Sibel Top is a PhD Researcher in the Migraiton, Diversity and Justice cluster at the Brussels School of Governance of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. She is also the Project Coordinator of the BIRMM project that is embedded in this centre. Sibel holds a Master’s degree in European Interdisciplinary studies from the College of Europe and one from the Institute for European Studies of Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), where she also graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology. During her studies, she participated in the work of the Centre d’Histoire et de Sociologie des Gauches of Université Libre de Bruxelles as a trainee from July 2012 until November 2012. She later did an internship at the European Economic and Social Committee in July 2013. After completing her studies, she worked as an intern at the Brussels office of the International Labour Organisation from September 2015 to March 2016, where she focused on the integration of migrants into the EU labour markets. In April 2016, she undertook a Bluebook traineeship at the European Commission, Directorate-General Migration and Home Affairs, where she worked in the unit focusing on irregular migration and returns. From January 2017 to September 2018, Sibel worked as a researcher and communications coordinator on the DESIrE project, which aims at reducing trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation. From October 2018 until August 2022, Sibel was a PhD fellow of the Flanders research foundation (FWO).
In the framework of her PhD thesis, Sibel is conducting research on the legal relevance and actual application of the political offence exemption meant to protect political offenders, using Bourdieu's theory on the state to understand the shift in the protection of political crimes.