Birte Nienaber is Associate Professor of Political Geography at the University of Luxembourg since 2013. She studied geography, political science, and cultural anthropology at the Universities of Münster (Germany) and Rouen (France) (1997-2002). She obtained her doctoral degree in the University of Münster (Germany) (2002-2005).
She conducted research during a post-doctoral period at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography in Leipzig (Germany) (2006-2007), becoming an assistant professor at Saarland University in Saarbrücken (Germany) (2007-2013) where she presented her habilitation thesis.
She is the study director of the trinational Master programme in Border Studies in Luxembourg, since it was established in 2017, which is implemented between the University of Luxembourg, Saarland University, Technical University of Kaiserslautern-Landau and University of Lorraine.
She used to coordinate until 2020 the programme at the University of Luxembourg on continuous education on Spatial Planning (“Formation continue en amenagement du territoire”).
Birte Nienaber is involved in the intra-faculty key research area MIS (“Migration and Inclusive Societies”). Since May 2018, she has been a member of the steering board to define strategies for further developing this research area within the faculty and beyond.
Her research focusses on geographical approaches in migration studies, border studies and European regional development.
Current research projects include youth mobility and migrant youth in Europe, reception centres for refugees, the Common European Asylum System and borders and migration.
Prof. Nienaber was lead partner in the H2020 projects MIMY and MOVE and led work packages on migration issues in the FP7 project DERREG and in the H2020 projects CEASEVAL and RELOCAL as PI for the University of Luxembourg. Now she is involved as PI for the University of Luxembourg in the Horizon Europe Project INNOVATE.
She coordinates the Luxembourg contact points of the European Migration Networks (EMN Luxembourg) and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRANET).
Until 2020, she coordinated the Luxembourg national contact point for ESPON.
The relevance of her research is complemented with the drafting the national SOPEMI report for the OECD since 2015 at the request of the National Reception Office (ONA), the PAN project with the Department of Integration of the Ministry of Family and Integration, the auto-evaluation requested by the European Commission for the national programme of the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) regarding the compliance of the programme with the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights at the request of the Ministry of Labour.
Prof. Nienaber was appointed by the Ministry of Labour as member of the monitoring committee of the national programme of the ESF+ for the period 2021-2027 and she is in charge of managing the complaint mechanism of this project. She was also appointed by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs as member of the monitoring committee of the national programmes for the following European Funds: Asylum, Migration, Integration Fund (AMIF), Internal Security Fund (ISF) and the Border and Visa Management Instrument (BVMI) for the period 2021-2027.
She was also appointed in 2022 as member of the Advisory Board on Spatial Development of the German Federal Ministry of Housing, Urban Development and Construction.
Prof. Nienaber represents the FHSE faculty of the University of Luxembourg on the board directors of the European network “IMISCOE”.
She is a member of the steering committee of the UniGR Centre for Border Studies, involved in the INTERREG VA Greater Region project “Border Studies”
Believing strongly in the relevance of research for the Luxembourgish society, Prof. Nienaber is working in close cooperation with various national ministries and authorities (e.g. Ministries of Family and Integration, Foreign and European Affairs, Labour, Justice, Centre for Equal Treatment (CET), Ombudsman for Kinder and Youth (OKAJU), STATEC, ONA) and European institutions (e.g. DG HOME, DG JUST, DG RESEARCH, FRA).
In 2017, she was honoured to give a keynote speech on migration issues to the six German-speaking heads of state from Austria, Belgium, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Switzerland.