Dr Rosaria Franco

Assistant Professor in Modern History


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Interests

  • Refugee history
  • History of childhood and child welfare
  • Empires and Colonialism
  • Cold War History
  • Hong Kong History
  • Transnational  Higher Education

Research Interests

My research focuses on the politics of welfare/ humanitarian assistance to address the needs of migrant, displaced, and refugee populations, especially children.

Since joining the University of Nottingham Ningbo China, I have extended my research to childhood, cultures of care, and child welfare in Asia. In 2012, I designed the EU–funded 4th EU-China Dialogue on ‘Left-Behind Children: Problems and Solutions’ (Ningbo 20-22 February 2012). This was a networking (people-to-people) exercise meant to facilitate the exchange of best practice between academics and NGO/INGO practitioners working with migrant and left-behind children in Eastern Europe and China.

Cross-referencing sources from British, Hong Kong, Russian and US archives, I am currently developing a project exploring how post-war politicized neo-humanitarianism affected the care arrangements for displaced and refugee children in post-war Europe and Asia (colonial Hong Kong), highlighting the underpinning new political view of children as investment for colonial and ideological empires (Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States) in the context of the Cold War.

I can supervise PhD projects in my areas of expertise, especially refugee history, as well as selected projects on migration, gender, social policy, and childhood from a historical perspective.

Orchid Account: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1326-8116

Personal profile

After completing my undergraduate studies in Russian and English language and literature with a pathway in modern history in Venice, I moved to Manchester to complete my postgraduate studies under the guidance of Peter Gatrell. In 2006-7 I joined his AHRC-funded project “Population displacement, state practice and social experience in Russia and Eastern Europe, 1930-1950s”.

Since September 2007, I have been with the School of International Studies of the University of Nottingham in China. As one of the earliest members of the latter, I have a strong record in curriculum development, interdisciplinary teaching, teaching leadership, and the development of Continuous Professional Development for teaching staff.

I am a proven leader in teaching quality, having served as Faculty Director of Teaching (2016-18) and Associate Dean in Teaching and Learning (2018-20), as well as instructor, examiner, and Faculty  Adviser in the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE).

I am reviewer in the Nottingham Recognition Scheme (NRS) and member of the university Teaching and Learning Observation College (TLOC).  I currently also serve as Director of the Nottingham Advantage Award, the univeristy flagship programme promoting student employability.


  • People and Borders
  • The Making of Contemporary Europe
  • Research Methods
  • China, Russia, and the United States
  • Gender & Society


  • Research Methods I (Qualitative)
  • Gender: Power and Society
  • Understanding the West
  • Western Civilisation
  • The Making of Modern Asia
  • The Making of Modern Europe
  • Special Project in World History
  • History: Research Methods
  • Sex, Gender, Politics
  • Approaches to History and Politics
  • Welfare States
  • Russia: The Making of a Modern Power
  • Women and Children in the Modern World
  • Introduction to Analytical Thought
  • Introduction to Comparative Politics

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor, Laurea in Lingue and Letterature Straniere, Ca' Foscari University of Venice

Master, MA in European History, University of Manchester

PhD, University of Manchester

External positions

Associate Fellow (elected), Royal Historical Society

2022 → …

Member (elected), Royal Historical Society

2021 → …

Fellow (elected), Royal Society of Arts

2021 → …

Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy

2018 → …

Associate Fellow, Higher Education Academy

2012 → …

Person Types

  • Staff


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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