Centre for Feminist Research to study sexual misconduct and power in HE

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The Centre for Feminist Research (CFR) at Goldsmiths, University of London has won a £10,000 grant to fund a research project investigating sexual misconduct and abuse of power in Higher Education.

Funding was this month confirmed by the British Academy’s Research Awards Committee in the latest round of BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants.

The award of £9,947 was granted for the project entitled “Cultures of Consent: Examining the complexity of sexual misconduct an d power within universities”.

Professor Lisa Blackman, Director of the CFR and co-head of the Department of Media and Communications, is the Principal Investigator for the project with Dr Yasmin Gunaratnam, Reader in Sociology and Co-Director of the CFR as the Co-Investigator.

The research will be undertaken by Dr Tiffany Page, post-doctoral researcher based in the CFR and co-founder of The 1752 Group.

This study is on staff-to-student sexual misconduct in universities – the use of institutional and personal power, including grooming, sexual force, intimidation, coercion, or manipulation.

It proposes four main activities:

  • updating and archiving existing literature reviews by collaborators on staff-to-student sexual misconduct in UK universities, gathering research from international contexts and on current best practices, in an open access resource
  • inaugurating a cross-institutional network of researchers to facilitate knowledge exchange
  • developing a proposal for a themed issue of a peer-reviewed journal
  • identifying suitable methods and methodological principles for future research on the topic.

Professor Blackman said: “We are delighted that the British Academy has funded this important seed project, which will help us begin to understand some of the complex “cultures of consent” surrounding sexual misconduct in universities.

"It will build on important research that has been done by groups such as The 1752 Group and allow us to build a cross-institutional network to take this work forward across the sector.”

Work on the study is due to begin at the end of August, 2017.