May-Len Skilbrei's research interests are mobility, gender and sexuality.
She has done empirical studies on subjectivities in, and policy developments on prostitution and human trafficking, sexual violence, marriage, labour, irregular migration and return migration.
Skilbrei is an experienced ethnographer, as well as in combining qualitative and quantitative methodologies. She has conducted empirical research in Norway, Sweden, Estonia and Russia.
Skilbrei is currently the project manager of two research projects. First, Transnationalism from above and below: Migration management and how migrants manage (MIGMA) funded by the Research Council of Norway in the period 2015-2020, second the project Medical, legal and lay understandings of physical evidence in rape cases (Evidently Rape) in the period 2019-2023.
Skilbrei co-edits the Routledge book series Interdisciplinary Studies in Sex for Sale. She is a member of the National Committee for Research Ethics in the Social Sciences and the Humanities (NESH) and is in the years 2020-2024 serving as the Head of the Board of the Centre for Gender Research at the University of Oslo. Skilbrei was the vice-chair of the COST Action Comparing European Prostitution Policies: Understanding Scales and Cultures of Governance (2013- 2017), and in 2009-2013 a member of the management committee of Eastbordnet.
- criminological theory
- qualitative methods
- gender, sexuality and violence.
She currently supervises MA and PhD students working on prostitution, human trafficking, migration, rape, prisons, gender identity and gender and violence.
Higher education and employment history
May-Len Skilbrei is Professor and Head at the Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law. Before taking up a position at the University of Oslo, Skilbrei was a researcher at and, for three years, a managing director of, Fafo Institute for Applied International Studies. Previously, Skilbrei had been a PhD scholar and researcher at NOVA - Norwegian Social Research, and a Post Doc. Fellow at the University of Oslo. Skilbrei’s education is in criminology, law and sociology, with a PhD from the Department of Sociology and Human Geography at the University of Oslo from 2003.