immigrant attitudes and positive contact experiences in Hamburg with survey data she collected. Additionally, Gianna Maria conducted a number of workshops on quantitative research methods.

Apart from her academic path, Gianna Maria has participated in the international social volunteer programme “weltwärts” and worked for one year as a teacher in rural areas in Mexico. Subsequently, Gianna worked for two years as a language trainer in international companies in Mexico-City.

Research interests

Gianna Maria's research interests centre on issues of immigration, education, comparative welfare state attitudes, and innovative quantitative methods. She is a member of two Research Clusters at SSPSSR ('Welfare State' and 'Migration, Ethnicity, Religion, and Belonging') and the European Network for Social Policy Analysis.  

Gianna Maria's PhD research examines attitudes of higher educated populations towards immigrants in changing social and political contexts. Alongside this, she has a wide range of research interests with an emphasis on:

  • Immigration
  • Ethnicity and race
  • The relationship between education and socio-economic background
  • Intergroup relations
  • Discrimination
  • Comparative welfare state attitudes
  • Research methods and ethics
  • Innovative quantitative methods


Gianna is a Graduate Teaching Assistant and teaches seminars on research methods, especially quantitative social research.

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