About The Research and Collaboration Programme

On March 8, 2019, we took a step beyond #metoo and launched a research and collaboration programme focusing on how the Swedish higher education sector can jointly improve the study and work environment at our higher education institutions. A key idea behind the programme is to generate more and better knowledge through knowledge exchange and common practices.

The goal of the programme is to establish research-based knowledge of inclusive work and study environments and a sustainable organization for the prevention of sexual harassment and gender-based violence and victimization in academia. The programme will, by extension, contribute to strengthening and intensifying work on academia's organizational culture, with a focus on quality, sustainable development, work environment, leadership, equality and equal opportunities.


The experience-based stories that emerged during #metoo have shown the extent and consequences of different forms of gender-based violence and victimization - at the individual, organizational and societal levels. However, research, both internationally and in Sweden, shows that we know too little about prevalence, causes and consequences. The programme aims to, with an interdisciplinary approach, contribute to the creation of new knowledge both theoretically and empirically as well as to develop the work with prevention and promotion. By applying a critical perspective on sexual harassment, we want to invite an examination of academia’s organization and structures and thereby contribute to sustainable change.

The programme in brief

The programme aims to create a common platform for the work against sexual harassment and gender-based violence in academia.

The programme will include the following activities:

  • A national study of prevalence, causes and consequences of sexual harassment and gender-based violence and victimization in the entire Swedish higher education sector.
  • Development of new research-based knowledge of sexual harassment and gender-based violence and victimization in various contexts of the academy: at the individual, organizational and sectoral level that can serve as support in development work and
  • Common platforms, arenas and networks for both research collaborations and opportunities for joint improvement work.

The first task of the programme will be to identify sexual harassment and gender-based violence and victimization at a cross-sectoral level through a national study. The study will identify occurrence, causes and consequences and from an intersectional perspective. The study will include 125 000 respondents (students, doctoral students and staff) active at 38 higher educational institutions in Sweden. Based on the results of the study and existing research, the higher education institutions, both individually and jointly, will be able to initiate various research and development projects. The various arenas for collaboration provide a frame for this work.

Read more about the national research study on gender-based violence.  

Organization of the programme

The programme was initiated by KI, KTH, Malmö University and the Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research at the university of Gothenburg, but is based on collaboration between the higher education institutions in Sweden. A network of contact persons at the institutions who wish to be active in the programme will continuously provide input into the programme's design and organization. A scientific reference group is given opportunities to influence the scientific direction and content of the programme. The programme has a steering group consisting of members of management from KI, KTH and Malmö University as well as a coordination group that administers and manages the work. The programme is led by a programme leader who, together with research leaders and practitioners at the four HEIs, conducts the prevalence study and initiates new research and development projects.


Declaration of intent 


  • Research-based knowledge about sexual harassment and gender-based violence contributes to changes that support sustainable conditions in research and education as well as positive societal development.


  • Develop and disseminate research-based knowledge about 

  • sexual harassment and gender-based violence in academia

  • prevention and promotion activities that support inclusive working and study environments

  • sexual harassment and gender-based violence in other parts of society.

Kowledgeview and concept 

  • A critical perspective on sexual harassment can open up for studies of the organization of the acedemic sector and its structures, thereby contributing to sustainable change.

  • Legal definitions of sexual harassment have to some extent limited previous research, why they should be challenged and expanded in order to develop new knowledge.

  • Gender is a concept that describes historically developing ideas, and expression, of differences and power related to gender. 

  • Gender-based violence is used to interpret and understand sexual harassment linked to other forms of violence and victimization. Gender-based violence can occur in different contexts and manifest itself in physical as well as psychological harassment, in real meetings and/or digitally.

An intersectional perspective increases possibilities to understand and interpret sexual harassment and gender-based violence. In this way, intersections between different factors such as ethnicity, gender, gender identity, class, age, religion, disability and sexuality can be analysed and examined.


KI, KTH, Malmö University and The Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research at the University of Gothenburg are funding and conducting the prevalence study. The long-term goal is for the programme to become an independent, stable research environment.Participating in the prevalence study does not entail any direct costs to the higher education institutions, beyond the working hours and any other efforts needed to ensure a good response rate. Based on the results in the prevalence study, higher education institutions can develop preventative measures financed by each higher education institution. Joint research applications and projects are encouraged within the framework of the programme.


Email: genusprogrammet@ki.se

Programme leader: Karin Dahlman-Wright karin.dahlman-wright@ki.se

Research leader KI: Christina Björklund christina.björlund@ki.se

Research leader KTH: Anna Wahl anna.wahl@indek.kth.se

Research leader Malmö University: Charlotta Löfgren-Mårtenson charlotta.lofgren-martenson@mau.se

Research leader Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research, University of Gothenburg: Lisa Rudolfsson lisa.rudolfsson@genus.gu.se

Content reviewer:
Birgit Ekroth