Two New Members of the UNU-GEST Research Team

Dr. Jón Ingvar Kjaran and Dr. Thomas Brorsen Smidt
Dr. Jón Ingvar Kjaran and Dr. Thomas Brorsen Smidt

One of the core strategies of UNU-GEST is the multidisciplinary approach adopted to promote gender equality and social well-being through high-quality, collaborative and policy-relevant research. To this end, the UNU-GEST programme is happy to welcome Dr. Jón Ingvar Kjaran and Dr. Thomas Brorsen Smidt to the research team.

Dr. Kjaran is an Associate Professor at the School of Education, Faculty of Diversity and Education, University of Iceland. His research focus is on gender equality, sexuality, ethnicity, sociology of education, and gender violence. He is currently working on research on perpetrators’ experiences of violence as well as research on the intersection of sexuality and gender in schools. Moreover, he is working on a book about same-sex desire in post-revolutionary Iran, which will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in spring 2019. In 2017, Palgrave Macmillan published his book Constructing Sexualities and Gendered Bodies in School Spaces; which is based on his ethnographic research in Icelandic high schools and which sheds light on how sexuality and gender intersect in producing heteronormativity within the school system in Iceland. Apart from heading the research development of the UNU-GEST programme,  Dr. Kjaran will also serve as the Deputy Director of the UNU-GEST programme.

Dr. Smidt graduated with a PhD in Gender Studies from the University of Iceland in 2018. His research interests centre on gender in relation to higher education and work-life balance issues as well as to feminism, sexual politics, migration and queer theory. Before joining UNU-GEST, Dr. Smidt worked as a researcher in the cross-national research project GARCIA under the European 7th Framework programme.

Both Dr. Kjaran and Dr. Smidt have been involved with the UNU-GEST studies programme for a number of years both as instructors and supervisors of final assignments. 

The UNU-GEST research programme is run in collaboration with the EDDA Research Center at the University of Iceland. Our two new team members will continue the UNU-GEST research mission to influence policy and debate over gender equality by disseminating new knowledge to policy-makers as well as in peer-reviewed academic journals and at conferences.