Project Overview

Funded by President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Dean Lloyd Minor (School of Medicine), the Stanford Refugee Research Project (SRRP) explores how Stanford University can best address the refugee crisis in the Middle East. Under the leadership of Dr. Michele Barry at the Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health, this 18-month project sees an opportunity to uncover all faculty, staff, and students working on refugee projects, connect them, and identify opportunities to collaborate and contribute meaningfully to the Syrian refugee crisis.


Specific Goals


Engage Stanford's 7 schools to identify key players with extensive experience in or commitment to refugee work, as well as faculty, staff, and students interested in engaging more actively in refugee-focused work.

  • Convene key Stanford players to connect refugee-related activities across campus.


Gather research to assess the needs of Syrian refugees in the Middle East, specifically in Lebanon and Jordan, and those agencies and enterprises providing services to them.

  • Identify possible areas of focus and implementable projects through which the Stanford community can engage, including but not limited to health, education, employment, resettlement and housing.


Implement a pilot project, based on identified needs and resources, to deploy Stanford faculty, staff, and students to improve refugee conditions in Lebanon and/or Jordan.

  • Integrate these experiences with campus research and educational activities. 
  • Define a sustainable platform through which the Stanford community can engage effectively on an ongoing basis and consider ways in which it might support the engagement of partners.


Our Mission

Convene and engage a cross-campus community of students, faculty, and staff to address in an innovative and sustainable way the global challenge presented by the Syrian refugee crisis.


Project Need

Global Refugee Crisis

An unprecedented 65.6 million people are displaced from their homes.

There are 22.5 million refugees in the world.

At least half of all refugees are under the age of 18.

20 people are forcibly displaced every minute as a result of conflict and/or persecution.


Syria contributes the largest number of refugees globally.

The grand majority of Syrian refugees are in the Middle East and live well below the poverty line.

Syria had a pre-war population of 22 million. 61% are now in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

Data from UNHCR

The Team

Michele Barry

Director, Stanford Global Health and SRRP Principal Investigator

Laila Soudi

Project Lead

Nadia Roumani

Senior Advisor

Kathy Burke

Deputy Director, Stanford Global Health

Tanvi Jayaraman

Project Associate

Druthi Ghanta

Project Associate


Get in Touch

  • If you're a faculty/staff/student working with Syrian refugees in the Middle East
  • If you're a faculty/staff/student interested in doing research or work related to Syrian refugees in the Middle East. We will follow up with you in the second phase of the project once we develop the project's focus.
  • If you're interested in sharing information about an organization or initiative focused on health (mental, physical), education, employment, resettlement, and/or housing in Lebanon or Jordan of which SRRP should be aware.


Contact Laila Soudi at

Visit the SRRP website for more information and project updates.