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Apply for research funds for new knowledge about sexual harassment in working life

Today, studies on the prevention of sexual harassment in workplaces in the Nordic countries are largely lacking. Knowledge is needed about why they work or not, about who is reached and not reached through the preventive work. Today, 26 August, the second of two calls opens within the framework of a Nordic research initiative, focusing on these issues. 

In order to develop new and effective efforts to combat sexual harassment in the workplace, evidence- and research-based knowledge is essential. In light of this, the Nordic Council of Ministers has decided to support a Nordic research initiative, in co-peration between several sectors within the Nordic collaboration. Sectors involved include gender equality, culture, working life and the Nordic Committee for Children and Young People.  The research initiative consists of two open calls for proposals, both launched in 2021. 

Maria Grönroos, co-ordinator for the Nordic research initiative Photo: Ragnhild Fjellro

“Open Call 2 is aimed at researchers and working life actors in the Nordic region who intend to initiate practice-oriented research activities with high quality, in close collaboration. The projects should have a Nordic benefit by contributing with new knowledge on sexual harassment in the workplace in the Nordic region”, says Maria Grönroos, co-ordinator for the research initiative, administered by NIKK, Nordic Information on Knowledge on gender. 

Industry-specific or industry comparative approach  

Industries face in part different, and in part, similar challenges. There is therefore potential for synergies if local analyses are also tied to more generic knowledge about sexual harassment and interventions, and if co-operation between industries occurs. Comparisons between different industries could provide a clear understanding of industry-specific and cross-industry challenges and opportunities.  The applications should be based on partnership between at least three Nordic countries/areas of the Nordic region.  

Interdisciplinarity, intersectionality and defining concepts  

Sexual harassment in the workplace touches on many areas of knowledge – from work sciences research to research on health, organisations, power, violence, etc. For sustainable and robust knowledge, proposals are encouraged to include interdisciplinary approaches to their projects.   

Intersectional approaches where aspects of a person’s social and political identities combine to create different discrimination modes and privilege are relevant to managing sexual harassment at work.  

“International research shows that people belonging to minority groups, or at risk of harassing due to attributes such as age, disability or sexuality, also have greater risk of being sexually harassed. Proposals are encouraged to address the diversified and complex reality in working life to contribute to well-targeted and effective prevention and new intervention methods”, says Maria Grönroos. 

The lack of clear definitions of concepts related to sexual harassment makes it difficult to work in the area. The legal construction of the term sexual harassment provides limited space to understand the phenomenon or what the victim experiences sexual harassment. A recommendation is to require reflection and clarity of the use of terms and interpretation of these conditions in the projects.  

Digital information meeting on 2 September  

A digital info meeting will be organised for those who have questions about the call and plan to apply: Thursday, 2 September, 13.00-14:30 CET .

Interested in participating? Please email no later than 30 August.  


NIKK is a Nordic cooperation body under the Nordic Council of Ministers. NIKK collect and disseminate knowledge about politics and practice, facts and research in the area of ​​gender equality in a Nordic perspective. 

Updated 26 August 2021