Contact person:
Mika Hagerlid
  • People Places and Prevention
  • The Crafoord Foundation
Responsible at MaU:
Charlotta Löfgren
Project members at MaU:
Time frame:
01 September 2020 - 31 December 2026
Research environment :
Research subject:

About the project

In connection with #MeToo in 2017, sexual harassment at work attracted worldwide attention. There is still a lack of detailed knowledge, however, even though international research shows widespread experience. Pronounced status hierarchies, job insecurity, inequitable power and housing conditions, and imbalances between formal and informal power at university are major challenges.

Students and PhD-students may be particularly vulnerable due to power inequalities and relationships of dependency in academic cultures. Of 24,000 Malmö University students, 1,350 are international students, one-third have a non-Swedish background and two-thirds are first-generation academics. There are also about 250 doctoral students at Malmö University.


The aim of the project is to study how sexual harassment within the academy is perceived and dealt with by students and PhD-students, and which factors contribute to and prevent the occurrence of harassment in the academy.

Information for you who are interested in participating


Are you a student or a doctoral student and would like to participate?

We would like to ask students to participate in a research project by taking part in a research interview. You can participate in the interview if you are 18 years old or older and a program student at Malmö University. You do not need to have been sexually harassed yourself.

You can also participate in this part of the study if you are a doctoral student at Malmö University by taking part in a focus group interview.


The aim of this study is to study how sexual harassment within the academy is perceived and dealt with by students, and which factors contribute to and prevent the occurrence of harassment in the academy. In the study, we will interview undergraduate students and master students at Malmö University.


The project follows Swedish research ethic guidelines regarding information, confidentiality, consent and utilization. Your answers will be kept so that no unauthorized person can access them. In the published reports no identifiable data will be included, thus no individual can be identified. The results of the study will be presented in scientific academic articles.

Processing of personal data 

Data storage and archiving follows Malmö University´s guidelines and will be destroyed after ten years. If you would like to see your individual data or the results of the study you can contact Professor Charlotta Löfgren-Mårtenson or University lecturer My Lilja (see contact details below). 

Responsible for your personal information is Malmö University. According to the EU data protection regulation GDPR, you have the right to access, free of charge, the information about you that is handled in the study and if necessary, correct any errors. You can also request that information about you will be deleted and that the processing of your individual data will be restricted. Malmö University is Data Protection Officer (dataskyddsombud@mau.se). If you are dissatisfied with how your personal data is processed, you have the right to send your complaints to the Swedish Authority for Privacy Protection, which is a supervisory authority.

Registration of interest

You can register for the research study by sending your contact information to the researchers by email (see below). After your email, we will get back to you and book a time for an interview. For students, individual interviews apply and focus group interviews for doctoral students. Your participation is voluntary and you can choose to cancel your participation at any time, even afterwards. If you choose not to participate or want to cancel your participation, you do not need to state why.

The principal of research is Malmö University.

Responsible for the study are

Charlotta Löfgren-Mårtenson, Professor of Health and Society, specialization in sexology, e-mail: charlotta.lofgren-martenson@mau.se

My Lilja, senior lecturer in criminology, e-mail: my.lilja@mau.se

Consent form.pdf

Method, sample and analysis

The project includes both individual research interviews with students and focus-group interviews with doctoral students. They are conducted digitally via Zoom and on campus based on a thematic interview guide:

a) how is sexual harassment described and dealt with

b) in which situations can sexual harassment occur

c) and what factors are described as promoting or inhibiting sexual harassment.

The sample will be recruited among students and PhD-students at Malmö University’s five faculties:

  • The Faculty of Education and society
  • The Faculty of Technology and society
  • The Faculty of Health and society
  • The Faculty of Culture and society and
  • The Faculty of odontology.

Some heterogeneity will be sought regarding e.g. gender, ethnicity, disabilities and sexuality. An intersectional perspective will be used to analyse how different power structures and categories mesh together and influence one another.

Ethical considerations

The project follows the Swedish Research Council’s ethical guidelines on information provision, data use, confidentiality and consent in all phases of the project and will be examined in advance by the Swedish Ethics Review Authority.

Participating researchers

Charlotta Löfgren-Mårtenson has a PhD in social work and works as a Professor of Health and Society, specialising in sexology, at the Department of Social Work. She is a Research leader at Malmö University, and acting National Research Coordinator for the Research and Collaboration Programme on Gender-Based Violence.

My Lilja is an Associate Professor in criminology and works as a lecturer at the Department of Criminology, Malmö University.

Mika Hagerlid has a PhD in criminology and works as a senior lecturer at the Department of Criminology at Malmö University.