Mervi Heikkinen.jpg

Mervi Heikkinen

Title of Docent, 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

UArctic Thematic Network: Gender in Arctic Knowledge Production

The thematic focus area of the network is to facilitate intersectional and gender-responsible knowledge production in and of the Arctic as part of sustainable development and related governance in the Circumpolar area.

UArctic TN: Gender in Actic Knowledge Production web-site:

Shared Voices TN lead Interview conducted online in fall 2020:

Past Projects

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

Selected publications

  • Heikkinen, Mervi; Pihkala, Suvi; Pääsky, Leena; Harmoinen, Sari (2020) Intersectional gender-responsibility in STEM: Co-creating sustainable Arctic knowledge production. - Arctic yearbook 2020, 175-188 . [Original] [Self-archived]
  • Garcia-Holgado, A.; Mena, J.; Garcia-Penalvo, F.J.; Pascual, J.; Heikkinen, M.; Harmoinen, S.; Garcia-Ramos, L.; Penabaena-Niebles, R.; Amores, L. (2020) Gender equality in STEM programs: A proposal to analyse the situation of a university about the gender gap. (Artikkeli tieteellisessä konferenssijulkaisussa). - 11th IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2020. Cardoso A.; Alves G.R.; Restivo T.. IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference. 1824-1830, 9125326. [Original] [Self-archived]
  • Heikkinen, Mervi (2019) Toiminnallinen tasa-arvo- ja yhdenvertaisuussuunnittelu perusopetuksessa ja päiväkodissa. - Oulun yliopiston oppimateriaalia. E. Kasvatustieteet 7. Oulu. 78. [Original]
  • Parkkila, Helena; Heikkinen, Mervi (2018) Vulnerable bodily integrity: under-recognised sexual violence among girls in residential care institutions.. - Journal of gender-based violence 2 (1), 25-40 . [Original]
  • Pihkala, Suvi; Huuki, Tuija; Heikkinen, Mervi; Sunnari, Vappu (2018) Reconfigurings of Non-violence as a Matter of Sustainability and Response-ability. - NORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research online, online . Original: [Original]
  • Heikkinen, Mervi (2016) Promising Nordic Practices in Gender Equality Promotion in Basic Education and Kindergartens. - Oulun yliopiston kasvatustieteiden tiedekunnan elektonisia julkaisuja 11. Oulu. [Original] [Self-archived]


University of Oulu, 2019

Redesigning Equality and Scientific Excellence Together

Redesigning Equality and Scientific Excellence Together (RESET) involves seven large multidisciplinary universities from all over Europe, including
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