Mervi Heikkinen.jpg

Mervi Heikkinen

Adjunct Professor, PhD

University Researcher


In my development-oriented career mainly in European projects during past 20 years, I have built up a theoretical and methodological background in understanding and strengthening human participation in the shaping and making of digital futurities through e-learning, e-work and e-research. The projects are related to gender equality promotion in education and labor market, gender equality and diversity planning, gender desegregation, gender equality work within organisations, gender and sexual violence and its prevention, sexist harassment and its prevention. Theoretically, my research builds on feminist research approaches that emphasise people’s empowerment and inclusion in society in general – specifically, intersectional gender equality. Context of my research is northern Europe – Arctic North - as academic intelligence is taking a digi-leap while attempting to sustain democracy - the most valuable and vulnerable cultural heritage of Europe. The focus of my current research is on strengthening the possibilities to research the needs, potentials, affordances and social and ethical challenges in a Technology-Rich University.

Research interests

  • gender
  • equality
  • intersectionality
  • gender equality plan
  • epistemology
  • ethics
  • Arctic
  • Higher Education

Past Projects

Recent Publications

Parkkila, Helena & Heikkinen, Mervi. (2018). Vulnerable bodily integrity: under-recognised sexual violence among girls in residential care institutions. In JGBV - Journal of Gender-Based Violence. Volume 2, Number 1, February 2018, pp. 25-40(16), DOI:

Suvi Pihkala, Tuija Huuki, Mervi Heikkinen & Vappu Sunnari (2018) Reconfigurings of Non-violence as a Matter of Sustainability and Response-ability, NORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, 26:3, 167-181, DOI: 10.1080/08038740.2018.1461130

Cardona-López, José-Adán; Bredesen-Nordfjell, Ole; Gaini, Firouz & Heikkinen, Mervi. (2018). Promising Nordic practices in gender equality promotion: Developing teacher education dialogue, practice, and policy cycles on-line. Policy Futures in Education, 16(5), 605–619.


Social media

Professional and community activities

  • Ethics working group, Chair, term 2018 - 2021
  • Gender Equality and Diversity Board, terms 2016 - 2018, 2019-2021
  • Responsible Evaluation development group, University of Oulu 2020 -
  • UArctic Assembly (Council) representative, 2018 -
  • UArctic Thematic Network lead, Gender in Arctic knowledge production, 2020 -

Research groups

  • Gender Studies


University of Oulu, 2016

New Materialist Methodological Innovations and Contestations in the Arctic North

The scientific and societal objective of the study is to co-create and experiment gender research methodologies that strengthen the possibilities t

Academic (un)employment and mobility in the Arctic North - A Joint Socially Responsible Approach

Academic (Un)employment and Mobility in the Arctic North – A Joint Socially Responsible Approach is a two-year project coordinated by the Universit
University of Oulu, 2017

Building the future of Latin America: engaging women into STEM

Nowadays, a major participation of women in society can be evidenced; however, these advancements have not occurred in the same proportion in all c

Promising Nordic Practices on Gender Equality in Schools and Kindergarten

Nordic Gender Equality – Promising Practices is a collaboration network between Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Greenland and Icel