Rafik Arfaoui is a Postdoctoral researcher at GRITIM-UPF, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona - Spain). He works on the research project "BROAD-ER: Bridging the Migration and Urban Studies nexus" (2022-2025), led by Ricard Zapata-Barrero (UPF, Barcelona), Ahmet Içduygu (Koç University, Istanbul) and Jan Rath (University of Amsterdam). His main research interests deal with the urban reconfigurations in both large-sized cities, small & medium-sized cities, and rural areas by the reception of asylum seekers and refugees' narratives, practices, and policies.

Rafik holds a PhD in Social Geography & Urban Planning in December 2021 from the University of Clermont Auvergne (UCA), France. His PhD’s dissertation titled "Multiple territories, plural reception. Social geography of the reception of asylum seekers in non-metropolitan areashas received in April 2022 the "Great Prize of the city of Clermont-Ferrand" for the year's best dissertation at UCA. On the one hand, this doctoral research highlighted how social, demographic, and spatial characteristics of the reception's municipalities shape the local governance of International migrations. The lack of consideration of the heterogeneity between reception municipalities in the national reception system by the French State produces several inequalities among people seeking asylum, especially in terms of public services access. On the other hand, this doctoral research has given an understanding of the way in which the national and local reception policies of asylum seekers (re)shape the spatiality and solidarity of the non-metropolitan areas.

From 2021 to 2025, Rafik is a research fellow at the French Collaborative Institute on Migration (Institut Convergences Migrations). In this regard, he is involved in two research projects: LOCALACC "L'accueil en question: les localités urbaines et rurales face aux migrations" & VILMOUV "Mobility and Socio-Spatial reconfigurations in the Mediterranean urban spaces". In addition to his Research track, he has 5 years experience of teaching Geography and Urban Planning as a teaching assistant at UCA (2017-2019; 2022-2023) and as a Research and Teaching Assistant at the Polytechnic University Hauts-de-France (2019-2020) and at the University of Picardie Jules-Verne (2021-2022).

Rafik holds a Master's degree in Geography and Urban Planning from 2016 from UCA (France) and an Architectural Engineering degree in 2012 from Badji-Mokhtar University (Annaba, Algeria). From 2013 to 2014, he worked as an Architect for the "General Arts & Techniques", an architectural & Urban Planning office in Annaba (Algeria). From 2012 to 2016, he collaborated as a Journalist with the francophone newspaper "Le provincial", in Eastern Algeria.