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Sociology Research


Ilaria Michelis is a PhD student in Sociology and a Gates Scholar at the University of Cambridge, Newnham College. Her research explores how, and to what effect, the concept of intersectionality and its analytical implications are integrated in the practice of feminist organisations that support survivors of violence against women and girls (VAWG). For her doctoral project, Ilaria has been collaborating with two organisations working with migrant, refugee and ‘domestic’ survivors of gender-based violence and human trafficking in Serbia and Italy.

Before starting her PhD, Ilaria worked in the field of VAWG prevention and response, women’s rights and gender equality in humanitarian and development settings, primarily in Central and East Africa and the Middle East, for over ten years. As both a practitioner and a researcher, she has a strong interest in the relationship between theory and practice and maximising research impact.

Ilaria holds an MPhil in Sociology of Marginality and Exclusion from the University of Cambridge and an MSc in Development Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Research Interests

Intersectionality, gender-based violence and violence against women and girls, Black feminist theory, transfeminism, feminist social movement theory, feminist, anti-racist and decolonised approaches to humanitarian response. Feminist and collaborative research methods, doing research with individuals affected by trauma, power dynamics in the research encounter.

Key Publications - Journal Articles

Ilaria Michelis (2023). Contesting Gender: Young Women and Feminist Generations in Gender-Based Violence Services. Journal of Gender Studies 0(0):1–13. DOI: 10.1080/09589236.2023.2186840.

Jamie J. Hagen, Ilaria Michelis, Jennifer Philippa Eggert & Lewis Turner (2023). Learning to say ‘no’: privilege, entitlement and refusal in peace, (post)conflict and security research. Critical Studies on Security, DOI: 10.1080/21624887.2023.2208902

Landis, Falb, Michelis, Bakomere, and Stark (2018). "Violence, Well-Being and Level of Participation in Formal Education among Adolescent Girls in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo: The Role of Child Marriage." Studies in Social Justice 12.2: 273-90.

Lilleston, Winograd, Ahmed, Salamé, Al Alam, Stoebenau, Michelis, and Palekar Joergensen (2018). "Evaluation of a Mobile Approach to Gender-based Violence Service Delivery among Syrian Refugees in Lebanon." Health Policy and Planning 33.7: 767-76.

Michelis and Megevand (2014). Gender Based Violence and Displacement. Therapy Today 25.7: 14-19

PhD Supervisor

Research Groups & Affiliations


Gates Cambridge Scholarship – PhD 2019 – 2023

Member of the Collegio Superiore dell’Università di Bologna (Institute of Higher Studies) – Full undergraduate scholarship and interdisciplinary training programme 2004 – 2007

Job Title:
PhD Candidate
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