Dr. Irina Kuznetsova is a sociologist and social geographer. Her research expertise includes migration, religiosity, health, disabilities studies, social policy and accessible cities. Irina Kuznetsova serves as Birmingham Fellow at School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences of the University of Birmingham. Previously she was director of the European Union Centre VOICES, funded by a grant from the European Commission at Kazan Federal University (Russia, 2012-2015). She is currently a board member of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence VOICES+ at the same university. Between 2011 – 2015 she was also a director of the Institute for the Comparative Studies of Modernity at Kazan Federal University, created to develop postgraduate teaching and research with a young team of talented academics (now - the Centre for Postsocialists Studies). She led many international conferences and workshops, including three European Youth Forums in Kazan (2012-2014), Issues of super-diversity: migration in Russia and EU (November 2013 Kazan), Russia 'EU economics, politics and society in uncertain times: implications for the EU - Russia relationship' (May 2012 Kazan), 'Still Postsocialism? Cultural memory and social transformations' (May 2013, Kazan), 'Social policy towards vulnerable groups' (23-24 November 2011 Kazan) amongst many others.
Between 2007-2011 Dr Irina Kuznetsova was head of department for sociological studies at the Centre for Advanced Economic Research of Academy of Science of Republic of Tatarstan, Russia where she organized many applied research projects regarding quality of life, social policy, corruption, health, urban development, and education. She received an award 'Best Scientist of 2008' by the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tatarstan for achievements in sphere of scientific studies in issues of social policy and elaboration of fundamental and applied projects directed to improvement of life in Republic of Tatarstan. Prior to this, from 2001, she was as a lecturer at the Faculty of Social Work at the Kazan State Medical University.
She has been principal investigator and participant of many research and educational projects funded by the European Commission, Open Society Institute, MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, Russian Foundation for Humanities amongst others.