Our team and Partners

Project Coordinator - Dr. Marge Unt

As a kid, I never wanted to grow up. To me, the grown-up world was not something to look for. What is this "work" they always claim to have? Why do they refuse to run around in fields and find shapes in clouds? And why do adults assume that they know it all and are still so stressed? Now, I have made this transition and have entered the world of my own family and work. However, I am still deeply interested in how youth experience becoming an adult in different contexts.


Project Co-coordinator - Prof. Dr. Michael Gebel

When I grew up, Germany experienced serious mass unemployment and was called the “sick man of Europe”. I saw friends suffering from unemployment and insecure jobs. But there were also success stories of friends coping with such a situation and also escaping from it. Nowadays, after a period of policy reforms, the situation is better in Germany but there are still many problems. These observations raised my interest in understanding how youths avoid getting into trouble and which policies help.



Get to know all researchers that are engaged in the project. Read the personal story of each researcher by clicking on her/his picture.

Olena Nizalova

Olena Nizalova

Position: Senior Research Fellow in Health Economics - University of Kent

Field of study: Economics

Research topics: Labor economics; health economics; applied econometrics; longitudinal data analysis; modern methods of causal analysis


My adolescence and early twenties coincided with the first years of Independence of Ukraine. Economic hardships and uncertainty restricted my choices of the field of education, as my parents could not afford sending me to study in another city.  In spite of these difficulties and a wrong start in an area outside of my interests, I have managed to find my true calling. Throughout the course of 1990s I have also observed many people – young and old – with different labour market circumstances. Some despairing and quitting the labour market, others – changing their careers completely and taking jobs that required higher or lower levels of education than what they had, insecure jobs with higher earnings or secure jobs in which earnings barely covered basic needs.  These observations brought me to the interest in what makes people resilient in difficult economic and political conditions and how exposure to these conditions when one is young affects his or her later life.


Advisory board:

Hans-Peter Blossfeld
Caroline Dewilde
Duncan Gallie
Massimiliano Mascherini
Jale Tosun
Gianfranco Bordone
Laura Orestano
Franco Chiaramonte
Luca Chiapella
Vanessa Di Paola
Virginie Mora
Ruth Santos-Brien
Rita Bergstein

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